What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon?
I’m supposed to like working in the dirt. My father’s a farmer. My mother’s a master gardener. My sister is starting her own orchard with fruit trees and blackberry bushes. Even my two-year-old niece has gardening tools. But I don’t have the mulching gene, the weeding gene or the mowing gene.
When Saturday’s yard work gets rained out, I want to grab those rain clouds by the cheeks and kiss them full on the mouth.
Are you with me on this?
A rainy Saturday is a toy box overflowing with possibilities. Staying in bed until you don’t know whether to eat breakfast or lunch. Playing around on Pinterest. Rearranging the pantry. Noodling around on a guitar. Reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”in one sitting. (You wouldn’t want to be culturally illiterate.)
But my favorite way to spend a rainy day is curled up on the couch, watching an old movie with Jeff – and something chocolatey.
I’ve been hooked on Old Hollywood movies since I was a kid. That comes directly from my grandmother. When Mommaw was a teenager, she worked as an usherette at the town movie theater and saw every movie that came through, so watching movies with her was always a huge treat. We’d get lost in Ingrid Bergman being driven crazy by her husband in “Gaslight.” Katherine Hepburn trying to choose between Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart in “The Philadelphia Story.” Bette Davis serving Joan Crawford her own pet bird in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane.”
“Well, one thing’s for sure,” Mommaw told me, “no matter how bad you and your sister fight, you’ll never be THAT bad.”
During commercial breaks, we’d “ooh” and “ah” over the glamorous clothes and jewelry, and Mommaw would fill me in on the Hollywood gossip of the day. I couldn’t do trigonometry to save my life, but if you lobotomized me, I’d still be able to reel off the names of Elizabeth Taylor’s husbands.
Just before the movie got really good, Mommaw would disappear into the kitchen for something to snack on. And she didn’t settle for a bag of microwave popcorn. Mommaw always came back with chocolate. Yellow cake with chocolate sauce. Brownies. A dish dotted with cubes of freshly cut fudge for us to share.
Suddenly, the afternoon would seem completely and utterly luxurious.
So, last weekend, when Jeff and I decided to watch one of my favorites, Grace Kelly in “Dial M for Murder,” I knew we needed some chocolate. I searched Pinterest for some new ideas and eventually landed on the Häagen-Dazs® “Chocolate” pinboard. The collage of chocolate desserts and chocolate-brown images got me thinking about the truffles I used to make at the bakery.
But they really, really got Jeff craving some chocolate ice cream.
What I concocted was barely a recipe: Toffee-Coated Ice Cream Truffles. I just scooped the ice cream we had in the freezer into truffle-sized balls, rolled them in Heath toffee bar crumbs and froze them. The Heath bars satisfied my toffee craving, but you can use whatever candy bar you’d like. I’m thinking some bashed-up Butterfinger crumbs could be a religious experience.
When you bite into one of these truffles, the crunchy candy bar shell makes the cold chocolate center seem so much creamier. It’s way more exciting than a bowl of ice cream. Or a tub of popcorn, for that matter.
But there was still something missing.
After the movie, I called Mommaw to get the scoop on Grace Kelly and talk about those costumes.
We might not be master gardeners, but we are master piddlers.
So now, I’m curious. What’s your favorite way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon? Are you a master piddler, too?
Toffee-Coated Ice Cream Truffles
From Rebecca Crump (Ezra Pound Cake)
Makes 15 medium truffles, more depending on the size of your scoop
- 1 pint chocolate ice cream, homemade or store-bought (You might not use it all.)
- 4 Heath toffee bars or your favorite candy bar
- Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place it in the freezer until it’s really cold.
- Using a small ice cream scoop (1 to 1 1/2 inches), scoop out about 15 solid ice cream balls, and place them on the baking sheet. Freeze for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, turn your Heath bars into a pile of candy bar gravel by chopping them, pulsing them in a food processor, or bashing them with something heavy. (Your crumbs should be small but not dust. You should still be able to identify the candy bar.) Pour the crumbs onto a large sheet of wax paper.
- Working with 2 or 3 ice cream balls at a time, roll them in the Heath bar crumbs, and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining balls, and freeze for at least 15 minutes.