As someone recovering from burnout, one of the exercises I do in order to steer clear of stress is to write down the list of things that make me happy. I recently re-did the exercise and came out with the following list:
- Baking; (obvious choices, yes, but it’s going to get funkily interesting in a bit…)
- James McAvoy – and looking forward to his flicks Trance and Welcome to the Punch;
- Snickering while Gordon Ramsay gives poor, unfortunate souls hell on Masterchef-US;
- Trying out new restaurants;
- Turning up the volume on my iPod and dancing my large fanny off whenever I’m alone (!);
- Daniel Lissing (My, oh, my, but the laddie is fine…);
- Chocolate (!!) – both working with and nibbling thereof; and
- Ice cream.
Of late, I’ve been into sampling the wares of new players in the local ice cream market, most notable of which is Merry Moo which has been making the rounds of weekend markets and seasonal bazaars.
The brainchild of Kevin Ngo after several trips to Singapore turned him on to the notion of making ice cream in not-so-conventional flavors, Merry Moo prides itself on using fresh, non-ultra heat-treated (non-UHT) milk sourced from locally-raised free ranging (which is to say that these bossies are allowed to graze and roam wherever they want to go whenever they’re hungry) Frisian-Holstein cows. Ingredients are also taken from local sources as much as possible to ensure that they’re always fresh and of the best possible quality. Fresh and sustainable, and really, quite scrumptious, as well.
Along with classic French vanilla, Merry Moo specializes in flavors that do throw people for a loop because they get thrown in from left field but are all quite delicious. The berry trifle ice cream features raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries swirled into a rich vanilla base while the coffee Kahlua shows off a double-hit of caffeine with coffee liqueur mixed into a deeply-flavored espresso-infused ice cream. The Earl Gray with its citrusy aroma and the flavor of good black tea is a best-seller, as is the stall’s spin on salted caramel.
One flavor that I was raring to try out but wasn’t available when my sister and I checked the Merry Moo stall at the Salcedo Market was the allegedly wicked and decadent Aztec Chocolate where dark chocolate and chili come into dead-serious, delicious play. Ah, but it’s something to look forward to the next time I come across the happy cow at a food bazaar. (They’re at Cucina Andare over at Glorietta Park on weekend nights. Hmm…)