The kids and I spent a lot of quality time in the kitchen today, partly because I figured that way we’d only mess up one room of the house we’d just cleaned for last night’s realtor interview (it went well, one more to go). I dearly love mixing up sweet concoctions and then running the through our ice cream maker, which is the easy-to-use electric kind with the bowl you just freeze in the freezer–no ice or salt required. You can dump just about anything liquid in the ice cream maker and make a nice slush–margaritas, ice creams, even instant pudding (before it sets up!). When Dorothy was a baby I used to puree fruit and plain yogurt together and turn that into “ice cream” in tiny little individual jars for her. She loved it! Today we made purple ice cream, and it’s been a hit. I blended a cup of blackberries with 3 cups of milk (skim is what we had on hand) and 1 cup of sugar, then poured it into the ice cream freezer with 1 cup of half and half for a little richness. I could have strained out the seeds but didn’t bother–we don’t mind the seeds. It’s light, not super creamy (what with the skim milk and no heavy cream), but it’s still delicious and we don’t feel too bad eating a lot of it! And it’s purple, which is the current favorite color of Dorothy.
Today’s other kitchen experiment was sweet potato chips. I’d read somewhere online recently about making really healthy sweet potato chips in a food dehydrator (our model: thrift store, $2), so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m not a big salty snacker myself, I’m more of a sweets girl (see above) but Dorothy is quite fond of chips and I thought this might be a good snack for her. So I dragged out the mandoline, which is kind of a neat kitchen toy but not one I get out often, given how it is a fun-looking gadget that involves super-sharp blades, and my assistant chef is four. Anyway, I used the mandoline to slice up a sweet potato into reaaaaally thin little slices, then Dorothy and I loaded up the dehydrator trays with them and salted them (you can’t use oil in a dehydrator because it doesn’t dehydrate) and waited eagerly for the results. An hour and a half later the chips looked beautiful. I took one out and broke it to see if it was done–lovely, crunchy brittleness! We each bit into one. Wow. They were totally nasty. Ick. Like orange cardboard with a whiff of sweet potato. More salt didn’t even help. Don’t they look pretty, though? You can’t win ’em all…