Our Halloween stories continue….
The setting was perfect. It was a dark and stormy night. The branches were thrashing against the window pane. The wind howled. Inside Cora’s room, every light had been extinguished. Every light, in fact, had gone out through the whole house and down the block as well. Cora slept on, unaware that her Princess Penelope Night Light had gone out with all the others.
Of all the Night Monsters, Crink was the most terrifying to look at. He had a long snout and whiskers that protruded from all over. He was round and stout, with big claws that dragged along the ground. When he would pull himself out from under the bed, his claws would often drag whatever toys out that had been hiding with him.
He was on schedule. (He checked his watch, the one on his back leg.) He was particularly foul smelling. (The child’s mother had made brussel sprouts for dinner and most of Cora’s had been stashed under her bed after she’d retreated to her room.) He was in a terrible mood. (He hated brussel sprouts even more than Cora. These had been cooked in maple syrup and they stuck to his burlap shorts like burrs.)
Three, two, one. Out from under the bed, he slunk, his claws scraping the floor beneath him. He rose slowly and everything was as it should be. The light from the moon shone behind him, ready to reveal his hideousness to the child, ready for her terrified screams and…
The child was not in her bed. Crink’s terrible expression dropped in confusion. The bed was empty. Where had she gone?
He stood, his arms still raised, puzzled, and did not see Cora rising behind him in the light. She had a fierce expression of her own and a book the size of a brick in her hands. He didn’t see her swing, only heard the thud and then all the lights truly went out.
I have been waiting for this moment for so long.
After a long, sticky summer of making ice cream from this lovely and remarkable book, I finally found a way to get Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams onto Some Kitchen Stories: I just needed Nicole to get married. And then I could give it to her as a wedding gift, along with an ice cream maker. Cue evil laugh. Cue secret agenda masquerading as love and generosity.
So devious. So CRAFTY. But seriously, if it would’ve sealed the deal further, I would’ve sent her a cow. A grass-fed cow. Happy Wedding, Nicole! When you’re back from your honeymoon (and um, moving) and even though you live in Chicago and it’s probably, likely, already starting to feel like there’s more than one nip in the air, can you please PLEASE make ice cream as soon as humanly possible? But no, I resisted. I stayed mum.
And when she finally DID want to make ice cream, oh man, I was ready. I WAS READY. Why, what a coincidence, Nicole. I happen to have a number of recipes ear-marked for just an occasion ho ho! Specifically, I had three recipes that I had already made and was planning to serve at Thanksgiving this year, because I am an ice-cream-making machine and no one is safe: Vanilla (which, despite its simplicity is so ridiculously good, I can barely sit still as I write this, imagining a scoop of it sitting prettily on top of my friend’s apple pies), Pumpkin 5 Spice (the test batch is, at this moment, sitting in my freezer, another bizarre coincidence, how did that happen oh well) and the third was perhaps one of my favorites in the whole, entire book: Maple with Salty Buttered Pecans.
I’m a big fan of maple-flavored treats and a lover of Fall flavors, in general, so perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised by the depth of flavor in this particular recipe. But it is shockingly good. Lacking Grade B syrup (how can I have so much trouble being so close to Vermont? And other questions), I added a drop or two of maple extract to boost the maple-ness and the result was a flavor that was almost cool, like peppermint. The salty, buttered pecans are dangerous. In the ice cream, they’re essential, if life is to have any kind of meaning or reason.
I started fantasizing about dropping a scoop of Maple Ice Cream on a warm, homemade waffle. I’d eat it, Nigella-style, in the dark of night in my own kitchen. I’d serve it for brunch for people I find particularly attractive and charming and who were nice to me and buy me presents on my birthday. I’d make it on a Wednesday night when things were quiet and I was feeling moody, knowing that the ice cream would drip, drip, drip into the crevices of the warm waffle and my sadness would drip away with it. Because this, my dear, sweet, wonderful friends, this is happiness, pure and simple.
Make it please, as soon as you can.
Oh, one more thing. The wonderful people behind Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams have given us A FREE COPY of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home to give away to you, our readers!
To enter the giveaway, click here. There are 2 ways to enter- the more ways you enter, the better your chance of winning. Good luck!
[Update: Contest is now closed. We have a winner! Thank you for entering, everyone!]
Maple Ice Cream with Salty Buttered Pecans and Waffle Sammies
1 Quart of Maple Ice Cream with Salty Buttered Pecans, from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home or store-bought
6 Servings of Homemade Waffles (Recipe Below)
Need: Waffle Iron | Makes 6 Servings | Source: allrecipes | Print Recipe
1. Preheat waffle iron.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until fluffy.
3. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.
4. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray.
5. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Let cool slightly.
6. Using a cookie cutter, cut waffles into sandwich-sized rounds.
7. Scoop Maple Ice Cream between two waffle rounds.
8. Eat with many napkins. They will be very drippy and delicious. You won’t be sorry.