Oy! Choices, choices, choices! By the wear and tear in this chapter alone, it is very easy to see that this was Nana's favorite chapter and a chapter that I may revisit frequently I let current weather be my guide on what to choose, too hot to bake or slave over a hot stove, so something cold/frozen it is This narrowed the choices down to four painful decisions: Frozen Custard, Chocolate Custard made from chocolate cake!
...Wait, what??? A custard from chocolate cake?? Like as in heat my house up, bake a cake, and use the cake to make custard? Nope! Chocolate back then was sold in "cakes" much like you would find Abuelita's hot chocolate drink cakes now a days versus a powder. Who knew?
Back to custard! Bohemian Custard (or as we call it - creamed fruit puree), and Whipped Cream... oh no, not whipped cream like we think of it... a sweet, frothy, decadent, essence of lemon confectionary delight that I am going to save for another day because I have my eye on frozen custard. On the surface, a simple recipe of milk, eggs, sugar, and "essence of flavor."
"Essence of flavor" you may ask? Oh yes, that treasure trove of extracts and flavorings that line my culinary shelves to peak my fancy feasts now doth beacons me on this sultry day. Vanilla, Almond, Butter Rum, Lemon, Grapefruit, Crème de Menthe, Peppermint, Wintermint, or cooling Spearmint would work? Apple Harvest, Pear, Apricot, or Peach perhaps? Persimmons, Raspberry, and Strawberry fields delight! To narrow it down to only one is going to take all of my might!
So to begin, a trip to the market, because I lack a cow to give me "two quarts of rich milk" (a box of Lactaid because I WILL enjoy this dish) and UC isn't up to producing "eight eggs" yet, however she is doing fantastic at producing a single egg daily like clock work! My next dilemma, just how much is a teacup of sugar? I found that teacups varied in sizes between 3oz - 6oz back then and up to 8 oz now.... so I averaged that to be 4.5 oz of sugar or a "scant" half of cup of sugar. I suspect I shall have to play with the amount of "whatever essence [I] prefer" along with determining my own vessel of choice for freezing the custard although historically they would have had glass bowls.
Cooking vessel was my next challenge. Further in the book, a long list of recommended cookware is given and the author simply states "enameled sauce pans" without stating the type of metal. Further research shows it would have been cast iron, or the pans would have been copper in the more affluent homes.
The milk is twice boiled. Bring to a boil. Beat eggs and add the sugar. The author then says to pour the boiled milk over the eggs, stirring all the while. She says nothing of cooling the mixture or tempering the egg mixture first, but I'm going to error on the side of logic and temper my egg mixture before going all in on the milk into the egg mixture. You then return the mixture to the kettle and bring to a boil again, while stirring constantly. We call that a rolling boil. She says to then cool the mixture before adding your essence of preference and then freeze it. No commentary on how to serve, or how frozen is frozen. So, much for "preventing miscommunication among the classes." https://photos.app.goo.gl/uWsjY7QF4TuzgeDF6