After a long absence from exercising on a regular basis, I recently started hitting the gym with a vengeance and eating a healthy diet of low-calorie, whole foods. What’s my goal? To lose weight? To live a long and healthy life? Yes, of course. To one day fit into my favorite suede pants again? That would be an added bonus. So faithfully I trudge off to Planet Fitness or Arena Club nearly every day. But on Sundays, I treat myself to a small cup of Broom’s Bloom homemade ice cream. And for a moment, those sore muscles and lost sleep are a distant memory as I munch on Coconut Chocolate Chip or Celebration Cake or maybe even Andes Mint. The small cup is actually 2 huge scoops of ice cream, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Now they do have light fare too, but I have never tasted it. I save up ALL of my calories for their delicious frozen concoctions. Each week the line stretches out to the back door with hungry families ordering homemade soups, quiches, salads and sandwiches in addition to their desserts. They also sell artisanal cheeses, organic meats, milk and freshly baked bread.
Broom’s Bloom is one of Harford County’s true gems – a family owned dairy farm that began selling ice cream just to stay afloat in an uncertain economy. Whichever member of the Dallam family came up with that idea is a true genius. The restaurant has an old-fashioned family atmosphere in an idyllic country setting. Picnic tables adorn the grounds next to the corn fields. Kids can run around freely while their parents relax for a few minutes and enjoy their own ice cream cones.
One of these days maybe I will try the salad or some quiche. On second thought, a scoop of Butter Brickle and Orange Chocolate Chip sound much better. It will give me something to dream about while on the dreaded treadmill!
If you are feeling adventurous this summer, try making your own homemade ice cream. I received an ice cream maker as a wedding gift last year and it is a lot of fun to use. Here is a recipe for Maple Walnut Ice Cream that my husband made last weekend. Just don’t forget to pre-freeze the ice cream machine like we did!
MAPLE WALNUT ICE CREAM
Boil 1 cup of Grade B maple syrup in a heavy saucepan over moderately high heat for about 5 – 10 minutes until the syrup is reduced to approximately ¾ of a cup (I could not find Grade B at Wegmans so I substituted Grade A and it worked fine). Stir in 2 cups of heavy cream, 1 cup of whole milk and ¼ teaspoon salt and bring the mixture to a boil.
Whisk 2 eggs in a large bowl and then add the hot cream slowly, whisking constantly. Transfer to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and the temperature is 170 degrees using an instant read thermometer. This process will take 1 – 2 minutes.
Fill a large bowl with ice, then pour the custard into a separate bowl and sit the mixture into the ice bath. Chill for at least 3 hours, covered. Then freeze the custard in the ice cream machine until frozen yet still soft. With the motor running, add a half cup of walnuts, toasted and chopped. Continue churning the ice cream until completely frozen, then transfer to an airtight container and place into freezer until it hardens.
Broom’s Bloom is located at 1700 Fountain Green Road, Bel Air, Maryland 21015 or you can reach them at (410) 399-COWS or on their Facebook page.
Happy Summer everyone!