Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sundaes In the Park

Sundaes in the park?! This time of year—are you nuts (nuts, sprinkled on top of rich, polar-cold ice cream made with the finest, freshest ingredients?)? Relax! TOP NANA is throwing you an ice cream social just like this, but in the comforts of home, with the A/C cranked full blast. We took our culinary cues from a Network fan who braved the sizzling streets of New York to do a little field research on ice cream.

The Story Behind a Story

It all started when we got hold of a Times article on the “Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain” (spelled with an ‘f”). I knew a friend of our’s was spending the tail end of July visiting relatives near there, so we promptly showed her the restaurant review and encouraged her to dip in for a taste.

She was happy to oblige (you can see her in the blog photo), ordering a made from scratch red velvet cake Twinkie, which the farmacy calls “a Twinkle”, fizzy egg cream and what turned out to be a table favorite, a Cherry Lime Rickey, described as “awesome”—probably because it’s made the old fashioned way with fresh lime juice, and not lime syrup.

Yes siree bop, this establishment’s MO seems to be about restoring fresh ingredients to menus that have been wanting since fast food became so pervasive in American culture. Just reading about the strawberry egg cream cooled us off and reduced the Brooklyn ice cream lover’s carbon footprint: it uses syrup from Long Island strawberries, fresh milk from the Hudson Valley that is mixed with ice (making it much colder than refrigerator temperature) and cold seltzer from the gooseneck taps, cranked up, of course, to the maximum pressure.

It’s a good thing places like the farmacy are beginning to dot the U.S. map like sweet little gumdrops. They underscore what our Nana Network mission statement has been about from the very beginning: food—even when it’s dessert—maybe even especially when it’s dessert—should be homemade, seasonal, local and ripe; it should recall long lost flavors harkening back to the sweeter, slower Turn of the Century, when folks came to Main Street and ordered Maple Leaf Rag sundaes…Yumm…

Introducing the TOP NANA Line of Homemade Icecream & Sundae Sauces!

So this is a fun thing to do with your grandkids (or anybody young-at-heart) next time they come to your place with a hankering for something cold and sweet. Have an ice cream party! I even found instructions on how to make your own soda jerk paper caps; click the link to see! Here’s what you do to get the party started: Scoop balls of various flavors of ice cream in one huge bowl; freeze it, then serve the bowl “buffet-style” surrounded by any and all of your favorite toppings. If you want to skip a store-bought carton, nothing could be simpler than making Nana’s Peanutty Peanut Butter Ice Cream or Creamy Caramel Ice Cream.

Make TOP NANA’S Homemade Caramel Sauce; it has great staying power—and can last up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container. I also have recipes for easy-as-pie homemade Cinnamon Vanilla Sauce, Chocolate Sauce, and my own special ice-cold heavenly take on Whipped Cream—much better than the stuff that squirts out of a red topped can. The best part? It’s done in minutes. I claim the same secret as those “jerks” at the Brooklyn farmacy: it must be super cold. To guarantee whipped cream’s best results, make sure it’s properly chilled; place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for five to ten minutes before you get started, and complete your ice cream social with the following:

--Toasted coconut
--Chopped nuts
--Crumbled cookies
--Red licorice pieces
--Kiwi and raspberries with sprigs of fresh mint
--Siced nectarines and blueberries
--Sliced peaches

Tune in August 11th at the Created by Chicks website when TOP NANA’S amazing milkshakes go live and are available for public consumption. YUM!! We’re in the dog days of summer people—time to lap up the best the confectionary world has to offer, and savor that cherry on top.

1 comment:

Mary A. said...

I love the idea of the ice cream buffet! Can't wait to try it with my three grandkids! Will definitely try your recipe for homemade caramel sauce!

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