But the summers -- oh, the summers. In those three precious months, there is no place more beautiful than Portland. The city becomes a vivid picture, filled with flowers, lush greenery, summer dresses and iced coffee. The sky is a cloudless blue and the trees are an emerald green. This is no exaggeration.
But while the rest of the country has been in a heatwave, Portland has been unkind in the opposite way. The city has been a fickle mistress. June was spent wearing my winter jacket. There have been far too many rainy days than in the Portland summers of my past. And when we finally do have a few days of warmth, they are muggy, sunless days with the sky remaining the oyster-grey of the previous nine months.
Which is why this is an optimistic post. Ice cream is a treat for sunny, sky blue days spent lounging in Ladd's Circle on a picnic blanket:
(enough for 1 pint)
- 1 can (around 13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer with a whisk attachment (or, use a handheld electric whisk), whisk together the milks, sugar, and vanilla extract. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes. If you're in a hurry, you can stick the mixture in a metal bowl in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- Freeze the milk/sugar/vanilla mixture from the first step in your ice cream maker, following the manufacturer's instructions. If you want to add any fruit to your ice cream, add it when the ice cream is nearly finished churning so that the fruit will incorporate evenly into the ice cream.
- Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for 2-3 hours before serving. This step is important, since this ice cream is creamier and has a tendency to melt faster than regular ice cream. I blame the lack of eggs.