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Today's word on journalism

January 13, 2009


"I get the feeling that the 24-hour news networks are like the bus in the movie 'Speed.' If they stop talking for a second, they think they'll blow up."

--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, 2008 (Thanks to alert WORDster Ross Martin)

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How to make fried ice cream (and you know you want some!)

By Shannon K. Johnson

December 12, 2008 | There is a gap in our education system. I was shocked to discover that many of my friends had never experienced the joy that is fried ice cream. For me this tasty dish is found in the deep fryer of the Mexican restaurants in Cache Valley.

Essentially, fried ice cream is a ball of ice cream rolled in a crunchy, sweet crust and after being refrozen is then briefly dropped in a deep fat fryer.

This dish is so addicting that I am tempted to abandon my celiac diet and consume the potential gluten mine. Celiac disease is allergy to gluten which is found in wheat, rye, barley and a grain called triticale. The risk is that the cornflakes used to make the shell can sometimes be made with cornflakes tainted by wheat flour and other cornflakes are safe. So, in an effort to protect myself, I learned how to make non-fried, fried ice cream.

It is a pretty simple recipe, take two or three cups of cornflakes and pour them into a gallon plastic zippered bag. For the celiac, be sure to check that the cornflakes are gluten-free. Otherwise, any brand will do.

Be sure to lay out a cutting board place your bag of cornflakes flat on the board that way when you begin smashing the cornflakes and the sharp crumbs began to stretch the bag you can protect the sticky countertop in your apartment. For the smashing, I use a rolling pin but the bottom of a cup will work.

By the way, this is not a dish to be made late at night, for while you're smashing the cornflakes your roommates may come out of their rooms with unpleasant comments or suggestions as to what you can do with your cornflakes or rolling pin.

Once your flakes are thoroughly crushed pour some melted butter (I usually use a stick of butter which is about 1/2 cup). You can melt the butter on the stove, but I usually use a ceramic cup, melt the butter in the microwave and pour it straight into the gallon bag of crumbs.

At this point, add one cup of sugar and 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon of dollar store cinnamon, pour all directly into the bag. Take the bag and shake it making sure the flakes are all evenly coated with the sugary mixture. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with nonstick spray and spread the crumbs thinly over the sheet. Place the cornflake mix in the oven that's been preheating to 350 degrees this whole time (you just haven't been paying attention). Bake the cornflakes, watching them carefully making sure not to burn them. Usually 15 minutes is long enough.

While letting the cornflakes cool on the stovetop, take out the half-gallon of ice cream. I like vanilla ice cream but any flavor will do. Take an ice cream scoop and plop the ice cream into the palm of your hand. I recommend washing your hands before doing this. Move quickly, squish the ice cream into a ball -- it usually winds up looking like a lumpy mound that hints at circular nature of an asteroid. With my hands so cold my fingers are numb, I drop the ice cream into a small bowl and shove it into the overcrowded freezer.

By the time the half-gallon has been divided into balls the fridge handle and counter are covered with melted ice cream. By now your fingers pink after the ice cream has run clear down your arms, a quick hand wash warms your hands up rinses the cream off.

The ice cream balls are supposed to freeze for an hour before you roll them in the cinnamon cornflake mix, which is about the same amount of time it will take to clean the ice cream off the kitchen countertops. I still haven't figured out how to neatly roll the ice cream in the cornflake mix so be sure to coat the ball as well as you can. Expect your fingers to get sticky, in fact expect counters, roommates and pets to get sticky.

My favorite way to eat this is after you've had friends over to allow them to roll their own ice cream ball in the cornflakes mix. It is messier because the ice cream hasn't had time to set but it is a more interactive dessert than say brownies.

You're probably wondering where the fried part of this dish would be. Though I am sure you could drop the ice cream ball into a deep fat fryer, after having refrozen the ice cream to make sure it wouldn't melt as soon as it touched the oil.

Non-fried ice cream is not as likely to coat your back splash and stove with oil or, as my ex-boyfriend did, start a small oil fire on your stove. Instead non-fried ice cream has the same crunchy crust with lot less mess, and less risk of burning your house down.



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