I’m going to tell another story today. It’s an old one, but even if we’re pals, you likely haven’t heard it yet.
I was invited to be on the Rachael Ray show. This was all the way back in 2011. When I got the call, they had asked if MilkMade could make a flavor special for Rachael. How about EVOO, I suggested. (We all know it’s her favorite, right? She even has her own brand of the stuff.) Perfect.
So we went about crafting the perfect EVOO recipe - finding the best olive oil from as local as possible of a source, the Filling Station in Chelsea Market. It was a California Arbequina EVOO, for what it’s worth to you. We added a swirl of our Mast Brothers chocolate sauce, and it was, indeed, perfect.
Until it wasn’t anymore.
At the time we were renting a kitchen out in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. It was about 6pm the night before my scheduled on-air appearance and I was just finishing the last batch of ‘scream. I was working alone, save for my mom who had planned a visit from California to cheer me on. (She’s the best.)
So here’s how it went. One minute I’m looking at allllmost ready, allllmost perfect ice cream being churned in the machine. And the next, I’m looking at butter. My ice cream overchurned. Into butter. Albeit delicious sweet EVOO butter. But butter, still.
This happens to ice cream at times, see. If you overchurn it, the butterfat of the cream and milk separates and produces a buttery consistency. And higher fat ice creams (like, say, an olive oil flavor) are especially prone to this. (There’s a tremendous amount of chemistry behind ice cream making, just so you know).
Okay so here’s where it gets really fun. Again, ya know, don’t cry over spilled milk, or churned butter or whatever; there’s not enough time for that! With 20 hours to go before said scheduled on-air, live-audience appearance on the RaRay Show, I somehow managed to dash out to Mast Brothers in Williamsburg to get more chocolate before they closed, to Chelsea Market for more EVOO, to Whole Foods to snag more milk from Ronnybrook (our dairy supplier), and then back to the kitchen to start over again. Oh, and all of this was in the pouring rain (of course), in which my mother (who was accompanying me every step of the way because, remember, she’s the best) slipped while carrying one of the milks.
Hi mom, yep, this is my life.
Back at the kitchen, this time I watched every single rotation of that mixing blade and yanked the ice cream exactly on time. EVOO ice cream was made, chocolate was swirled, and the pints were packed and set to freeze. We made it to the studio just in time for those three glorious minutes of airtime and that emphatic “Mmmmm” from Rachael on air.
So why tell this now? Well I was reminded of it today because I had agreed to share the recipe and tell the story for my friend Bryce’s new project, Kitchen Letters, a subscription of recipes and the stories behind them from great chefs. Kitchen Letters launched today on food52, and so did this story.
And why not tell it before? I guess because for quite a while, these sorts of misdaventures were embarrassing. I was afraid that you’d figure out that I may not know what I’m doing. That sometimes I overchurn my ice cream. That I run around the city foraging for ingredients (and then sometimes re-foraging for those same ingredients). That we set up a makeshift (I mean makeshift) photo studio in our production facility to shoot the ice cream glamour shots that are shown to our 1.5 million followers on tumblr. That I spill orange custard all over the place and thank goodness my boyfriend knows how to mop an ice cream shop. (Sidenote: appropriate timing giving his post, eh?)
There was that risk of being vulnerable, of exposing a behind the scenes account, of putting it all out there. Been thinking a bit about this after I stumbled upon this great TED Talk about vulnerability, which I recommend watching (after you watch the Rachael Ray clip, of course!). I’ll likely write more on it later, but for now…
Hi everyone, yep, this is my life.
Cheers and aloha. Remember me?
A couple years back I’d write these long posts about the things I was learning — stuff like what the financial crisis meant for you and me, or about keffiyah fashion, or things like Starbucks’ brand revitalization.
I took a little hiatus, but I think that I’m going to write again.
I remember when I decided to start writing — it was 2007, I had just moved to New York, I had just started business school, and the world had just started to collapse. My pals were all asking me about what this “subprime crisis” meant — so, I decided to write it down. Tumblr was relatively new and made it really easy - both with ux and the welcoming community - for me to just write. So I created a blog, called it What I Learned Today, and wrote about what I was learning in school, what struck my interest in the news, what made me curious.
I liked it. I learned a lot. I briefly had a couple freelance gigs spring from it. I even considered pursuing writing further. But then — I got real busy. Life kinda took me in a direction I did not expect, and I now find myself as the founder/CEO of a craft ice cream company here in NYC. Yes, ice cream. We’re called MilkMade, and we make damn good ice cream. In small batches. With the the best local ingredients. In unique flavors. And we deliver pints to your door once a month. Here’s our tumblr.
I’ve learned a lot, and experienced many an adventure (and more a misadventure) in the last few years of building a business and living life, and I think that I’d like to pick up writing about what I’m learning again. Doubtful it will be about the markets and economy, likely it will be more about personal learnings in work/life/adventures (this post contains the most I’s I’ve ever written, ever. oye.). Ok so that’s it, we’ll see how it goes.
47 percent of us trust the IRS compared with 36 percent ten years ago. The U.S. Postal Service—a whopping 83 percent of us like them. 61 percent like NASA. 67 percent like the Centers for Disease Control. And when you ask Americans what they want to cut, they want to protect their Medicare, they want to protect the military, they want to protect Social Security, they don’t want to cut spending on education and highways. A marketing consultant might reasonably conclude it’s the federal brand we hate, not the product.
According to recent financial data from the 3rd quarter of 2010, six banks represent 64% of GDP. These are JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. In 2006, before the financial crisis, that number was 55%. And fifteen years ago, it was 17%.
The point, though, is that anyone who claims that transferring some income from the most fortunate members of society to the least is a vile injustice is closing his eyes to the obvious reality of how the world works.
A friend of mine is hosting a New Years party themed around New Years traditions. She’s from Atlanta, so her tradition is to eat black eyed peas and collared greens, symbolizing good luck and good fortune in the new year. As usual, I was curious and researched up on other New Years traditions. Also as usual, I am inspired (crazy?) and am going to try to enact all of them tonight. Here’s the plan!
I shall make and eat lasagna: In Italy, this would bring me good luck.
I shall break the China on which I ate said lasagna: In Denmark, this would bring me more friends.
I shall wear white: In Brazil, this would bring me good luck.
I shall wear yellow underwear: In some South American countries, this would also bring me good luck and, ooo, perhaps love.
I shall eat 12 grapes at midnight: In Spain, this would ensure 12 months of good luck.
I shall write down every bad thing that happened this year on a piece of paper, fold it up, and then burn it at some point in the evening: In Mexico, this would remove negative energy from the new year.
I shall write down all the things I hope will occur this year on a piece of paper, fold it up, and then burn it at some point in the evening: In Venezuela, this would make all of my wishes come true.
I shall eat plenty of collared greens on New Years day: Per Southern tradition, the more collared greens I eat, the more money I will make in the new year.
I shall write the name of 12 men on 12 pieces of paper, put them under my pillow, and choose one in the morning: In Lithuania, whatever name I pick is the name of the man I will marry. (I’m not actually going to do this one, but it’s pretty entertaining.. it’s MASH, NYE style.)
I shall jump seven waves: In Brazil, this would make my wishes come true. (Do piles of snow count?)
2011 y’all. Let’s do this.
These are the past words of the year since 2003 when the site started tracking them.
And perhaps more interesting are the top words that were created this year. Business Insider lists them out..