My dear friend, colleague and nationally recognized culinary diva, Rebecca Katz texted me this past weekend: “Have you ever made a vanilla ice cream cake? That's what Branden has requested. That and chicken wings, broccoli and hamburgers for his birthday dinner. And he said that he knows ‘I will make it brilliant!’” Branden, Rebecca’s 8-year old grandson has a highly defined palette (just like his bubby), so this request came as a surprise…
Of course I have made ice cream cake! And when I called Rebecca to ease her “pain”, this is what I got, “Can you believe that I have never made chicken wings or ice cream cake. I have no idea what to do!” Rebecca has authored four cookbooks (each boasting roughly 150 recipes) and is onto her fifth. Thus, she is highly adept in the kitchen. So challenged with chicken wings and ice cream cake? I knew this fear all too well!
Even the most seasoned cooks don’t know it all and we find ourselves on foreign territory more often than we would like to admit. Give me anything plant-based and I can bring simple to nutritious and delicious; fish and chicken too. Ask me to go complex culinary or cook certain meats like lamb or pork and I will blankly stare. It doesn’t stop there—now working alongside one of the world’s most famous chefs, he will be the first to admit that he can construct edible wizardry but when it comes to creating food with real health purpose, his learning curve is mountainous. So no matter how accomplished we are in the kitchen, there is always something to learn. Even if it’s from a fellow “foodie” or a kid!
But back to Rebecca and that ice cream cake (the chicken wings were simple enough as I sent her my go to recipe from What The Fork). We chatted on the phone and my son Jack and I walked her through the process giving her quite an earful from the cookies to the cream. And this is what she tossed our way while in action (process and pictures)…
Tell Jack I found organic Vanilla Wafers with very few ingredients and low in sugar! I took a really good hunk of dark chocolate and mashed it with the cookies in my food processor. Then I pressed the cookies into a parchment lined bottom of a spring form pan, dumped 1 1/2 quarts of melted local organic ice cream —Madagascar Vanilla—into the spring form, spread it evenly. I topped with parchment paper and put it in the freezer. Tomorrow, I will top with whipped cream, fresh strawberries, shaved chocolate and candles [see picture above].
Thanks for the great ice cream cake hack—and taking the fear out of the unfamiliar!! The lesson is simple—no matter how accomplished you are in the kitchen—you're always going to run into uncharted waters.
In the end, it’s all about knowing what you know, honoring what you don’t, and reaching out to others for help when needed—that takes fear out of the unfamiliar and equals real authenticity. It’s just not possible to know it all.
Branden pushed his bubby, she reached out to me and my son gave it to both of us! So please don’t be afraid to take an unfamiliar path, sometimes they’re the ones that take you to the best places…even if lead by the little ones.
Stirring the Pot is back with 2 new shows per month on WPPB 88.3 FM so don’t forget to tune in Thursdays at 5:30pm (with an encore Saturdays at 10:30am). This week it’s Ample Table For Everyone and surely check out the Weekly Yum Recipe.