Yesterday I went digging around for the canister to my ice cream machine. I always keep it in the freezer in a plastic bag so it's ready for action (my ice cream cravings wait for no one). When I finally found it, I noticed that it wasn't in a plastic bag. I mean, ideally, it wouldn't get dirty just sitting there in the freezer, but somehow it always does. Things inevitably melt, drip, and then refreeze in the bottom of the bowl. Crumbs appear out of nowhere. So I've learned to keep the canister in a bag so I don't need to worry about contamination.
I inspected the canister. Sure enough, there were crumbs (where do they come from??). So, I moistened a paper towel to give the bowl a quick, cleansing swipe. Just one problem. Can you guess what it was? Whenever you apply something wet to something frozen, what happens? It sticks. Remember Flick's tongue on the frozen flagpole in A Christmas Story? Well, the same principle applies to paper products, it turns out. The wet paper towel tore as I tried to swipe the crumbs, and little shreds of paper towel pulp froze to the walls of the canister, enshrouding the crumbs, cocoonlike. My instinct—the wrong instinct—was to wipe the area again and again to try to remove them, which caused even more shreds of wet paper towel to rip and freeze. Realizing my error, I grabbed a butter knife and tried to scrape off the frozen pieces, which was only 50% effective and left little shavings of ice and paper towel all over the bottom of the canister. In my infinite wisdom, I then added some water from the faucet to rinse everything out….which instantly froze upon contact, suspending all of the aforementioned detritus in a thick, impenetrable layer of solid ice on the bottom of the bowl like frozen fossils of my lunacy.
For the love of god, Tammy, YOU KNOW HOW AN ICE CREAM MACHINE WORKS! Sub-freezing temperatures + liquid = ice crystals. It just goes to show that even published cookbook authors are morons sometimes. (At least I didn't try to lick the crumbs out of the bowl. I'm not sure how I would have played that one off with the ice cream canister dangling from my face.)
Anyway, a reasonable person would have thrown the whole calamity into the sink, filled it with hot water, and just called it a day. Let it soak and defrost overnight, wash it thoroughly, and then refreeze (in a plastic bag, this time). In a couple of days, I could finally have some homemade ice cream. But I never claimed to be a reasonable person. No, I went ahead and made my ice cream anyway. To hell with everyone, I said. If I want crumbs and paper towel fragments in my ice cream, then, damn it, crumbs and paper towel fragments I will have! You're not the boss of me, Internet!!
After a good night's sleep, which is always a welcome sanity check, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to eat any of that ice cream. No promises, though. It sure does look good, paper towels and all.