My dad visited this past weekend. It's always fun to have him come, because he knows just the right balance of doing things and hanging out. This is in stark contrast to my mom, who is GOGOGO! all the time. I've seriously sent her out on walks so that I could take a nap on some visits. His visits always revolve around a few things - long chats catching up on life, at least one good run together and food. We plan our visits around what we'll be having each meal. Heck, that's how we plan our lives!
The first time that the fiance visited me in Oshkosh, we sat that Saturday morning eating eggs and toast for breakfast. I looked up at him and asked what he wanted to do for lunch, and I just remember his confusion - why would I ask that now? He'd just started breakfast - he wasn't even hungry for lunch yet! It didn't matter to me; growing up, we always talked about the next meal or two while eating the current one. He's come over to my way of thinking through the past few years, but I have a feeling it's still not a natural thought for him.
But when my dad visits? I pull out all the stops. We had my current favorite wheaty and chewy sunflower seed bread for sandwiches when he first got there, five dining options for dinner that night, and sausage, potatoes and eggs from the farmers market for breakfast the next day. Lunch that day, I figured, we could wing once we got closer. Oh, and there were plans that, since he likes relaxation and downtime, I'd be able to squeeze in baking a test recipe for the wedding cake extravaganza. My dad, I figured, would be a rockstar taste tester.
The weekend went off without a hitch - a quick and easy lunch followed by a nap for him and cake baking for me, walks, an amazing dinner, and cake that night. Unfortunately, the cake was so rich that we didn't manage to try any of this chocolate ganache ice cream, but the fiance managed to squeeze a bowl in the next day without too much difficulty. That day, of course, began with a wonderful run in the early morning, from which we returned sweaty and a bit sap-covered from the weeds on the trail we took. A wonderful breakfast accompanied by LOTS of coffee followed by wandering around Chapel Hill rounded out my dad's visit. Oh, and lunch that day? We used it as an excuse to test-drive a local restaurant that we thought might be fun to go to on random weekdays for a good beer (it will be). A success, all around.
But you probably actually cared about the ice cream, not so much about the random goings-on of my (warped yet still awesome) family. I don't really blame you - this stuff probably would have been killer before it was even churned. The custard base is basically the most decadent chocolate pudding you could think of - my ice cream maker made odd whining noises while it was churning because it was so thick! Not only that, given the high percentage of chocolate, it takes a good 10-15 minutes on the counter to soften enough to eat. You see these photos? I scooped (and re-scooped and re-scooped) after 15 minutes on the counter, shot the photos and handed the fiance the bowl. After all that, it was still incredibly hard. I'd probably put some form of alcohol in it the next time, actually, since I like softer ice creams. The flavor though? Spot on, classic chocolate goodness.
Last Week: Gingered Carrot Cookies
Next Week: Oatmeal Breakfast Bread (killer with dried tart cherries)