The Tiny House Movement itself is nothing new, really, but it caught the public's attention back in 2006 when Dee Williams got herself featured in Time Magazine. Her 84 square foot house on wheels has a composting toilet, no shower, and space for only 300 items. It costs her $8 per month to live there, for heating.
Tiny Houses aren't for everyone. You can't really, for example, have a family in a house that's 84 square feet, at least not unless the weather is pretty good year round. We can't all live in someone else's back yard. But I do like what Williams says about living intentionally. I suspect at some point you start to realize just what that old saying means, that good things come in small packages.
I don't have a Tiny House. I will probably never have a Tiny House. And that's OK with me. In fact, I just bought something entirely frivolous that will eat up space in my kitchen cabinet, with a gift certificate that has been burning a hole in my pocket since I baked cakes for our friends' wedding last summer (thank you, M and H!). Said new kitchen item would never come with me if I had to downsize, and it would not be among the things I'd put in my son's camper. BUT ... tasting the first ice cream from our new ice cream maker reminded me that I didn't need to eat an entire pint in order to appreciate the treat, that good things often do come in small packages. Or, in this case, bowls.
(So, dear readers ... what flavor to try next? Rosewater cardamom pistachio? A spicy chili cinnamon? Or ... for Emily ... Chubby Hubby? Blogger ice cream social at my house. And: what good things have come in small packages for you?)
|See those specks? That's real vanilla bean, folks.|
Jeni Britton Bauer is an artisan ice cream maker in Ohio. Her ice cream cookbook, which I covet, debuted last summer, and I confess I checked it out of the library and salivated over the possibilities when S. was on his last business trip and couldn't talk me out of my madness. This is her vanilla take on her foolproof standard base. I am pretty sure that you could use less sugar, with equally good results, but haven't yet been brave enough to try.
2 c. whole milk
1 T. plus 1 t. cornstarch
1 1/2 oz. (3 T.) cream cheese
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 T. light corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1/8 t. kosher salt
Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla bean and seeds. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves and the vanilla flavors the milk, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.
Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container.
Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the vanilla ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.