Friday, July 8, 2011

"Celebrity" Sighting

When I found out that Mr. P was getting emails from Williams Sonoma, I thought our savings would go down the tubes, and our kitchen would begin to get stocked with expensive appliances and oodles of knives.  However, the first purchase of a $130 Shun Nakiri knife was also the last.... until last night.

Last night we had a "celebrity sighting", if you will.  Williams-Sonoma sent an email notifying about a book signing from JENI!  ...from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams!!  So, of course we went, because that Williams-Sonoma location is dangerously close to Mr. P's office, at only 3 short Manhattan blocks away. Ok, ok, she's probably only a celebrity to a select few, but we were still stoked to go.

For those of you who live in Columbus, I'm sure you are WELL aware of Jeni's Splenid Ice Cream (and make regular appearances like I did when I lived there).  For the rest of you, Jeni's will be the best ice cream you will ever have... guaranteed!  The flavors are sort of exotic as far as ice cream goes, but all are delicious.  My favorite combination is the Cherry Lambic Sorbet with dark chocolate ice cream, because it tastes just like cordial cherries!!! yum.. But Jeni's isn't just ice cream, it's the whole experience.  When you walk near the doors of the shop, you can already smell the sweetness of the ice cream and the handmade sugar cones.  When you walk in you are greeted with a midwestern kindhearted "Hello, welcome to Jeni's" followed by a "would you like to try any flavors?"  ...well of COURSE I'm going to try some!! (maybe all, haha)  At Jeni's, they encourage trying as many flavors as you like, and allow you to take as long as you would like to pick which flavor(s) you would like to buy.  Last night Jeni even said that she's proud of the long lines out the doors of her ice cream shops, because she's happy that people are willing to stand in line for her ice cream, and she knows that the long lines are there because they allow you to take as long as you want choosing a flavor, and trying different flavors (so now I don't have to feel embarassed or guilty waiting on my mother who literally tries every flavor whenever we go, because they encourage it!). 

Last night Jeni did a demonstration on how to make the basic vanilla ice cream, then we got samples, then she mixed in cherry compote and "crumbles", like the good crumbly bits on top of apple crumble, and then we got samples again... The event was held in celebration of her new book, which tells you how to make basically EVERY flavor of her ice cream!  If you have an ice cream maker, her ice cream is very simple to make, considering almost every ingredient is natural.  For her own ice cream, ALL the milk and cream comes from one dairy farm in Ohio with grass-fed dairy cows, and most of the seasonal ingredients come from local farms as well.  Her book talks about her decision to stay local, and last night she talked about how her company will continue to grow side-by-side with her dairy farm.

After spending the whole evening talking about ice cream, we knew there was NO WAY we could leave Williams-Sonoma without buying an ice cream maker.... absolutely not.  The workers at Williams-Sonoma we just fantastic.  They had great advice on which maker to choose, and even gave us advice on which kitchenaid attachments we SHOULDN'T choose (at what retail store do the workers discourage people from buying their items?).  Some of you are probably shaking your head thinking "why on earth would they spend the money buying things at WS that you can buy online for cheaper?"  Well, "here goes the thing" (as Mr. P begins all of his explanations), would you rather save a dollar to have poor service, or would you rather spend a little more to have a better experience and receive great advice?  I'm not simply saying that things that are more expensive are always better,, but in this case it was worth it.  We were ready to walk out of the store with a stand alone maker that was the same price as the kitchenaid mixer attachment, but included a $25 WS gift certificate.  The nice worker talked us out of  getting the stand alone mixer, because we are VERY limited on space in our 350sf apartment, and we really didn't need the $25 anyways (because what would we buy for $25?  ...probably another $130 knife!).

Lastly, while watching the demonstration, we met a girl (from Ohio!) who now writes a dessert blog.  She started it 4 years ago, and has made a career out of it!  She said she's been contacted by the Food Network to possibly (i.e. hopefully!) have a show about different desserts!  I imagine it would be like Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives", but for desserts... or non-stop dessert eposides of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." that's the life, getting paid to try desserts? yes please!  Her website is posted below, and they travel all around the country, so keep your eyes peeled for a location near you! A delicious treat might be right at your doorstep.

So now the ice-cream-making bowl is wedged into our freezer and will be ready for ice cream on Saturday!  Just in time to have a refreshing treat after our outing at the beach down the shore.   Stay tuned to see how our first batch turns out!

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