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Mother Linda’s Update

August 2008

Ice creamReal Ice Cream Makes a Comeback
I am happy to announce that it looks like "real" ice cream is coming back into fashion. In the past, I have predicted, a bit tongue in cheek, that "ice cream might melt away into history." Good ice cream was hard to find for years, but this summer, I have found fantastic ice cream at two locations.

1) Costco sells Kirkland brand Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream. Here is the ingredient list: fresh cream, skim milk, sugar, pasteurized eggs yolks, natural vanilla, carob bean gum and guar gum. Do note that the first ingredient, which means it is the most by volume, is fresh cream. Kudos to Costco!!
2) Trader Joe's sells its own private label French Vanilla Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream,which also comes in full-size quarts, and whose ingredient list is uncannily similar to Costco's (i.e., cream, milk, sugar, egg yolks, natural vanilla flavor, carob bean gum, and guar gum.
Both of these vendors get extra kudos for selling real half gallons (i.e., 64 oz.), instead of fake half gallons you find everywhere nowadays.
Don't these two formulas look uncannily similar? A little birdie told me that Trader Joe's private label ice cream is made by its one-time instore ice cream brand of choice: Double Rainbow, San Francisco's Official Ice Cream. Hmmm, wonder if they make Costco's, too.

Have you seen other REAL ice creams??? Email me and I will add it to this list.

August 14, 2008, Susan from Columbia, MD:

Harris Teeter also has real vanilla ice cream--the ingredient list is almost the same as the two you mention. It's delicious.

The Patel Motel Cartel
Skyliner_PatelHave you pulled into a motel and been greeted by an Indian owner? If so, you may have experienced the Patel Motel Cartel. The Patels of India's Gujarat state have been buying and running motels along America's byways for two decades. For the most part, this can be viewed as a positive development due to clean rooms with value pricing. Rundown motels along state highways that were loosing business when interstate interchanges were built in the 1950s and 60s, were salvaged from demolition and kept open for business. After this humble beginning, the Patels started buying bigger properties around interchanges and historic motels like the ones along Route 66, such as the historical neon-signed Skyliner Motel in Stroud, Oklahoma. Today, there are literally thousands of Patel-owned motels and hotels in America. The Patels are also lodging owners in the UK. For example, in London, you can save a substantial amount of $$ by staying at Patel-owned Cherry Court Hotel, see http://www.cherrycourthotel.co.uk/
On a recent trip to Oklahoma, I stopped to take pictures of and stayed in several Patel motels. When I chatted with one of the owners, he commented, "We are like ants," obviously referring to their ubiquitous, but innocuous, presence. I found that ALL of the art deco hotels along Route 66 from Oklahoma City to Tulsa are Patel-owned. They were mom-and-pop operations with the owner living and working on site. My motel room in Oklahoma City was clean, well-appointed and neat and the whole property was being renovated.
For more information, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3177054.stm
Spinach Foam
This recipe, which he calls Spinach Goat Cheese Foam, is from Chef Enzo Fargione of the Teatro Goldoni restaurant in Washington, DC. When I arrived for a wine and olive oil tasting there, appetizers were offered to keep us all sober. Among them was this wonderful tasty tidbit. I know you will love this recipe and its a great party pleaser, too. But you will definitely need some friends to help you eat this rich fare and some vino to cut the fat.
1 qt. heavy cream
8 eggs
8 oz. goat cheese--I use a French sheep's milk feta
1.5 lbs. sautéed spinach
2 cloves of roasted garlic
Salt and white pepper
Combine all ingredients into a blender and mix well. Pour the mixture into forms or molds or a 6x9-inch baking dish and cook in oven at 300°F for about 15-20 minutes. Completely cook before cutting into 1-inch squares.