Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dreamsicle Ice Cream Drinks and Chicken Salad...Oh yeah, Shakespeare

Last night was one of my favorite nights of the year... The annual FREE WILL, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. A terrific location, a little park next to the Art Gallery; The price is right, FREE, and one of my best friends and his wife have made an annual (6 years running) night of it. Bring the lounge chairs, relax under the stars, enjoy a little picnic and get culture.

Marsha made some great salami sandwiches, some chips and we cracked open a bottle of wine... A terrific Zinfandel called 7 Deadly Zins; which is especially funny as Shaun was recently ordained a minister in the Episcopal Church.

My contribution to the evening has always been the intermission drinks. These take a little effort to make the presentation correct, but well worth it in taste, texture, panache and the envy of all those around us...

The Dreamsicle...named after the ice cream snack!

3 generous scoops of vanilla ice cream per drink, or about half of a half gallon box
2 shots of banana Liqueur
1/3 cup of Orange Juice

Mix in a blender/smoothie maker to the consistency of a milk shake.

After I made 4 drinks worth, I put in the freezer for at least 1/2 a day. This gets them pretty cold. I have 4 all plastic thermoses that these fit into. I freeze them with the lids off. About 10 minutes before we leave, I put the lids on, put them in a cooler (I have one with wheels that makes for easy transport), add a layer of ice and put in some thick glass beer mugs (16 ounces). These have also been stored in the freezer, so they present at worst very cold glasses, and at best frosted mugs. After about three hours (driving time, finding our seating area, picnic and the first half of the play) the drinks are thawed enough to the desired consistency. Not a bad idea to bring spoons and straws for everyone.

Hot summer night, after a few hours, and all our neighbors are enjoying bottled water or maybe a can of Coke out of their coolers... And we are enjoying frozen ice cream drinks...Cyrano's last words " ... yet there is something still that will always be mine, and when I go to God's presence, there I'll doff it and sweep the heavenly pavement with a gesture — something I'll take unstained out of this world ... my panache ".

Oh, and a follow up to yesterday's beer butt chicken post...I always make two at a time. One, I enjoy that night, the second I cut up for Chicken Salad. Here is the BEST Chicken Salad recipe...

The meat from a Beer Butt Chicken
1 granny Smith Apple diced
1/2 bunch of seedless grapes, each grape quartered
1/2 vadalia sweet onion diced
2 sweet gerkins diced
1 cup mayonase

combine everything into a kitchenaid mixer (what would I do without it), and mix until smooth. I personally prefer it mixed smooth instead of a chunky Chicken Salad, but feel free to mix as you like it.

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