Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Another Blogfest, Chinese New Year.

OK I have definitely decided I’m nuts. I don’t have time to read all the blogs I should, or to write the blogs I want to. I have signed up for the major, major A to Z challenge which uses up the whole of April and am already working on it, and now I have done a crazy thing and joined Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Top 10 Movies Blogfest. I don’t go to the movies very often. Most of my movies are seen on TV or maybe by renting from iTunes, anything really modern I haven’t seen yet. You can see the badge at the side, to sign up go to Alex’s Blog. Come on, you can be nuts too.

I mentioned we were going to the Mandarin Restaurant for lunch yesterday. I ended up being very disappointed with the 1000 yr. eggs

dumplings & 1000

The red spoon on the back of this plate contains a load of pickles and presumably some egg. There were two pieces which might have been Tofu, but all I could taste were pickles. I was expecting a piece of egg as shown in yesterday’s blog. The rest of my plate is filled with dumplings and buns which were delicious, I had a few other regular items after.Dessert Sesame Seed Ball

The only particular New Year desserts they had were the sesame seed ball shown here with some Crème Caramel and a chocolate brownie, and some ginger ice cream

Ginger Icecream

which again was a bit disappointing – the ginger wasn’t really noticeable, I think it may well have had preserved ginger chunks in it. Oh well, my dumplings and Hot and Sour Soup were delicious.

Hot & Sour

They do serve good hot and sour. On our way out, they gave each person a lucky money envelope in which they put a coin (not real currency) which is good for the coming year. Bit blurred, sorry

Lucky Money

I used to use red envelopes to pay my sifu (teacher) when I took T’ai Chi lessons in the States. It is a courtesy to pay with such envelopes.

I came away well and truly stuffed with food. One thing puzzled me, there was an SUV there before we got there (too early) and one of the people got out of it (a huge man) and went into the restaurant with a backpack, why on earth would you want a backpack in a restaurant??? I could not figure why he hadn’t left it in the truck, hidden maybe, but not taken it with him.

By the way, yesterday I wrote about the discovery of Richard III’s skeleton underneath a parking lot in Leicester. Later on this photo appeared on Facebook. I thought it was too funny not to share with you.Parking lot notice

So of course I needed a Recipe for Ginger Ice Cream, I found this one on

Ginger Ice Cream
Although ice cream never caught on in China, ginger ice cream is a popular dessert in Chinese restaurants.ginger ice

Yields about 1 1/2 pints


For the ginger syrup:

1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 - 3 packed tablespoons food-processor-minced or grated, peeled fresh ginger
Milk mixture:

1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons finely minced ginger in syrup (available at Asian markets), drained before mincing

Custard mixture:
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed, strained lemon juice


To make the syrup, heat the water and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar is dissolved, add the fresh ginger. Stir to disperse, then bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the syrup uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

In another pan combine the milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, and the minced preserved ginger. Stir over medium heat until the milk comes to a scalding temperature, just short of a simmer, then remove the pan from the heat. Scrape the fresh ginger syrup into the milk mixture, and stir well to blend. Cover and steep 20 minutes to infuse the milk.

In a small bowl beat the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until the mixture is pale yellow, thick, and falls in ribbons from the beater.

Put the heavy cream in a medium-size bowl. Nest the cream bowl in a larger one lined with ice cubes and place in a large, fine mesh strainer alongside.

When the steeping time is up, bring the milk mixture to scalding again, stirring. Slowly add 1/4 of the scalded milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs, then pour the egg mixture back into the remaining milk, continuing to whisk. Cook over moderate heat, whisking slowly but steadily until the mixture reaches the custard stage, thick enough to coat and cling to the back of a spoon, 180 degrees on an instant-reading thermometer. Do not let the mixture boil lest the eggs scramble.

Immediately pour the custard through the strainer and into the bowl of cream set over ice. Scrape the pot clean, then slowly stir the liquid trapped in the strainer in order to coax it through the mesh. Press firmly and repeatedly on the ginger to extract all the liquid, then finally scrape the bottom of the strainer to claim every last drop for the cream. Discard the ginger solids. Allow the cream mixture to cool completely, stirring occasionally.

Once cool, the mixture may be sealed airtight and refrigerated for 1 - 2 days before freezing.

Freezing the cream:

Just before freezing, adjust the mixture with 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, stirring and tasting after every several drops just until the ginger flavour is perceptibly heightened by the lemon.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the freezing process is completed, pack the ice cream into a clean plastic container, poking deep into the mixture, then pressing it with a spoon or spatula to eliminate any air bubbles. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream to prevent the formation of ice crystals, then return the mixture to the freezer for at least 2 hours to firm up and "ripen."

If frozen solid, allow the ice cream to soften slightly in the refrigerator before serving. For the full flavour and bouquet, it should be eaten slightly soft.

Serve the ice cream unadorned in well-chilled goblets or bowls.

The ginger flavour is keenest for the first 24 hours. It is still sprightly after 2 days, but then gradually begins to fade.

Have a great day



  1. Better thee than me, Jo. I'm a quazi sort of A-Z participant.I don't blog everyday but I do keep up with the letters for the day when I do blog. Still thinking on the movies.

    I miss the good Chinese restaurants on the west coast. We indulge here once and awhile.


    1. I went to a sushi bar in San Francisco which was excellent. We get sushi here, but we are too far from the sea for the real McCoy. Never went to a Chinese on the west coast.

      A-Z is relatively easy for me to write because I write every day anyway, but its the visiting other people which takes a long time.

  2. Yes! Both the A to Z Challenge and my blogfest.
    Ginger ice cream? Hmm...

    1. You expressed an interest in Ginger ice cream when I mentioned it before. As it says in the recipe, the ginger taste appears to disappear quite quickly.