Thursday, August 18, 2011

Licking Thai Basil and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream to the Sounds of New Navy, Mild Mannered and Macklemore and Lewis

Seven years ago two words,"Alright, gaaaay," changed everything I thought I knew about humor. Three years later the trio responsible were back cursing little green insects. What you may not know about Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are that they are part of a planned trilogy that revolves around Cornetto ice cream and blood. The third installment, currently titled The World's End, is scheduled for release sometime in 2014 (though at one point it was planned for 2011 and we see how that didn't come to be). While the Cornetto flavor for The World's End has already been revealed by director Edgar Wright (it will be mint chocolate chip) I would suggest the company get on creating something a little more exotic, something like Vanilla Bean and Thai Basil. I've done the hard work Cornetto, now you just put it together, mass produce and sell. Then it won't be long before Simon Pegg licks it on the big screen.

French Vanilla and Thai Basil Ice Cream (adapted slightly from Eats Well with Others)
(printable version)

-2 cups whole milk
-1/2 cup of sugar, divided into fourths
-1/4 cup chopped Thai basil
-pinch of salt
-2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
-4 large egg yolks
-1/2 cup whipping cream, chilled

1. In a heavy sauce pan, over medium heat, bring the milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, basil, salt and vanilla beans to a boil. Remove from heat and cover. Allow the milk mixture to steep for 30 minutes.

2. Put the milk mixture into a blender and process until basil and vanilla beans are smooth.

3. Beat the egg yolks and remaining sugar in an electric mixing bowl for about a minute. Add the milk mixture using a slow stream. Continue mixing until the milk and eggs are well combined. Pour the resulting custard back into the heavy sauce pan.

4. Over moderate heat, warm the mixture to 175 degrees stirring constantly. It should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.

5. Using two stainless steel bowls, one that fits inside the other, create an ice bath (ice and water in the big bowl with the other bowl resting in the water). Strain the custard through a strainer into the chilled metal bowl. Allow the custard to cool completely.

6. Once the custard has cooled, stir in the cream and place it into an ice cream maker. Churn for thirty minutes. Freeze in an air-tight container overnight. Cone it.

"Zimbabwe" by New Navy did not immediately stand out to me. I think I went to delete it from my hard drive five or six times. But the more that it accidentally played, the more the jungle beats and echoed lyrics began to percolate in my brain. I still can't say it is great but it is hard to get rid of.

New Navy-Zimbabwe

When I think of Cleveland I think of the song at the beginning of that one sitcom that announces "Cleveland Rocks." In the case of Mild Mannered, a son of Cleveland, the song would require a slight alteration to "Cleveland Indie-Pops." At one time the band was just a duo made up of Jennifer and Pat Casa. Realizing they needed to push their music further they recruited a guitarist (friend Tim Parnin) and bassist (Tony Bunce). The results are glowing. "Mild Mannered" comes from their debut album Believeland (due September 27th on Finished Basement Records).

Mild Mannered-The Demand

"Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore and Lewis (featuring Ray Dalton) starts like most of their brilliant songs, with a piano intro. But it isn't far past that intro where you start to see something different. This song spits, fast. Despite the speed, the power of Macklemore's lyrics and Lewis' production is not lost. In real life, that's hard to do. In the world of Macklemore and Lewis, its just another piece of evidence offered up to the hip hop court. "What say you Macklemore and Lewis to the claim brought by the defendant that states you are amazing musicians?"
"Guilty as charged."

Macklemore X Ryan Lewis - Can't Hold Us Feat. Ray Dalton by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis