A couple of years ago one of our alt+library folks told me about her plan for a “Summer of Free.” The library featured heavily in this plan of hers, which I couldn’t help but approve of, so I’ve decided to revisit the concept here with a series of posts to help you make the most of the rest of your Sacramento summer—for free, or free-ish.
- Be gifted an ice cream maker. This takes some maneuvering, but you can manage it—try getting married, having one of the “Big-(fill in the blank)-Oh” birthdays, or helping someone clean out their garage. Few people buy ice cream makers and fewer people actually use them—that is, until they try one of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Jeni Britton Bauer has a few ice cream shops back east, including one in Nashville, where I visited last year, tried her Salty Caramel, and returned home to check out her excellent cookbook and dig the ice cream maker out of the garage. Make a couple of her ice creams and soon people will be lining up outside your kitchen like its Gunther’s on Saturday night. I’ve even found people are willing to trade things like salads and bottles of wine for gourmet ice creams such as Vodka Plumped Cranberry and Gouda (it’s all in the right gouda)—and voila—you have yourself an instant classy garden party. Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones is another great cookbook, with flavors that are a bit more traditional than Jeni’s. Both books are available, for free checkout, at your local library.
So, admittedly, this first post is a bit of a cheat—all that cream will cost you (calories as well as dollars)—but a Sacramento evening is fundamentally enhanced by a bowl of ice cream (or sorbet). Next time I’ll get to the real stuff—like free museums and museum passes.
Hands-on-challenge: Create your own wacky ice cream flavor and post in the comments. Word to the wise—you may want to avoid pineapple basil, it is not for everyone.