He's a better kid than I was, not near as lippy or confrontational, but caring and kind. His gentle nature and playful attitude make him agreeable company. Being the youngest he's relentlessly competitive, especially in the board game department. I know he'll try to win at all cost. It makes us bad competitors, because I, as the oldest, don't like to lose. (I'm getting better!) He's musical and game-y, but above all else he's bookish. You might not think it to look at him, but my little brother would happily spend the rest of his life reading. He's the stay up all night reading kinda reader. It's been known to happen...a lot. He sleeps in late because he can't put his book down. In the car? Nose in a book. Waiting anywhere? Nose in a book. Company's over? Nose in a book. Eating dinner and he's not at the table? Nose in a book. Reminds me of me.
My favourite thing about him? His adorable hugs. You can feel his slinky little arms come up around you and swallow you in a tight squeeze. You can smell his teenage boy hair and see the freckles that cover his cheeks. He's always means his hugs, and always on his own watch. He makes me want my own kid's hugs. But like all little boys, he's getting bigger and soon he'll be taller than me. His shoulders are broadening and he's turning from boy to man. I hope he never stops giving me hugs. I really, really do. In the time before he gets too teen-age-ery to see how much I love him I really have to say: Happy birthday to my big little brother. Please enjoy your favourite thing from me: ice cream. Love, your sister.
I have an uneasy relationship with corn syrup. Some people shudder at the two words uttered together and other just shrug. I have a shudder-shrug going on. If you talk to me in person I'm quite vocal about my views, anti-this and anti-that. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty I'm a terrible hypocrite (though I don't think I ever say anything absolutely, I'm much to wishy-washy) and I can't put my money where my mouth is. I talk about how terrible [insert bad food here] is to eat and all the nasty things it does to your mind and body, but I don't often substitute things like, sugar, caffeine, white flour or corn syrup out of my diet. Sometimes I do, in jams or cakes or in places I feel honey is an adequate substitute, but if I were so adamant in conversation about the horrors of corn syrup you'd think I'd avoid it like the plague, rather than accept it and cringe. My reasoning in this case is a matter of achieving the ideal ice cream. Take out the corn syrup and you're left with something ice-y and hard. The ice cream, on a molecular level, is thrown off. When the product you are making is to be gifted you want the ideal texture and flavour. But maybe especially when the product you are making is to be gifted you want to care for the bodies and minds of those you love enough to share with. What would you do?
Milkiest Chocolate Ice Cream from Jeni's (recipe here). The only swap I made was using sweetened condensed milk for evaporated milk, it was the only ingredient I didn't have on hand and I didn't want to go to the store. Things still turned out very well. This ice cream is so smooth, and so creamy and soft. Very decadent and wonderfully chocolate-y. I'm just sorry I don't get to eat the whole thing myself.
White Hot Fudge Sauce, the recipe is here. Very easy and very, very sticky. I didn't have vanilla paste, so I scraped out a vanilla bean instead.