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It’s a typical hot spring afternoon in southern Arizona as I write this. Temperatures are creeping toward triple digits and with the heat, I simply can’t get the thought of ice cream out of my mind. What’s a person to do?
Ice cream has been a Tucson favorite since 1869 when an Italian immigrant from Mexico’s Sonora state whipped up the first batch. It was such a hit, an ice house was constructed six years later at Levin’s Park, north of Congress Street and east of present-day Interstate 10, just to meet the demand. Even though the dessert has evolved and Tucsonans enjoy such frosty pleasures as sorbets and gelatos, the delectable treat is still fairly easy to prepare and certainly worth the effort. New ice cream makers make the process even more carefree.
“The Ice Cream Bible” by Marilyn Linton and Tanya Linton, published by Robert Rose, serves up more than 200 innovative recipes of the ultimate comfort food. The collection is divided into several chapters: Chocolate, Sugar & Spice, Fruity, Nutty, Beverage-Inspired, Sweet & Savory and Kid’s Favorite Ice Creams. It also has recipes for gelatos, ices, sorbets, ice pops – even frozen yogurts and nondairy frozen desserts.
One of the big advantages of making homemade ice cream is that it is generally creamier than store-bought brands. The recipes in “The Ice Cream Bible” emphasize wholesome ingredients that you can customize so that your choice can be organic, low-fat, low-cholesterol or nut-free.
I tested two recipes. My favorite was the Avocado Lime Ice Cream. Yes, avocados. Although I was skeptical when I first glanced at the recipe, the end result was surprisingly good. For the other, Watermelon Mint Ice, I used chopped fresh mint from my herb garden. It was delicious and the perfect pick for a simple, quick dessert.
The recipes in this collection are user-friendly and often include tips so that you can make the basic recipe even better.
Tucsonan Larry Cox’s “Shelf Life” reviews of fiction and nonfiction books runs Thursdays in Calendar Plus, tucsoncitizen.com/calendar. His “Treasures and Trends” antiques column runs Fridays in Weekend Plus, tucsoncitizen.com/weekend.