“Hey bitches, thanks for buying our ice cream book” This is how the new cookbook by Jake Godby, Sean Vahey, and Paolo Lucchesi starts out. If you feel even remotely offended by that, forget the book, and stop reading this blog, and lighten up! NO ICE CREAM FOR YOU! I’m pretty sure “bitches” is being used as a term of endearment here because why else would they be sharing this amazing collection of recipes with us? I have been a huge fan of Humphrey Slocombe for years, and even though the book came out back in April, it has taken me until now to pick up a copy. For starters, I didn’t own an ice cream maker, and besides I really love stopping by the shop for my fix. However I have to admit that I have thought many times of serving it at one of my candlelight suppers or longed for it while having a midnight snack. Then along comes ‘Williams-Sonoma’ with an offer for a ‘Cuisinart’ ice cream maker that was too good to ignore. It was $69 for the machine with two bowls, free shipping, and a $20 gift card…impossible to pass up, right? So I ran out and got the book before the ice cream maker even got here.
I love everything about this book. It is entertaining from beginning to end, all served up with a generous helping of humor. After a great introduction the book goes on to describe Humphrey Slocombe’s humble beginnings, from conception (of the company that is) to ice cream megastardom. Included here, along with the early trials and tribulations, are some tales and insights into how they got their business started, including their experience with social media. Twitter was a big part of their early success. In the beginning it was a way of getting some attention and spreading the word and today it’s a good way to let their devotees know what’s being served. With nearly 300,000 followers they have to be doing something right. There have been some death threats mixed in with the adulation, but you can read about that in the book. Life can be a bitch, bitches.
After the introduction and background we get to the good part…the recipes. I have to admit I was surprised to see so many. I thought for sure they would be holding out, but there they were! I immediately looked for my favorite, “Secret Breakfast”: it’s there (sigh). So are some my other favorites like “Boccalone Prosciutto”, “Balsamic Caramel”, and “McEvoy Olive Oil”. If you can get your hands on some foie gras, they even include the recipe for the “Foie Gras Ice Cream Sandwich”, including the recipe for the “Gingersnap Cookie” to go with it. The book contains around 40 ice cream and sorbet recipes, and each one comes with some background and a great story. The Humphrey Slocombe website lists about 80 flavors so I guess they are keeping a few under wraps. If you go to the shop they have 10-12 flavors at a time and rotate them often, so it is always a delightful surprise. In addition to the ice cream and sorbet recipes, there is a section for sundaes: “Hot Mess”, “Gabba Gabba Hey”, “Tranny Smackdown” and a few others are there. If all that wasn’t enough, there is a section with a recipe for “The Best Whipped Cream You’ll Ever Eat” as well as other delights that are components for the ice cream recipes like “Corn Flake Cookies” or “Bacon Peanut Brittle”.
OK Bitches, I’m off to make some “Jesus Juice”. I am starting off with a sorbet to break in the book and break in the Cuisinart. Not only is it easy to make and delicious, but I have all the ingredients at home between the kitchen and the wine cellar. According to the book, it “may cause inappropriate touching”. When you are alone, is it still inappropriate?
If you want to get the book, and I hope you do, you are in luck. Jake Godby and Sean Vahey are going to be at the Union Square Williams-Sonoma store on August 25th doing a demo and book signing. You can find all the event info here. I am going for an autographed copy, so don’t be surprised if one of you gets a slightly used copy with a little “Jesus Juice” on it for Christmas.