With ThanksgivingKah (aka the convergence of Hanukkah and Christmas) is almost upon us. What better way to celebrate than with an ice cream cake? I don’t know if Carvel still makes these—there’s one for Christmas, too—but I love this 1982 ad from the company.
It’s way too cold to eat ice cream, at least it’s too frigid for me! So why not buy yourself—or an ice cream loving friend—some ice cream kitsch? It comes in many forms–ceramics, bath towels, even Elvis ice cream cone Christmas tree ornaments! Read about it here:
It’s winter and few people are thinking about that delicious, but frosty dessert, ice cream. So I was shocked to learn that ice cream-themed kitsch seems to be everywhere. For much of its history, ice cream was a dessert only rich folks could afford. There were even elaborate ice cream dishes and utensils for serving and eating the treat. But ice cream sandwich costumes and ice cream Christmas tree ornaments? That’s definitely a recent trend. There are also ice cream towels, ice cream bowls, ice cream costumes and ice cream items that look like Elvis. It may be cold outside, but ice cream novelties are definitely hot! So you don’t need to wait until summer to make a gift of ice cream. Here are some items—some wacky, some useful— that will be sure to please every ice cream lover:
- Kids’ Ice Cream Sandwich Costume. For Halloween or any time, your child can dress up as an ice cream sandwich in this polka-dotted suit.
- Ice Cream Cone Towels. These colorful towels in chocolate, strawberry and blueberry are rolled up to resemble ice cream cones.
- Lighted Ice Cream Shop. Hand-painted, this porcelain piece looks like an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
- For Elvis fans, an ice cream cone Christmas tree ornament decorated to look like The King.
- Glowing Ice Cream Spoons: Bend the handle and watch these red, blue, pink or red utensils glow.
Indian Pudding may be the ugliest dessert every created. But it’s also one of the most delicious–especially if you top it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Concocted from corn meal, molasses, eggs and spices, Indian Pudding has long been a Thanksgiving staple. Read my story on Saveur.com about how this baked pudding came to be and click her for a recipe by Ed Brown, chef-owner of Ed’s Chowder House in Manhattan.
By Laura B. Weiss
It’s almost Rosh Hashanah, so it’s time to talk about gefilte fish. Or at least that’s what the Center for Jewish History must have decided when they put together a panel of fish mavens last week to discuss what’s perhaps the most reviled holiday food of all times.
In fact, that’s what most of the discussion was about as the panelists, along with moderator Mitchell Davis of the James Beard Foundation, aimed bullet after bullet at the gray-hued Ashkenazi standby. The panelists were Elizabeth Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz of the Gefilteria, Brooklyn; Zach Kutsher of Kutsher’s Tribeca; Jack Lebewohl of 2nd Ave Deli; and Israeli chef Omer Miller.
Let me be frank:I loathe gefilte fish. Gray is not my food color of choice. Anything in gelatin makes me gag. Gefilte tastes like rotten water, if there is such a thing.
And then there’s its smell, kind of like damp laundry that’s been left out too long to dry.
“I smell gefilte fish,” a customer once told Lebewohl upon entering the 2nd Avenue Deli. Is this a good thing for a restaurant trying to sell people its food? I doubt it.
Zach Kutsher, whose family owns the iconic Borscht Belt resort of the same name, said gefilte fish was the most polarizing dish on the menu of his new eatery, Kutsher’s Tribeca. Another panelist provided the only positive review of the benighted dish—that it’s associated with Sabbath dinner and thus contains a heavy dose of nostalgia along with its mother lode of carp.
In an effort to make gefilte fish more trendy—trendy gefilte fish? Sorry, that’s an oxymoron—places like Gefilteria are making theirs with newfangled ingredients like sustainably sourced whitefish, pike and salmon. It’s Ashkenazi food for hipsters.
But at a tasting afterwards, I decided that gefilte was immune to a culinary rehab. Mobs of people crushed against the tables as if the tiny nibbles of giflte were their last morsel of food on earth. I only managed to snag two samples, one from the Second Avenue deli (your standard issue gefilte) and one from Kutscher’s. That rendition was light and a bit dry with not too much flavor, which in the case of gefilte can only be viewed as a plus.
Sorry, I’m still a hater no matter how much the dish is gussied up. It’s trendy-proof.
Here’s a recipe for Gefilte Fish from Joan Nathan, the noted Jewish cookbook author via Epicurious. Click here for the recipe.
By Laura B. Weiss
Author of Ice Cream: A Global History
It’s almost Easter which means it’s spring, which means it’s time for Easter-themed ice cream treats, and for sweets like chocolate bunnies.
What could be more Easter-like than Easter egg ice cream? To make them, you’ll need recipes for milk chocolate and white chocolate ice cream.
If you’re in New York, hop on over to Three Tart’s bakery to buy chocolate Easter bunnies and gorgeous spring petits fours. They can also be ordered online.
Happy Easter to all!