Before I moved away, I spent a summer not working. I did it to read, to tan, to dye my hair and pierce my ears, and try my damnedest to reconnect with my mother. I drank a lot of coffee, heavily-creamed and sometimes four sachets of artificial sugar. Water bottles thrown in a corner, they piled up. I didn’t work. I smoked a lot of cigarettes then; stubbed them out under a rock next to my sister’s Marlboros. I was leaving for the West Coast when my boyfriend and I had saved up enough.
We never saved up enough, though. Never had enough to fly home unless someone else was paying my ticket.
And now I sit back in my old house. Four years later and working from home. Coffee is black and my hair is a different shade of blonde than what it was. I hide a pack of cigarettes in a grey duffle bag. Mosquitos kiss my feet when I dangle them off the porch swing. The constant hum of the rural mower drowns out the crickets, the peepers, the owl that built a nest where lighting struck the oak out back. I sit in air conditioning and feed my mother’s nine cats. My hair is a different shade of blonde four years later, but I have my father’s laugh lines and I notice them in this summer heat against my tanned face.
Pecan Choco Ice Cream Affogato
- 6.5 or 7 oz nut butter (my preference is by far Beard Boys nut butter and here I used their Pecan Choco for a nutty, buttery taste against the coffee)
- 12 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups strong black coffee, freshly brewed
- In a large mixing bowl, use a rubber spatula to mix together your nut butter and the sweetened condensed milk. Set aside
- In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, whip your heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form
- Put a little bit of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture to lighten it and then dump the condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream
- Fold together gently but thoroughly (it may deflate a little, but that is better than having pockets of whipped cream and no pecan butter!)
- Pour into a loaf pan and freeze for about 6 hours before serving
- When you are ready to serve, scoop ice cream into your bowls (the ice cream will not firm up to be hard due to the condensed milk) and pour your coffee over
- Serve immediately.
- If you are not making an affogato or have leftovers, ice cream can stay in freezer (covered with a bit of plastic wrap and aluminum foil) for 2-4 weeks, but check for freezer burn after week one