29 September 2010

Happy birthday to me: Nigella's margarita ice cream for five food bloggers

Being a food blogger means you are part of a large food-loving community, brought together by pixels, LANs and wireless connections. Over the past five years I've corresponded with hundreds of food bloggers. I've been lucky enough to meet a couple dozen of them, here at home or in transit. Some have become dear friends and we try and get together a few times each year, but there are others whom I feel just as close to, but have never met.

In as much as I'd love to have Chinese New Year dinner, wings and a pint, or spend an afternoon making strawberry jam with pretty much every food blogger, there are a few I'd simply, unabashedly squeal with joy if the stars aligned and we wound up at the same table, stove or check-out queue.

That got me thinking...
Many of us have played the dinner party game where we'd list people we'd most have to have dinner with--my own list includes Artemisia Gentileschi, Stephen Fry, Oscar Wilde, TE Lawrence, Jane Austen, Nigella Lawson (whom I've met), Thomas Jefferson and Abigail Adams--I wondered, since both my blog and I added a "one" to our ages, which five food bloggers I'd never met would I love to have at my birthday supper...

Why these five? There's a connection there that's sometimes hard to explain...but suffice it to say whenever they pop up, they always make me smile.

Why five? A perfectly practical reason: my dining table seats six...

Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar: I think Annemarie and I met through The Daring Bakers a couple of years ago. When my turn came up to host a challenge, I knew I wanted her as my co-hostess. Her sense of humour and clear thinking made her a fabulous colleague and dear, dear friend.

Jeff of A Dork and His Pork: Jeff popped up in my Twitter feed last year. When I visited his blog, I knew he was someone with whom I could relate: he drew an anaolgy to Thelonious Monk when writing about banana bread. 'Nuff said.

Mary of The Sour Dough: There are certain parallels our lives have and because of that, there's little explanation needed. We can email one another at any point and there will be assistance, encouragement and support. That, and she'll answer my inredibly silly questions about bread baking.

Paz of The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz: Oh goodness...Paz is simply one of the sweetest people I've met online. Visiting her site is like going to the home of a long, dear friend. I love the breadth of her recipes and, of course, her slice-of-life photos of New York City.

Shaun of Winter Skies, Kitchen Aglow: I can't remember when we found one another, but we recognise in one another a spark and a connection--we're kindred spirits in words, influences and outlook.

And since it's my birthday, what else would I serve alongside cake, but ice cream? I've spied Nigella Lawson's Margarita ice cream recipe in Forever Summer for ages, but have never made it until this summer. It's rich and creamy, with the lime-laced tell-tale tequila buzz of its eponymous cocktail--appropriated served in a sugar-salt rimmed glass. In La Lawson's own words: "This is surely what angels would eat at their hen night."

Margarita Ice Cream
adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe in Forever Summer

375ml (1.5c) heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1x300ml tin (1.25c) sweetened condensed milk
90ml (6Tbsp) tequila
30ml (2Tbsp) Triple Sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier
Juice of 6 limes and the zest of 1

First, make a custard by scalding the cream, then dribble it into the egg yolks, and then pouring the mixture back into the pot. Cook it, stirring all the while, until it coats the back of a spoon. Take it off the heat and let cool for at least 20 minutes before stirring in the condensed milk, tequila and Triple Sec, lime juice and zest and then leave to cool completely before pouring into your ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer's instructions.


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Katie said...

A very happy birthday to you! The ice cream looks divine and the guest list perfect. I hope you have a wonderful day full of food and fun

K and S said...

happy birthday! hope the rest of 2010 will be good to you.

Ruth said...

Happiest of birthdays!

Anonymous said...

Hey there!

You know what's coming next, don'tcha!?

*Lunge, tackle, hug!!!*

Happy, Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!

I'm so honored to be included on the list to celebrate your birthday supper with you. Oh my! That ice cream looks scrumptious. Yes, what fun we'd have!

May all your dreams continue to come true.

Paz xoxo

Joanne at Frutto della Passione said...

Happy Birthday! What a great list, hope you actually get to make it happen some day.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Happy birthday, gorgeous! May all your dreams come true and good things come your way - you certainly deserve them!

Mind if I grab a spoon? this ice cream looks delicious - I'm a sucker for all things citrus!


breadchick said...

Oh dearest one, most Happy Birthday to you and you would most certainly be at the table for me as well.

One day one of us will be in the other's city and we will share a meal over laughs and hugs.

Shaun said...

Jasmine, Honey ~ My dear Libran friend, if only I could have attended your birthday celebration. Anyone who has ice cream on their birthday has to be a friend of mine! I, too, have bookmarked this La Lawson recipe - the idea of it is genius itself. Glad it lives it up to its angelic heights (and sinful lows!).

I could have dinner with 5 people of old, I would choose: Cleopatra (and solve the mysteries around her once and for all - and hope she lives up to the hype of being a cultured and fabulous conversationalist), E M Forster, Earl Warren (Chief Justice of US Supreme Court 1953-1969), Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (the first president of the Republic of Turkey), and Louis Comfort Tiffany (the stained glass and jewellery artist, son of Tiffany & Co. founder).

Happy Birthday, my dear friend.

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I love frozen margaritas, but this is really taking it up a notch. Perfect birthday treat :)

Jen said...

Happy belated birthday! I also blogged Nigella's Margarita Ice Cream a few months ago when I made it for a summer dinner party. It was great with a few sprinkles of kosher salt when I served it!

Sweet Kitchen said...

Happy belated Jasmine! Wishing you much happiness in the coming year and always.