29: Almond Joy Ice Cream

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

-Almost the end of an era.-


I know that doesn't generate a lot of sympathy for those of you who have already seen this number come and go. You've made your peace with your twenties. They were swell, you had a shitty apartment and your older friends bought the drinks. You made a few bad decisions that - with luck and a bit of hindsight - hopefully haven't been repeated in your thirties-plus. I'm sure you think your twenties were nice and you have some great memories, but who would want to go back to that?

But bear with me for a bit. Remember that once it was suddenly the last year of your twenties. How suddenly that number had the gravity to yank you down to actualized adulthood. Think of how the next blank-9 birthday of your own is coming up and how another decade in your life will be closing so fast that if you turn to look at the days gone by you'll risk way-back whiplash.

A few years ago - heck, at 28 - the looming possibility of 30 seemed so abstract. It was a number. Something far, far away. Way over there and so distant you needed binoculars to get a fuzzy view of it. Little did you know it was charging in your direction like a pissed-off menstrual rhino.

We all poo-poo'ed our friends who turned 29. "It's just a number, after all. Who cares? Don't stress," we said so haughtily.

Then, sweet Georgia Ann, it's your turn. What the hell did you know a year ago and how did your older friends not backhand the shit out of you every time you opened your dismissive maw with another age joke or half-handed condolence? You're a god damn twenty-something anyways. What do YOU know about life?!

-My apologies for being a douche.-

My twenties are in their twilight. I guess I'm supposed to have experience now - I'm an adult, after all. My decade of mistakes is over, right? I'm perfect from here on out, yes? I would like to think I have my lessons learned now and if I get struck down tomorrow then please, Jesus, can I just come back as someone who knows better?

Still, the last 9 years haven't been bad. Sure there was a fire, a flood, an incredibly harsh break-up with a guy who secretly ran up my credit card, and that asshole who slipped the Gamma-hydroxybutyrate in my drink that resulted in a near death hospital visit for me. There was that job-we-dare-not-speak-of in college and the job at the Evil Nazi Cupcake Store in 2010, the latter being the worst of the two because it paid a hell of a lot less and devoured more of my self worth.

But overall 20-29 has been pretty phenomenal. There was 21, which is a malachite haze from way too much Midori-based cocktails, but I think I had fun if the dog collar and pink hair are any indication. I have a business card that says I'm a writer! People believe it, too! Sometimes enough to pay me and that's super nifty. I think my high school self thinks that pretty damn cool. I have great friends who keep me grounded and support me when I don't to be.

Undergrad was a breeze and a blast, though I can't say it prepared me for the hell of graduate school, which made me feel like the meal of an epileptic preying mantis. Still, the diplomas are on the wall so that means I'm smart, or so I'm told.

-With all that student debt they frickin' better.-

I have a family now. An amazing man who makes Indian food, a Corgi whose left hind leg is a bit shorter than the right, an orally fixated tabby cat, and an Eat Beast disguised as a teacup panther.

And who knows? Maybe the next decade will bring on another member, but I'm not sure I can commit to that yet as the Corgi is responsibility enough thankyouverymuch.

I need more time though. I think I can still do more in my twenties and one more year isn't enough.

I need to be 22 and spend a year living in Ireland. I've still never been to a rock concert. I need to be 21 and celebrate that birthday something proper and not get drunk at the first bar I hopped to. I need to be 24 and start my career earlier. I need to be 27 and drive to Montreal like I meant to that summer. I want to go sky diving.

Too bad. So sad. I'm still 29. 356 days till 30.

I suppose I better make the most of it...

On that note, I've had this recipe sitting on a post-it note since 2007, when I was 24. Almond Joy ice cream. I've been meaning to make it and assuming it worked blog about it for years. I only just remembered the idea after a small discussion on Facebook if peanut butter-chocolate-coconut ice cream was a valid idea or not. (I say yes).

It's chocolaty and coconutty. A soft and slightly chewy ice cream with plenty of crunch from roasted almonds and flickering texture from a heavy hand of finely shredded coconut. It tastes just like one of my favorite candy bars. Perhaps a little better, in my humble opinion.

So, yes, it's just ice cream. No glass of Midori in Ireland. But it's something. It counts. One more experience while I'm twenty-something.

Almond Joy Ice Cream
Makes 4-5 servings

1/3 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup coconut milk (not light)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut

1. Toast the almonds for 10 minutes at 350F. Set aside to cool.

2. Place 2 tablespoons of the milk and the corn starch in a bowl, mix, and set aside. Break up the chocolate and place in a medium bowl and place that in a large bowl filled with ice water.

3. Place the remaining milk, coconut milk, evaporated milk, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4 quart sauce pot and bring to a boil. Add the cocoa powder and whisk for 4 minutes (your wrist may feel sore, if so then deal with it and power on. suffering for ice cream = worth it). Add the corn starch slurry and mix for another minute. It'll all get rather thick.

4. Pour over the chocolate and whisk till smooth. Add the salt and whisk a bit more. *whew* The texture will be almost pudding-like.

5. When it's room temperature pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and process for about 30 minutes. After, chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. Mix in the almonds and coconut, then chill for 4 more hours before serving.


  1. Enjoy 29. You've already accomplished (and been through) so much. I turn 27 tomorrow and I will celebrate it with this ice cream. Yum!

  2. 30 didn't hit me so hard, but I have the feeling in a few years 40 is going to. I have done all of the adult things like get a respectable job, buy a home, and I ate yogurt with flax seed for breakfast for chrissakes.

    But I still sometimes dance around in the kitchen in my socks to Neutron Dance by The Pointer Sisters. I hope I never stop doing that kind of stuff.

    I still have the goal of stepping foot on every continent by age 50. I am pretty sure I'm going to do it.

    The ice cream looks amazing.

    1. Buying a home. My goal for my thirties. =)

  3. Yaaaaay! Thank you for posting it just in time to make for my birthday! Though since Zach can't cook, I'll have to make it for myself.

  4. It seems like you read my mind here!
    I'm ok with approaching 30 because 20s were fun, but kinda ready for more. But then wait, wouldn't it be fun to go back and take things less seriously? I think I would go back and be less mean. Well, it's not that I was mean, but I didn't particularly care what people thought of me and I think I came off as a bitch. It never occurred to me to TRY to be a nice person until recently. Weird, yes? Could have had a lot more friends & fun back then.
    Anyway, love this ice cream, but that 365 days til 30 thing freaks me out! ;)

    1. See for me i want to take a few things MORE seriously. =)

  5. Oh lord. I was so happy to leave my 20s behind - turning 30 was a relief. I'll take you to a rock concert whenever you're ready, though... extra points if it's Bruce Springsteen.

  6. I just good-bye to my thirties. Had I known how fantastic they would be, I would not have mourned my lost twenties. It's natural to be a little sad at seeing those years go, but I promise, once the thirties get going, you'll enjoy the ever-lovin' hell out of them. I know I did. And now I get to rev up my forties!

    Is it just that I'm a suburban housewife, or did that sound sort of gangster?

    1. Housewife. You didn't swear enough or throw a gang sign.

  7. Turning 30 knocked me for a loop. When I asked my 80 year old grandfather if that had bothered him, he said "30? No, not 30. 75 was pretty bad though. Not thirty."
    So there you have it. Ice cream looks great.

  8. Thank you for being someone else who was rather introspective on turning 29. I just had the first anniversary of my 29th birthday, and also thought back on all the things that would have been more reasonable to do in my 20s (like be jobless). I've always made rather safe choices, and lately (as I read over the contract for my first house, a proper house with a yard and a laundry room) I've started to wonder if I shouldn't sell my possessions, stash my bunny in a carry on, and head off to ... somewhere else. All of my friends keep saying that the 30s are the new 20s, and I think that only means in terms of the time in your life that you get married, have kids, buy a house -- things that many people used to do in their 20s when your 20s weren't for grad school, questionable jobs, and living in faraway lands.

    1. Do it. Live in a faraway land. My only regret of my 20's thus far is not living abroad.

  9. I turned 49 this year - 49! - and you know what? I forget how "old" I am all the time... some times I still feel like a teenager, some times like I'm in my 30's. And 50? A friend who's 10 days younger than I wants to do something BIG but I just don't know.... I'm losing all interest in the numbers and just having the time of my life every possible moment. Keep being wonderful!

  10. 30 wasn't really a big deal at all. Neither was 35. But I remember when 35 was *old* and now that I actually am 35, I don't feel old at all. The one that really upset me was when my oldest turned 10 a few months ago. I kept thinking that I was not old enough to have a kid in double digits and what the hell just happened there.

    The other thing that gets to me is that I teach at a college and now my freshmen were born the year I graduated high school. And my little brother (adopted), who was born my first year of college, will be graduating high school next year. *That* makes me feel old.

  11. Kudos to all the comments, but let's be real: none of us gets out of this life alive! Live like tomorrow is the last day. I'm 56, left the corporate life and now am a (self taught) chef on a private yacht sailing around the world. My life now is richer than ever before!

  12. This looks delicious, no ice cream machine here, so doubtful I'll be making it. If I ever do get one this will be the first thing I make in it!

    My 20's are about 6 months away from ending and I've started reflecting on them - the first 1/3 of my life is about to be complete, what do I do with the next 2/3? My goal is to start 30 with no baggage - literal and metaphorical. I'm working on downsizing and slowing myself down. I've spent the past 29 years running full tilt trying to accomplish so many things. While I technically succeeded, I haven't enjoyed most of it...So, did I really succeed? For me, I'm happy to turn the page and start a new chapter!

    Enjoy the rest of 29!

  13. I'm 27 and trying not to think about it. 26 and essentially unemployed didn't bother me much, but when I hit the 27 mark I kind of went "What the what?!?" and started to freak out about life, the universe, and everything. Now the job search failure is stressing me out, the living with roommates is stressing me out, and the being single is stressing me out. I don't know what it is about that extra year that just set me over the edge, but I am not happy about it!

  14. Yeah, its a little bit douchy but I will indulge anyone who shows up with ice cream like this. Don't over-indulge your regrets too much. You will be a far better person in your 30s to accomplish anything that needs it. I couldn't have been happier to leave the 20s behind. It was a big party. It would have been bigger but then I didn't know about this ice cream.

  15. looks amazing! you had me at almond joy:)

  16. 29 is going to be a great year for you (says the 27 year old) :-) But I just know it. I have this weird obsession with turning 30 (in a good way)... I'm ready!

    And wow... Almond Joy ice cream sounds like heaven in a bowl. It happens to be my favorite candy bar... actually, it's the only one I really like. Haven't had it in ice cream yet, but I'm excited to give it a try!

  17. Love your blog! Heh heh, I am 42, so to me you are still a baby. Meant is a compliment, not obnoxious.). And you write, make delicious food and have a great family-- congrats on good living!


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