Thursday Night Smackdown: Decapitation

Because that is what life has done to me today. Ripped my head off, and shit down my neck. And it laughed while it did it, and I’m pretty sure it ate Indian food last night for that extra twist of the screw.*

*Are you new here? Usually I talk a lot more about food, and a lot less about neck shitting.

And there was only one solution: ice cream. Thank you, David Lebovitz, for helping me chip the dried shit chucks out of my ragged neck hole with your Vietnamese coffee ice cream and classic hot fudge. Anyone who doesn’t already own a copy of Perfect Scoop is leaving themselves vulnerable to a class-A neck shitting.

Hyperbolic? Maybe a little.

I know most of you think that people with Bipolar Disorder with co-morbid Generalized Anxiety Disorder live glamorous, high-profile lifestyles and enjoy astounding and seemingly undeserved levels of success. “Dang,” you think to yourselves. “Those Bipolar people are living the dream, especially the ones with co-morbid illnesses. Where did I go wrong? I can’t manage a SINGLE mental illness, let alone TWO.” And then you drop to your knees and shake your fists at the sky, cursing the correct brain wiring that has damned you to a lifetime of plodding, dull obscurity.

I know, I know. I once thought I was one of you, until I finally got my dream diagnosis and the world opened up to me. Another plus: I’m a cheap date. Thanks to the magic of prescription drugs one beer is like four beers, which is why I usually drink beer from a shot glass.

And then there’s, you know, the whole neck shitting thing. Sometimes there’s also this piano-dropping-on-your-soul thing, along with this chest-trapped-in-a-vise thing.  The vise can be inconvenient when you’re trying to dress for one of the many gala events you have to attend, but you manage. If I had to pick my favorite one, though, it would definitely be the neck shitting.

On the neck-shitting days, the motivation to come home and cook an elaborate meal is on the lower end, while the desire to order in from the bar down the street that makes the good ribs and eat a hot fudge sundae is off the charts. So I figured that the least I could do was make the hot fudge sundae myself.

I went with the Vietnamese coffee ice cream because (1) it is delicious and (2) it is painfully easy. Espresso, half and half, condensed milk, churn, freeze, eat. None of this fucking around with eggs and tempering and ice baths and the interminable waiting for hot custard to chill, not that I haven’t done that (also from Perfect Scoop – the straight chocolate is killer).

The hot fudge is similarly simple, which is dangerous. Cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, cocoa. Heat. Whisk, whisk, whisk. Add chocolate and butter. Repeat whisking. Cover pot before you consume the whole thing dipping leftover dried apricots into it and/or eating it with a spoon. Or your hands.

I was a little worried that the ice cream was going to fail, and that life would pour the liquid, grainy, ice cream-that-wasn’t down my neck as well. The weather has been so bizarro this “summer” that we haven’t installed the air conditioner yet. And then today summer came, and my kitchen/living room was 85 degrees Celsius with a humidity level of 35 to the 5th power.

I don’t have a compressor ice cream maker, just the frozen canister kind. Turns out, the frozen canister kind does not operate at optimal levels when the kitchen counter is melting underneath it.  It tries, like the little engine that could or like the rats that will bloody their paws pressing the button over and over again even though food rarely comes. Finally, you can actually hear the melted freezing agent in the canister sloshing around as it continues to churn your grainy, not quite frozen enough ice cream; at this point, it’s not really trying, it’s just going through the motions.

I know that theoretically all kitchen appliances ever do is go through their respective motions, but the ice cream maker really seemed dejected. I may just be projecting here.

The ice cream started liquifying as soon as I turned the machine off and removed the cover, so I scraped it into some tupperware and got it into the freezer as soon as I could.  I let it freeze for a good three hours, but at some point I had to take a picture so I could finish this post, which is what you see before you.  Apparently, hot fudge does not coat partially frozen, grainy ice cream in a photogenic manner. This additional aftershock of shit down my neck did not inspire me to whip cream and put a cherry on top, as was my plan. I now have a useless jar of maraschino cherries, so I’m going to have to drink a lot of whiskey sours this weekend.

The beauty of Lebovitz is that none of that matters: it’s delicious anyway. The ice cream is deeply espresso-y and just sweet enough, and the hot fudge is the sine qua non of hot fudge. And if you make the full recipe, you end up with a LOT of hot fudge, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Thank you, David. Thank you.

Everyone else, I will wait at least 24 hours before posting about neck shitting again.

[tags]ice cream, chocolate, coffee, espresso, vietnamese, david lebovitz[/tags]

14 thoughts on “Thursday Night Smackdown: Decapitation

  1. In some versions of Dante’s eighth circle of hell, flatterers and/or fortunetellers have their mouths replaced with an anus, and as they walk the vast circle forever, a steady stream of shit comes from their mouths.

    On neck-shitting days, sometimes I contemplate the different types of hellish fates of the various neck-shitters, and smile quietly to myself as I remember Dante….

  2. Neck-shitting days do pretty much suck. However, re the jar of maraschino cherries…. no maraschino cherry has ever been useless. Sit yourself down with the jar and a cocktail fork, and eat them like hors d’ouevres while you’re watching Dancing with the Stars or whatever such crap is on TV tonight. I LOVE maraschino cherries.

  3. In other good news, your ice cream looks like a pair of boobs with a delicious river of hot fudge running between them.

    Hot fudge. Is there anything it can’t do?

  4. You certainly do know how to grab our attention. Nothing says “READ THIS BLOG” like a title of “Decapitation”.

    It is true you don’t often talk about neck shitting, but you certainly were on a roll once you did. ;-)

    Coffee ice cream and hot fudge are a magical combination.

    This sudden change away from the cold summer has now reminded me of how crappily my AC works in my place. Since I have the same kind of ice cream maker, I think I must refrain from using it unless I can get one of those cold slabs they use in places like Coldstone Creamery.

  5. Ah yes, a canister ice cream maker and an obscenely hot day. That takes me back to a neck-shitting day in my family’s history. We now only speak of in hushed tones as “the mango ice cream incident”. The popcorn ceiling in the kitchen was never the same.

  6. Welcome to the exciting world of bi-polar with generalized anxiety disorder. I’ll be your tour guide. Or my dad. Or two of my aunts. Yep, holidays are beyond fucking fun at my house. Not to mention the missed Aspergers diagnosis my friend, the licensed clinical social worker, insists is in my past.
    On a better note, those ice cream pictures are so awesome, I got goosebumps in 106 degree Okie-land.

  7. it’s the tenth circle hell hot in my house i know dante says the ninth circle or whatever is suppose to be cold/frozen but i disagree. it’s a new kind of fucking hot hell. it’s a 110 outside and 90 in the house. and i can not make ice cream because your description of making ice cream in this heat is so true.

  8. While I’ve never been officially diagnosed with anything, I know (and see) what happens in both parents’ families in terms of mental shiiiit, and I know my life. And I have to say that the phrase “neck shitting” is seriously the best description ever. Being laid off at the beginning of July opened up a whole new neck shitting month. Can someone save me/you/us?

  9. I’m so entranced with “co-morbid” that I glanced right over “neck shitting” (I know! 72 times!) and completely missed “decapitation”, even though it was the, like, title.

  10. To give you an idea of how obsessed with gingersnaps I am — I thought your little pat of brown sugar destined for Hot Fudge Land was my favorite cookie. Which just gave me the idea to dip my next gingersnap in homemade hot fudge sauce — thanks!!!

  11. oooh. aaaah. yuuuum.
    We just made the fig icecream from Lebovitz’s book — and it was positively fantastic. But, the Vietnamese coffee ice cream is TOTALLY calling my name.

    I’m telling you, ice cream cures a host of evils… or at least it makes us forget about the neck-shitting for a while :)

  12. Wait, but hold on. You have a bar down the street that serves ribs? And they deliver? Lady. Does this fact alone not remove at least one turd from your neck?

    If they also deliver the usual bar goods, I am moving to your neighbourhood.

  13. Wow. That’s quite a rant. My dream when i grow up is to be able to talk like you. hehe.
    I never heard of neck-shitting before but i embrace it fully and will re-use it. I’m all about recycling.

    Yes, i agree. Whoever doesn’t own a copy of the Perfect Scoop is vulnerable to a serious neck-shitting. See! hehe. Gotta try that recipe now. You should try the Guanduja too, it’s awesome.

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