Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall At Its Best

It was a scenic drive to the neighboring state of Wisconsin. A quick 24 hour (but action packed) stay near the town of Hayward provided lots of photo opportunities and fun with friends. 
The colors were at peak this past week and some trees had already been stripped bare by recent winds. 

The Early Morning
The moon on the one hand, the dawn on the other:
The moon is my sister, the dawn is my brother.
The moon on my left hand and the dawn on my right.
My brother, good morning: my sister, good night.
by Hillaire Belloc 

This photo above was taken just after sunrise on Hathaway Bay off of Sissabagama Lake near the town of Stone Lake.
You just never know what you will encounter in a small town. After hearing Wisconsin is the leading producer of cranberries, with over half of U.S. production and the annual Cranberry Festival is next weekend I had hoped to see this

unfortunately this is all we saw of the bog (it had already been harvested). 
But we managed to support the community by buying cranberry wine and dried cranberries.
An expected discovery was this 6 ft. sock monkey, the store's mascot, part of a window display and 
the popular and famous West's Dairy End Creamery shop.   
Now this is no ordinary ice cream shop. In case you have not heard of its illustrious owners you need to buy the book Scoop:Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop by Jeff Miller.  In the picture above my friend is holding up the book
I had just purchased. The store seems to have quite the following.

Minnesota-born lawyer, Jeff, and his partner, Dean, enjoyed a successful and fashionable life in London. They shopped at Harvey Nichols, walked their dogs in Kensington Gardens, and vacationed in France and Tibet. Yet, they dreamed of a new life. One January, Jeff was promoted to a coveted position at his bank; but in the following March, he resigned. Jeff and Dean sold their house, packed the dogs, and moved to the sleepy resort town of Hayward, Wisconsin, where they acquired a nostalgic ice cream shop and rundown Victorian mansion.

Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop is the chronicle of Jeff and Dean’s first year in Hayward—how they are welcomed by a collection of colorful characters and how they are humbled by the challenges of operating both the ice cream shop and a bed and breakfast. It is also a story of Hayward and how the traditions and the stories of those who built the town helped our entrepreneurs adjust to the rhythm of life in their new home. 

The book gives you the flavor of life in a small town in the Midwest. The author is an excellent storyteller with an easy folksy style. Jeff operates Mc Cormick Bed and Breakfast House and West End Creamery in Hayward. Dean, while no longer living in Hayward, still remains a business partner.  
All this talk about ice cream reminded me of one of my favorite ice cream desserts.
Minty Ice Cream Squares
Cook’s note: A refreshing dessert enjoyed anytime of the year. Use a glass 13 x 9 pan for ½ gallon ice cream. The recipe is adapted from Pillsbury Holiday Baking and ganache frosting from A Taste of Anchuca Cookbook by Chris Brinkley
Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 gallon mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
  • 1 regular size package of Oreo cookies  
  • 3 TB. melted butter 
  • 1 cup chocolate chips 
  • 1 TB. Kahlua 
  • ½ cup heavy whip cream plus 1/3 cup (use it as liquid mixture do not whip it) 
  • 2 TB. butter 
  • Optional:use Andes Thin Mints for decoration-see picture for detail
Directions:
  • Remove ice cream from freezer and set aside to soften. 
  • In a food processor break 6-8 cookies in half at a time,finely crush in food processor.
  • Place cookie crumbs in a large bowl. Stir in melted butter. Pat cookie mixture into a glass pan and freeze to firm crust about 30 minutes.  
  • Ganache frosting: Chop 1 cup chocolate chips in food processor. In a saucepan heat whip cream just to boiling point and then add cream in a slow stream into feed tube of the food processor. Add in 2 TB. softened butter and 1 TB. Kahlua, blend until smooth and set aside. 
  • After 30 minutes remove chilled crust from freezer and spread softened ice cream on top of cookie crust.  
  • Place dessert back into freezer for 15 minutes to firm it up.
  • Pour cooled ganache icing over the top of the ice cream and return to freezer.
  • Freeze dessert several hours before covering the pan with foil. 
  • Let dessert stand at room temperature about 10 minutes before cutting into squares. 











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