Ice Cream Bike is Go!
A few years ago, some co-workers and I were chatting about awesome combinations of things we love and how they become greater together than they were separate - like, butter and scotch becoming butterscotch - and I threw out a totally unformed idea, “ice cream and biking!”
“You should do it,” they replied, further proof that I am surrounded by awesome, adventurous souls. We chuckled about the idea, chatted about it and moved on to the next conversation.
But the idea never left my mind. Not only that, it took hold of it, prompting hours and hours of research and ice cream churning, late nights and early mornings full of internet searches and what-ifs.
In those early days of my passion project, I had no idea what an FEIN was or why I needed it, or what the chemical composition of an inverted sugar is and why it makes ice cream such much creamier, also - surprisingly - I had never read the Michigan Dairy Law of 2009. Can you believe it?
Today, thanks to my undying passion for truly moving ice cream and my desire to bring all of you the most flavorful ice cream made from only the freshest ingredients, I know all those things and more. And, today,
I am proud to announce that Ice Cream Bike has become Go! Ice Cream.
We can’t quite hit the streets yet - that will happen in May, so stay tuned - but when we do, expect flavors that truly move you. I’m talking about flavors that make you want to dance and sing, flavors that take you back to childhood, flavors that make you close your eyes and take a moment to really soak it in. That’s my goal. That’s the kind of flavor Go! Ice Cream brings.
So what’s the plan? Well, it’s all in motion still, but we’ll be on the streets around Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, selling out of the back of our bike. We’ll also offer doorstep delivery via orders placed on our website, goicecreamgo.com. We’ll also bring the ice cream bike to your birthdays, bar mitzvahs, family reunions, whatever - anywhere you want flavor, we’ll be there.
Thanks for following our tumblr thus far, and stay tuned over at our new website, Facebook page and Twitter. I think you will, like me, be really pleasantly surprised where this ice cream bike will take you.
Thank you and let’s Go!
My first video post! Here I am, a professional filmmaker & ice cream maker, yet somehow I have never posted a video about my ice creams! Crazy talk.
Well, I certainly had a fitting subject for this first video. My good friend Andy Windak, a private chef and part of the interwebs’ most hilarious and informative food & entertaining podcast, The Table Set, was in town recently and proposed the idea of a dinner party at my place. Well, it got a little crazy, cause it’s us, and turned into a four-course Taco Tuesday themed entree & ice cream pairing menu. We invited a few friends, hit The Rocket in Ypsi for sombreros and mustaches, decked my dining room out in taco truck meets ice cream truck decor, threw some beers in paper bags and - voila! An epic party.
Where I’m Churning From
Oh man, January and February have been awesome! In mid-January I hosted a four course entree and ice cream Taco Tuesday dinner with the always inspiring LA-based private chef, Andy Windak. I’m editing a little video together soon, which will show you all of the fun pairings, but from the Corona and Lime Sorbet to the ChocoTaco to Andy’s AMAZING Duck in Mole taco and the whole Taco Truck vibe of the whole night, we ate right. That’s whats up.
I also recently had the honor of making up four pints of Single Malt Butterscotch ice cream for the 60th birthday of a Lagavulin loving friend.
Oh, and I conducted a really thorough taste test of vanilla beans from Tahiti, Uganda and Madagascar and came up with the perfect ration / blend of the various beans to produce a truly killer vanilla ice cream that highlight the smoky, subtly floral and citrus-y notes that you find in a truly fresh, high-quality vanilla bean.
Umm…what else… oh, I came up with a great new flavor: Banana Brûlée….and…oh, righht…
I am TOTALLY launching the ice cream business. Yep, that’s right. Big news on that front, COMING VERY SOON! Suffice it to say, if you have been reading my blog and wanting to wrap your lips around some of these flavors, you will be able to THIS SUMMER. Stay tuned, because it is about to get crazy here in flavor-town.
2012: The Year in Flavor
In January 2012, I had a funny thought. “What if I let myself make as much ice cream as I want? What if I let it all go, and just churn, baby, churn?” It seemed like a radical notion at the time. I had always put restraints around ice cream. As a health-conscious person, I didn’t trust myself having that much deliciousness in my freezer. Would I just pig out and get huge? I was also really self-conscious about my love of cooking. Some old unexamined part of me was ashamed of it, didn’t see cooking as “manly” enough or some crap.
The idea of publicly embracing my lifelong love of all things ice cream made me uncomfortable, so I knew I had to challenge those fears and insecurities. Some part of me knew that they were standing between me and a whole lot of fun and I was right. So, this year, while many people around me were savoring the 40 or 50 different flavors I churned up, I was savoring the sweet taste of personal victory.
I had so much fun with ice cream this year. A few great moments come to mind; my good friend Colleen wordlessly, excitedly spooning a bite of her Avocado Ice Cream and Tequila float into my mouth at our backyard social, sharing biscuits and buttermilk ice cream for breakfast with Andy Windak on our front porch, the excited expressions on my co-worker’s faces when they saw me taking ice cream to the freezer at our office and the near riots that would ensue. I could rattle off fun ice cream moments from 2012 for hours, but instead, I will just hope that you tasted some of my ice creams this year and made some fun memories of your own.
I kept track of all (or most) of my ice cream batches in my super-secret Ice Cream Book. I worked out what formulations worked best for my bases, how to roast fruits, how to extract flavor from different ingredients, how to upscale for larger batches, potential profit margins, all kinds of stuff. I thought it would be fun to look back and see what flavors I churned up this year. Sometimes I just freestyled and didn’t write down what I had done and some of these flavors I made several times throughout the year, so this is not a complete list, but here are my flavors from 2012.
I am so excited for 2013 and all the fun and flavor that ice cream will bring!
Irish Cream Ice Cream with Bittersweet Bushmills Chocolate sauce
My mom never taught me how to cook. She just cooked. And she let me cook along with her. I learned to love it, to have confidence in my abilities and I still think of her each and every time I pick up a whisk or a rolling pin. It’s like she is there in the kitchen with me.
My favorite thing to cook with my mom when I was a kid was gingerbread men. We made them every year, without fail, from my earliest days until I got my own place. I never really loved the taste of them - i loved the taste of molasses - but not really the cookies. I just loved the tradition of it. I loved that it was something special that we did together and that we didn’t do it without each other. I was one of the ingredients in the recipe and so was she. Years later I cam to love the taste of the cookies and every other taste we put together over the years - my palate has morphed with hers.
I’m very fortunate to still be able to bake and cook with my mom and to create new memories with her. We are hosting my parents at our house this year and I took special delight in not only whipping up a batch of gingerbread men, but also making an ice cream out of her favorite after dinner drink: Bailey’s Irish Cream. I didn’t just add Bailey’s to my ice cream, I actually took bittersweet chocolate, Bushmills, espresso, almond and vanilla and made my own version of it. I topped it with a bittersweet chocolate whiskey sauce that really makes it sing. I can’t wait to give my mom a taste after Christmas dinner. I know she will love it, because I love it!
From the Ice Cream Bike house to your house, Happy Holidays!
Blackstrap Molasses Ice Cream in a Spicy Root Beer float!
I LOVE Molasses Ice Cream. Of the nearly one hundred ice cream flavors I have experimented with in the last year, blackstrap molasses may be my favorite. It’s a perfectly simple and uncluttered flavor, yet it has a spicy complexity to it that’s just so beguiling…man, just thinking about…I love this flavor. Chocolatey, smokey and spicy. Yum. I didn’t know how it would go with my Spicy Root Beer, though. I mean, it’s not your every day root beer, I make it using a really old recipe that calls for lots and lots of assertive and unique ingredients (like spearmint, sassafras, clove, burdock, etc.) that are combined in a very specific way to produce a balanced soda with lots of character. I really wanted to try out my new (to me) vintage soda glasses, though. My risk was rewarded and the ice cream and soda got along swimmingly and I was treated to a desert that was not only irresistible but quite picturesque!
Featuring: Avocado Tequila Vegan Ice Cream, Chocolate Sorbet, Ginger Vanilla Ice Cream, Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream, and Dulce De Leche Ice Cream paired with Chocolate Awesome Shell, Homemade Ginger Soda and Homemade Spicy Root Beer!
Lara and I had our first-ever backyard ice cream social this past Friday. It was such a blast, 30 or 40 friends showed up and spent a beautiful Summer evening running around our backyard savoring ice creams and sodas. It was one of those perfect events that you know you will remember for the rest of your life.
It’s no small feat to put one of these parties together. I spent the better part of a week whipping up all of these ice creams and sodas, but watching the reactions of partygoers as they tasted all of the flavors made it all totally worth it. The kids were especially fun to watch because they didn’t say a thing. They just kept spooning ice cream into their mouths and that is all the feedback I could ever want.
At the end of the night one of my really good friends told me that I am “making people really happy with my ice creams.” I think that’s true, actually. I don’t want to overstate the importance of my ice creams and I don’t think that food should be used as some sort of emotion adjuster, but I don’t think that’s what he meant.
I think he meant that you can tell when something you consume is made with love and that makes people happy. Food is such a powerful and personal experience, and it truly is an honor for me to be able to create food and flavors that I love and share them with the people I love. And I think that, while I hopefully will have many more ice cream events in my future, that feeling is the one I will remember from this particular first event - the feeling of sharing my flavors with those closest to me, sharing and spreading that joy with those who have brought so much joy to my life.
Thanks to everyone who showed up for the event and I look forward to the next one!
16-Quart Ice Cream Social wrap-up!
Well, the ice cream social sundae bar that I provided for some friends was a huge success. I took my camera with me so I could share pictures of the event with all of you, but it came and went so quickly, in a blaze of scooping and nomming, that I didn’t even have time to take any pictures.
Here’s a look back at some of what I learned in the process of creating my first ice cream event:
Thanks for following my journey in creating this event! I will now return to highlighting stories and experiences of making different flavors and launching a small business. I am planning an Ice Cream Social for more friends in July so don’t touch that channel, there is more ice cream madness coming to you soon.
Vive la ice!
BREAKING ICE CREAM ANTI-SOCIAL NEWS!!!
Free (that’s right, free) goats milk at the Ypsilanti Co-op!! That’s because the Ypsilanti Co-Op rules and the universe just happened to know that you were going to the Co-Op looking for goats milk to use in the cajeta that will be folded into your caramel ice cream which is replacing the first caramel ice cream that you burned earlier today and the universe (and the Co-Op) want you to succeed in this new ice cream making venture and they knew you were crying inside and doubting yourself after you ruined that first batch of caramel ice cream.
The moral of this story is that it pays to buy local. Also, follow your dreams. Don’t do drugs. Stay in school.
ICE CREAM ANTI-SOCIAL WEEKEND continues!
Day 3: The Churn Identity
Good morning, ice cream makers!
Who is well rested and ready for another day of ice cream making fun? Never mind the sleepy-eyed dogs all around us. These dogs don’t have the mettle to be ice creamer makers. We ice cream makers don’t wait for someone to put our kibble in a bowl! No, we make our own kibble, from scratch, using the best local ingredients and then we put it in bowls ourselves, and we eat it with spoons (usually) and our kibble is ice cream. And ice cream is good! And dog kibble is nasty. So, whatever for dogs, I’m over them.
It’s little wonder these weak-willed dogs are tired, though. Big things went down in the Ice Cream Bike kitchen last night. First, after I chilled strawberry out (see earlier post) I transferred him to my giant 4-quart measuring pitcher and realized I had accidentally doubled the already double-sized batch. Oops! So, I will be swimming in Strawberry Ice Cream for the foreseeable future. Strawberry is a little tricky for me though, because you add in all the strawberries and it really ups the volume of your base, as opposed to most flavorings, which have a negligible impact on quantity.
I was also semi-plagued by a different conundrum yesterday. So, I have these four flavors of ice cream: Strawberry, Dulce de Leche, Chocolate Sorbet and Peppercorn. And I also have a Dark Chocolate Awesome Shell topping for it, but I wanted to make another sauce, too. But, outside of chocolate, what sauce would go well with all four of those flavors? You see the problems I wrestle with? You know how they say the President ages four years for every year they are in office? Well they double that number for ice cream makers. I don’t have a bright red world-crisis phone on my nightstand, but I do have a light pink Kitchen-Aid stand mixer, and there ain’t no way some politician is stepping up to that kind of pressure.
Don’t worry, I figured it out and at about 10:30 last night I whipped up a really tart and puckery Lemon Marmalade. It goes GREAT with all of the flavors and will really add a nice, unique touch to the sundae bar. Like Jack Nicholson says, “you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. You can’t handle the sauce!”
And we ain’t done yet. Today we have to churn up the Strawberry Ice Cream, make the base for the fourth ice cream, hit the store for some supplies, toast some walnuts and, I don’t know…maybe take a bike ride? Sure, why not!
So stay right here, glued to your computer for updates on all the blazing-hot and freezing-cold ice cream action!