Remember that time when I was all “no pumpkin ever again”? It wasn't that long ago. After my quest through a large percentage of the pumpkin-flavored items at Trader Joe’s I was determined to make it through the rest of the holiday season pumpkin-free.
Then this delivery came in.
It was like an Ambien-fueled purchase, minus the Ambien. A few weeks prior, I had worked with the lovely people at eCreamery to make a seasonal, bespoke ice cream for me to review on xoJane. It’s a fairly involved process that starts with you picking your base (ice cream, gelato, or sorbet) and ends with you choosing up to three mix-ins. You then name your creation something witty like "John's Hair Tonic" or "Mama's Little Helper" or something and four pints of your creation will arrive at your home within the week. (Bonus: It also comes with dry ice!)
It's pretty pricey (mine would have been $69 for four pints) but if you need a gift for someone who loves ice cream and loves seeing their name on things, this might be that gift.
It’s almost too much power. I always think I’m a huge fan of customization, but the truth is that too many options often leave me paralyzed by indecision. I have been known to panic at a Whole Foods salad bar. One holiday season -- many, many years ago -- I was so overwhelmed by the Starbucks seasonal beverage offerings that I ordered an Egg Nog Latte.
I hate egg nog. I’ve always hated egg nog, but picking a Christmas-y coffee beverage was just too much to handle in that moment so my brain kind of short-circuited and I picked the one item I was sure to hate.
I’ve grown a lot since then -- mostly in my boobs and butt -- and I’d like to think that I’ve become better at making decisions. I mean, I planned a wedding! I chose tablecloths and runners! I go to a salad bar at least twice a week, and I’m able to assemble a meal in less than five minutes (unless there's a particularly good specialty salad that day).
I could handle this. I knew that I wanted this ice cream to be “holiday-themed” and that would be my guiding light, hopefully helping to narrow down the choices.
I breezed past the first set of choices, picking “ice cream” as my base and thinking “That wasn't so hard,”and "who the eff would pick sorbet?" Then I clicked over to the “flavor” page.
Some were obvious no-gos. Cotton Candy and Bubblegum didn't appeal even a little bit, and Banana wasn’t exactly on message with my “xoJane Holiday Ice Cream Extravaganza” plans.
I read through the 40 flavor choices a couple more times, and decided it was between Gingerbread, Peppermint Mocha, and Pumpkin Pie. If I had been ordering a single serving, I would have gone with Peppermint Mocha, no question, but eCreamery was sending me four pints, and I wanted to get something that my husband would help eat. (Sean doesn't like peppermint/chocolate pairings, something I choose to overlook for the sake of keeping the peace.)
Gingerbread seemed like it could get a little "much" after a couple of bites, so I went with pumpkin, having not yet agreed to undertake The Great Pumpkin Taste Test of 2014.
Next was choosing mix-ins. My first impulse was to add in peppermint sticks and gummy bears, just to see if the nice PR lady would try and sway me, but I quickly came to my senses because what if she didn't? The last thing I wanted to do was eat four pints of "Pumpkin Pie with Gummy Bears and Peppermint Sticks Vomit Surprise." (I would have had to eat them though, it's free ice cream.) After this brief self-destructive fantasy, I decided to add some truly complementary items: candied ginger and praline pecans.
After patting myself on the back for not using this opportunity to create the worst ice cream ever, I had to choose a name, and “xoPumpkin Pie Dreamz” was born.
I emailed my choice to my contact, and waited with bated breath.
The big day finally arrived and with it my frozen package. It was then that I was forced to eat my “NO MORE PUMPKIN EVER” words in the form of delicious frozen dairy. This was obviously not that big of a sacrifice. Having been (freezer) burned by pumpkin pie ice cream before, I was eager to give the flavor a chance to redeem itself.
Good gourd, it was delicious.
This stuff tastes pretty much exactly like pumpkin pie, only creamier and colder. The praline pecan pieces provide a nice nutty crunch and the candied ginger cuts through some of the richness, making this a truly addicting dessert. This was exactly what I needed to restore my faith in pumpkin ice cream after that other "incident."
All in all, I think Pumpkin Pie ended up being a good flavor choice. At least I didn't panic and pick Egg Nog.
I just really hate egg nog.
What flavors of crazy ice cream would you make? Do you also get paralyzed by too many decision? Do you want to come help me eat this ice cream?