I am seriously distracted these days.
No, more like preoccupied really.
Lots of changes are in the works here in our small corner of the Pacific Northwest.
In little more than a month now, my husband and I will be picking up our little life and moving it 1,259 miles south to a place called San Diego.
Turning to a new chapter in Christopher and I’s book and starting the very first paragraph of it.
Small Kitchen Chronicles will likely find a new home in an equally small square-footed kitchen (albeit in a much sunnier place).
And I’m so ready, I can’t wait. Yet truth be told the planner in me is staring at all the unknowns and having a low-grade panic attack.
Along with working out the logistics of it with the movers and shakers, I’ve also been in the middle of a whole ton of self reflection.
You know, trying to figure out the little things like, what I want to be when I grow up or what my good friend, Shawn, and I call The Next Big Idea.
Let’s just say it’s been slow going.
It hasn’t left much mental or emotional energy to want to cook anything more than a pot of spaghetti.
But one can’t take over the world on pasta alone.
Enter our friend, Cajeta.
Putting plain ol’ run-of-the-mill caramel sauce to shame, alone, he’s pretty tough to beat but flanked by cardamom and the glorious pistachio, vanilla ice cream never had it so good.
And if you don’t like caramel, hold my hand and try this anyway. I’ll be willing to bet you’ll be licking your spoon in no time.
So here’s to Change and to What’s Around the Bend. Whatever that may be.
‘Cause at the very least, I know there’s a whole lot of sunshine waiting for me.
And as the very wise Price Pritchett once said:
Change always comes bearing gifts.
Inspired by America’s Test Kitchen
Makes about 1 1/2 cups cajeta and lots of yummy sundaes
For Cardamom Cajeta
4 cups goat milk
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/2 scant teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
high-quality vanilla ice cream
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat — using a rubber, heat-proof spatula — combine goat milk, turbinado sugar, vanilla extract, sea salt and cinnamon stick together and bring to boil, stirring often to prevent milk from burning.
Remove saucepan from heat and while stirring quickly, very carefully add prepared baking soda solution.
Note: Once you do this, mixture will look like it’s going to foam out of the saucepan — as scary as this seems, don’t panic! Stir quickly as you add the baking soda solution until foaming subsides and heart rate returns to normal.
After mixture has stopped foaming, return saucepan to heat and lower heat to where mixture is simmering rapidly. Add ground cardamom and stir well.
Cook at this consistent rapid simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes — stirring often and adjusting heat as necessary to maintain rapid simmer — until cajeta is caramel-colored and thickly coats the back of a serving spoon.
Remove from heat, discard cinnamon stick and carefully pour cajeta into a Ball canning jar (cajeta will be hot). Allow to cool at room temperature completely before covering with lid and refrigerating.
Note: If you do not have a Ball canning jar handy, feel free to use any small, heat and microwave-safe container.
When ready to serve, remove cajeta from refrigerator, remove metal lid and warm in microwave at 30 second increments — stirring in between — until cajeta reaches desired temperature and consistency.
Serve cajeta over scoops of vanilla ice cream with plenty of raw pistachios sprinkled on top.
- Homemade Caramel Sauce (instructables.com)
- 3 Ingredient Homemade Ice Cream Recipe Without an Ice Cream Maker (smartsavvyliving.com)
- Homemade Creamsicles (abeautifulmess.com)