Food Friday–Birthday edition

We are celebrating my husband’s birthday tonight. This morning when I spoke to my mother I asked her how old she thought my husband was. She thought for a long, long time and then came up with an answer, 42.
My husband is youthful, but 42 was a long time ago. My husband has ambivalent feelings about celebrating birthdays. He tends not to like stuff. So I haven’t bought him a big gift.

I have carefully planned tonight’s meal. There are elements of the meal that I will not be writing about because my husband is an occasional reader of this blog and I don’t want to spoil any surprises. I am willing to talk about two elements of the meal.

There has been a bit of buzz in the internet lately about “bone broth”.   It’s soup. Tonight I made a chicken soup with several trays of chicken necks and a tray of chicken gizzards. I also put  a couple of mammoth parsnips, some skinny carrots and onions and whole spices in a cheese cloth envelope in the crock pot. I put everything into the crock-pot yesterday afternoon. I put it on the low setting and let it cook away.

This morning it smelled amazing. I could have just let the crock-pot bubble away all day and then just serve the soup for dinner. But this was a special dinner so  I made this a more refined soup.

First I smashed all of the vegetables through my new strainer.  Having a strainer that does not have a giant rip feels like a major luxury.  Our old strainer developed a rip about a dozen years ago.  My husband used to remind me that it worked great for straining noodles.  For pureeing soup, not so much. I had been lusting after a “Chinese Hat” strainer but could not justify shelling out the cash for it. I found a wonderful  sturdy bowl shaped strainer in China town and am delighted with my purchase.

I left the vegetables whole and mashed them through the strainer.

I just added the puree back into the soup.
The soup is now hanging out in the fridge so all of the fat will rise to the top of the pot. There are times when large amounts of chicken fat are welcome. I find it less than pleasant on top of a soup bowl.  The birthday celebrant really hates  a soup topped with a thick layer of fat.
I usually serve simply. Tonight in addition to the soup we will have two secret starters.

On days like today I am really glad that I have been reading old cookbooks for so many years. I am making a more complicated dessert than usual.
I was thinking about this meal as I was shopping for it. I noticed a bottle of Key West lime juice at our grocery. We spent part of our honeymoon in Key West. We discovered the joy of Key limes during out honeymoon.   I thought that making Key lime sorbet/parve ice cream would be perfect.
My husband once spent the better part of a year living in Paris. When he was there he discovered, and fell in love with blood oranges. Blood oranges tend to come to market every year right around my husband’s birthday so I will usually include them in the birthday meal.

I clearly have spent far too much of my life reading cookbooks from  early in the 20th century.  I decided to make an ice cream bombe, that is ice cream frozen into a shape.

I thought it would be a nice touch to line the bowl with slices of blood oranges. Clearly I have read too many fussy cookbooks.  So I thought that just slicing the oranges would not be right. So, I made a simple sugar syrup. ( that’s a cup of sugar, I used brown with a cup of water boil until it’s fully dissolved. It takes longer than you would think)

I boiled slices of the blood orange in the syrup.
When the rinds were translucent I set them to dry on a parchment paper covered plate.

After all of the orange slices were boiled, I used the simple syrup as the base for my ice cream adding a can of coconut milk,  lots of lime juice and a bit more sugar and a couple of table spoons of corn starch.The blood orange had stained the mixture pink.  I stirred until the mixture came to a boil and then put the lime custard into the ice cream maker.
The lime custard was really tart.  I thought it might be improved with a dollop of this New England favorite.
Adding the fluff also turns the ice cream into de-constructed Key lime pie. I added the fluff at the very end of the mixing process.

Then I lined a round bowl with plastic wrap  and then arranged the candied orange slices inside of the bowl.
Then I carefully arranged the still soft ice cream over the candied blood oranges.

I even measured the volume of the bowl before I committed to using it. This sort of planning is so outside of my usual cooking methods.

The ice cream bombe is now setting in the freezer.
When it is time to serve dessert, I will invert the bombe onto a plate and remove all of the plastic wrap.
This looks like a dessert that would have been served in 1922.

If you ask me next week I will tell you about the other things that I served.

Shabbat Shalom!


  1. Oh! Please show a photo of the finished bombe!
    I love the blood orange colour against the bowl. Perfect!

  2. Sorry, there is no photo. The blood oranges leached red on the white-ish ice cream. The bombe looked an awful lot like a brain on a pretty plate. It was, however, really delicious. I would candy orange slices again. I would do an ice cream bombe again. I just need to re think the combinations .

    1. Maybe a black & white photo? ;) (this is actually Donna)

    2. I think I will do this again but candy regular oranges or lemons for the outer surface of the bombe...The candied citrus is so good...but alas there were no photos taken at dinner...we did do lots of eating.Tangerine sections might work too...knowing my family though there might be calls for brains on a plate for another celebration.

  3. Well, I am glad it was a success anyway. That is the sort of make it up as you go along issues I find when I cook. DH eats it to be kind and the Lad eats it because that is what he exists for - or at least it seems so. It would be better if he ate it without critique though!
    Enjoy the indoors. ;-)

  4. Everyone at the table ate dessert happily and they asked for additional servings of brains. There was talk about how to play with the idea. I think that candied oranges will be part of our Seder dessert. The blood oranges might work better visually with a chocolate ice cream. The flavors were perfect together. Maybe I would do it again with candied limes or lemons as the garnish..


Post a Comment

Popular Posts