Monday, 11 August 2014

Basil and borage

This is a photo of some basil ice cream I made last week and borage iced-water. Yes, really - ice cream made with basil. I saw that Sarah Raven had posted a recipe for it, and I thought I would make it, since I've been growing basil but don't enjoy cooking. Basil ice cream does sound odd, but then mint chocolate ice cream is well established (I once saw a little boy cry, "But I wanted mint chocolate!" when he was mistakenly given chocolate ice cream at Marrocco's in Hove). Basil isn't so very different from mint, is it? Although in flower language, mint means "warmth" and basil means "hate" - which is why I never use basil in arrangements.

I've never made ice cream before and I don't have a churner, or common sense. I used a liquidiser to blend the ingredients, and probably should have used an electric mixer instead. But I took it out and mixed it after an hour in the freezer, and after another couple of hours it was ice cream. And it was delicious - honestly! I used a quarter of the recipe; I don't entertain much and ice cream isn't exactly the sort of thing I can take to a friend's on overheated London trains.

I've also been making borage ice cubes, which gives water a lovely cucumber taste. I think borage is the most versatile flower I've grown - it looks great in arrangements, the bees love it, it's edible, and it looks pretty decorating food. If you've never used it, consider growing it next year. I got my seeds from Higgledy Garden. I have so many borage plants, I gave some to a friend who needs to attract bees to her garden for some of her vegetables to fruit.

And those of you who are still unsure about using basil in ice cream may be relieved to know that I used homegrown basil, tomatoes and a red pepper to make soup. Does that sound a bit better?

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