Way back in the dark ages, after the internet but before Match.Com, my husband and I met via the television show Blind Date and the website excite.com. It was when I was working 3rd shift at a bakery- I had to be there at 2am to get everything ready for the day- and my husband was on vacation from his job in construction. We both had the time to watch some very questionable daytime television including the show Blind Date. At the end of the show, the announcer would ask, “Do you want to be on Blind Date? If so, go to our website…” Both my husband and I thought, “Hell yes, I want to be on Blind Date!” and we both went to the website….
….which helpfully said that you had to live or be in California to do so. Then it linked you to excite.com and personal ads for your geographical area. These were not personal ads like the ones we have today on match.com or okcupid or whatever your taste might be. These were more like personal ads that you’d find in the newspaper. They were also free. Both my husband and I thought, “What the hell?” and posted an ad.
I believe my headline was “Chocoholic Seeks Same.” I received– and I am not exaggerating– at least 150 responses. Without posting a photo (different time, remember?). I went on a number of dates, some more successful than others and the very last email I got before I took the ad down was my husband’s. I almost didn’t respond to it since there were some grammatical errors (which he denies today) and I was so overwhelmed with the responses (again, not because I’m so wonderful, but rather, because of the newness of the medium).
Long story a bit shorter, we exchanged emails for a week then talked for several hours on the phone (remember this was before text messages) and went out the next night. For an 8 hour date. He called me the next night and the rest is- sort of- history. We’ve had our ups and downs but one thing that has always remained constant is our shared love of all things chocolate.
He particularly loves ice cream sandwiches. So I’ve used Martha Stewart’s recipe to make them for him. He’s always delighted when these show up in our freezer. And my kiddos are always happy to help make them happen. We use coffee ice cream instead of vanilla as that’s his preference.
It’s been almost 14 years since that first date and while they haven’t all be happy, easy or fun, we’re still here together and looking forward to the next 14. We’ve produced children that are so much more than we could have imagined and we’ve been through some other Life Events we couldn’t have predicted when we started emailing all those years ago. In the end, I’m happy it’s him by my side, even when I’m annoyed or frustrated because, most of the time, he’s the one who can make me laugh in those moments.
Happy 6th wedding anniversary to my husband!
Ice Cream sandwiches (based on Martha Stewart’s recipe here)
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of white flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 pints ice cream, slightly soft
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a jelly roll sheet pan and then layer parchment paper over it, making sure to leave a few inches of overhang along the sides. Then butter the parchment. I generally just use silpat.
Melt your butter and set it aside to cool slightly.In a small bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients (flour, salt, cocoa).
Make sure to enlist help.
Mix the sugar, vanilla, and egg together, then add to the dry ingredients.
Again, help is key.
Mix until smooth.
Spread out onto your buttered parchment (or silpat).
You want it as even as possible- if you had an off-set spatula that might help to smooth it out. The more even and smooth you can make it, the more uniform the outside of your sandwiches will be. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cake is baked through and is starting to pull away from the sides. Let it cool completely in the pan.
Once it’s cool, use the silpat or extra parchment to lift the entire cake and place it on a flat surface. Cut it in half vertically, right in the middle, making two huge pieces.
Lay a very large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and move one half on top of it. Using your fingers, a spoon or any other implement that works for you, spread your soft ice cream on one half.
Again, the more smooth and uniform you can make it, the more uniform your ultimate sandwiches will be. I have not yet figured this out and mine end up somewhat lumpy and less pretty. Spread the ice cream to the edges.
(See? lumpy!). Place the other half of the cake over the ice cream. Press slightly.
Wrap the plastic wrap over and around the whole thing. You can press a bit more at this point, to try to even out the ice cream.
Place the whole ice cream cake thing into the freezer and let it freeze until the ice cream is hard again. This takes at least a few hours and it’s better if you do it overnight. Once it’s frozen, take it out and place it on a flat surface. Unwrap it and get a knife.
Slice into desired size ice cream sandwiches. Martha gets 8 from hers, we tend to be less uniform in size and, therefore, end up with more.
Try not to eat them all at once. Good luck with that.