It's summer in Texas. After a row of almost unbearable hundred-plus degree days, we had the bright idea to NOT turn the oven on during our Wake & Bake session. That's right. ICE CREAM TIME. I am spoiled, so I’ve already the pleasure of trying Caitlin’s homemade ice cream many times before we planned this special Wake & Bake day, but it only gets better every time she makes it... especially now that we get to share all our secrets and adventures with you, oh hungry reader!
It was a summer morning, perfect for a sundae, you know, besides the fact that it was hotter than an oven on fire being launched at the sun. We were lucky to have air conditioning and a magical day of collaboration in store for us. The special guests who joined us at this particular Wake & Bake session are all local folks I seriously admire for their creative energy, get-shit-done attitudes, and damn fine leadership skills. Chloe McDowell and Lillith Grey are both hardworking community leaders in their own rights: Chloe is the Artistic Director of Sundown Collaborative Theatre and is the weekly host of Glitterbomb Denton, a weekly queer variety show at Andy’s Bar on the Square, while Lillith is the Producer of both Glitterbomb and Salty Lady Burlesque. The two also recently co produced and hosted the incredible third annual Texas Queerlesque Festival last weekend. Whew! We’re talking performance artist champions. Movers and shakers. Goals. People I look up to and want to be like when I grow up. Seriously.
In Shiny Sound Recording Studio, the usual suspects (Corbin, Jacob, and Conor) were working with Spiderweb’s newest Songwriting Scholarship recipient, Naomi Kleiwer (YAY!!), to record a beautiful new song, complete with OMNICHORD shenanigans and whistling and gorgeous harmonies. (I cannot wait until we can share it with you later this month!) Caitlin Griffith came along too, another creative and kindhearted soul I was pleased to get to spend some time with. Even without the oven cranked up, our Wake & Bake morning glowed with warmth from all the beautiful humans wandering from room to room. Music filled the air and we colored paper cartons to create our own fashionable ice cream containers. After all, what’s a W&B without getting a little crafty?
Oh yes, back to the ice cream. For those of you who just want to cut to the chase, get our highly recommended recipes, and get out, you shall have your wish, but you have to promise to read the rest of this post while you’re waiting for your cream to chill overnight (as is generally recommended in most recipes before churning):
Stracciatella Ice Cream Without Eggs
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Coffee Ice Cream
BraveTart’s Caramelized White Chocolate Ice Cream
Hot Fudge Sauce
Because ice cream requires all that chill time (for obviously reasons), Caitlin and I got together a few days before our big Sundae Sunday to get a head start. We wanted everyone to be able to experience the full spectrum of creamy goodness the morning of W&B: the blending and heating of ingredients, cooked to the perfect temp so as not to burn or curdle (scrambled eggs in yr ice cream…. maybe not, but pro tip, you can always strain the little eggy bits out if it isn’t perfect and no one will be the wiser!) the cream, then the chilling, the churning, the DEVOURING!
You might be wondering, like me, what the deal is with all those egg yolks in that vanilla bean recipe. Is it ice cream or is it custard? What’s the difference? “Frozen custard is still ice cream. Ice cream can have eggs!” Caitlin knows what’s up- the richness of every spoonful was unlike any food-euphoria I’ve experienced...especially once that hot fudge was thrown in the mix.
Among other inquiries you may have never asked yourself about ice cream is the burning question, “Can you eat ice cream hot?” Absolutely, it’s been tested (by us) and proven entirely acceptable! In fact, Caitlin swears that the best cup of coffee she ever had was a steamy cup of hot coffee-bean ice cream poured straight from the pot to a mug. Drool.
While the ice cream churned away, Lillith and Chloe and I plotted ways we could collaborate across our already intersecting artist communities here in Denton. Our scheming resulted in another exciting Sundown + Spiderweb combo (we’re showcasing two previews from their upcoming short works festival at our birthday party!) and a super-exciting team up with Salty Lady Burlesque, who will be hosting a showcase right after our Spiderweb lineup at that very same show! (This is all happening at Dan’s on Saturday, Aug 4, by the way- you should probably come out and party with us!) Before I could say “happy birthday, spiderbabes,” Lillith had eight stellar performers ready to go and was already working on promo material. I could be nothing but impressed and delighted by these amazing people and our riveting plans! Our sharpie-art cartons were shaping up to look pretty cool too.
Meanwhile, in flavor-town: everything was a hit. At one point we were feeding each other melted chocolate out of the pot and making strange guttural sounds. It wasn’t even weird. Once we’d churned our miracle desserts to perfection and put on a bit of a photo shoot, we drenched our scoops with melted fudge and the whipped cream we had passed around the kitchen to take turns whisking (if I remember correctly, Conor made quite a whisky appearance here). There was no looking back. I will never gaze at a store bought carton of ice cream with the same hunger ever again, not now that I know ice cream of this caliber and intensity can exist. It’s simply not fair! The only way to find out for yourself is to make your own cool concoction, and tell us all about it of course. Happy Sundaes for all!
written by courtney marie (we missed you, Storie!!!)