Last month we went to Oklahoma to a wedding, and to visit some long time friends of DH’s family. One of these friends is Adelia H, who has been a foodie much longer than being a foodie has been chic. I think you could say Adelia’s been at it since they were referred to as gourmands.
Adelia now considers herself as much a food historian as a foodie, and from the amount of reference work and knowledge I picked up in the few hours we were together, I can tell this is really her passion.
Besides the terrific breakfast she made for us, I learned all about Aunt Bill’s Brown Candy (including tasting), something that Molly Wizenberg of Orangette has written about for Bon Appetit. I’m sure my Mum would love Aunt Bill’s Brown Candy- it’s like penuche, but more caramelized, and with pecans.
Adelia was finalizing some details for an exhibit at a local Historical Society on food and cooking in the Depression era in Oklahoma, and she shared lots of interesting information about some of the formidable cooks in Oklahoma’s past, including Aunt Susan, who had a long running column in the Daily Oklahoman, who is mentioned in Wizenberg’s article, and the fascinating story of Cleora Butler, who was raising the bar for gourmet food in Tulsa for several decades, despite humble upbringing. Adelia had found some artifacts from Aunt Susan’s tenure, and let me look at Cleora’s cookbook.
These were going to be part of her exhibit, as well as photographs, recipes, and other information about cooks in Oklahoma in the twenties, thirties, and forties. She was also planning an appropriate menu for the opening reception. I sure hope it went well.
Besides the information about the exhibit, and history of cooking in Oklahoma, I also was given several recipes to take with me and try. As we were walking out to where Adelia has her desk and copier, I saw her gelato maker. Since one of the recipes she was giving me was for ice cream, the machine caught my eye. Instantly jealous, I asked about it, and found out she got it for $5 at a yard sale where no one else knew what it was!
I have to admit, that the gelato maker was the reason I’ve been looking at eBay, and ended up bidding on the pasta attachments. And while it took three tries, I am pleased to say I now have a machine similar to Adelia’s. It did cost more than $5. Enough said. So I needed to try it out.
The maiden voyage for Il Gelataio was with Lucy Baker’s recipe for Cinnamon Ice Cream, modified from a recipe by Gail Gand. I chose cinnamon as the flavor because it was always one of my favorites at Jordan Pond House, where I worked summers during college. It’s amazing what kind of taste memories stick with us, isn’t it?
This recipe doesn’t disappoint. But more on Il Gelataio soon, as I learn the nuances of making the custard base correctly.