Ice-Pop molds that contained Walter Youngblood's enthusiasm
from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/di...lood.html?_r=1
Ice-Pop Molds That Contained Walter Youngblood’s Enthusiasm
SEPT. 21, 2015
By LIGAYA MISHAN
“I call it the cut-and-paste apartment,” Walter Youngblood, an artist and ice-cream man, said of the fourth-floor walk-up in East Harlem where he’s lived for 20 years.
He bartered a painting for the stove and rescued the bashed-in mini-chandelier from the trash. It hangs in the kitchen, which has colonized half the living room. The refrigerator stands in a far corner, and steel wire shelves jut out, with dangling pots, pans and heavy-duty sieves at the ready.
But the tool that Mr. Youngblood, 49, treasures most is one he doesn’t use any more: a set of ice-pop molds that he bought five years ago when he started his one-man ice-cream company, KingLeche Cremes. Made of silicone, the molds are covered by an aluminum lid with slits for wooden sticks. This became troublesome: The sticks must be aligned just so, or they’ll tilt and the ice-cream bars cannot be cleanly extracted. Now he uses stainless-steel molds.
Still, for Mr. Youngblood’s first wobbly summers in business, his fortunes depended on these silicone molds. Into them he poured an unconventional custard of goat’s milk, having discovered in his 20s that he was lactose intolerant. That was a shock after growing up as part of a sprawling family in Kansas City, Mo., in which, he said, “every household seemed to have a hand-cranked ice-cream maker with rock salt and ice.”
“Goat’s milk is the most similar to human’s,” he said. Since it is lower in fat than cow’s milk, he stirs in duck eggs for richness. He refuses to add stabilizers, believing they ruin the texture. This has led to occasional disasters, as when half a day’s stock melted.
Mr. Youngblood did not foresee a career in dairy. Once a business major, he switched to journalism, got involved in the anti-apartheid movement, followed the Grateful Dead, tried film school and wound up with a walk-on part in the movie “Kids” as half of a gay couple accosted by a band of feral skaters.
Not until he began waiting tables at WD-50 on the Lower East Side did he become serious about cooking. He marveled over the savory ice-cream flavors (“Cornbread!”) and asked Wylie Dufresne, the chef, if he could trail in the kitchen. He foraged for ingredients for his own concoctions: wild honeysuckle from the streets of Red Hook, Brooklyn; honey from his neighbor’s backyard hives.
This summer was a difficult season. “The bees didn’t survive the winter,” Mr. Youngblood said. His father died in July. But the small sum he bequeathed to his son will help Mr. Youngblood expand his reach beyond a few outdoor markets and restaurants.
He named the company after his dog, King, and his white cat, Leche, who are at war. He likes bringing unlikely pairs together. When he sells the bars, which he makes in a friend’s commissary kitchen in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, parents of little children look askance at flavors like Blushing Grasshopper, a blend of spinach and strawberry. Sometimes he offers the first bar free.
He fondly remembers a blue-cheese ice cream that he attempted for friends one Thanksgiving. “It was bad,” he said. “But I’m still committed to trying it.”
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|brooklyn, ice pops, king leche cremes, new york city|