Friday, August 01, 2008

The Magnum Ritual

Fear not good people this is not a reference to Tom Selleck and his magnificently furred top lip but a paean to that king of stick-mounted ice cream otherwise known as the Magnum.

Since the sun started beating down on the UK like a blast furnace it has become a daily habit of mine to abscond from the office sometime after lunch and hotfoot it round the corner to the nearest newsagent there to rifle through the ice encrusted glories that are kept well stocked within the grubby looking chest freezer in the corner.

The lady who owns the shop – a pleasant Asian woman who is inevitably talking very loudly to a family member on her mobile when it comes time to serve me – runs a mighty fine line in Magnums.

She must have every variety known to man – the classic, the double choc, the caramel and my personal favourite, the Ecuador. Not quite sure why it’s called the Ecuador as I’ve never ever found a line of coke in it... But anyway, simply put, the Ecuador is pure white vanilla ice cream surrounded very licentiously by thick plain chocolate and is a veritable delight unto the tongue.

And they’re a whopping £1.40 a go.

Now it’s hardly a heinous financial crime but I really can’t afford to be spending that amount of money every day on chocolate frippery. I need to be saving my money. Shoving it into a post office account or an ISA in preparation for the long dark slog through the recession ahead. But I just can’t stop myself.

I’m addicted.

My Magnum is the only thing getting me through the terminally dull afternoons at work. They’re practically medicinal. I ought to have them on prescription. I can’t not have one.

And yet I feel like I’m taking food off the table that is meant for my wife and kids. I’m denying them £1.40 a day in bread or milk or bacon or some other staple food. After I’ve finished my Magnum I can see their small emaciated fingers pointing to their wide open mouths crying we’re starving, we’re starving...!

Sigh. My Magnum addiction is evil. It’s selfish. It’s ego-centric. And I’m just off to buy another one.

Would you like me to get you anything while I’m there?


TimeWarden said...

I recommend reading William Makepeace Thackeray's "Vanity Fair" in which there's a chapter entitled "How to Live Well on Nothing a Year"!

Steve said...

Ah TimeWarden - if only I could afford to buy a copy of the novel! Guess I'll have to sacrifice a few Magnums over the next week or two!

The Sagittarian said...

Tell your kids they hate ice cream, that should at least ensure you can have at least one vice!!

Over here we like trumpets (our "Rachel" made 'em famous when she was wee 'un before an old scottish git stole her away....)and you can get them with flakes in them now. Yum. I made my own ice cream once with kumara (a sweet potatoe) and it was really nice but super sweet. Want the recipe oh impoverished one?

Steve said...

I wouldn't say no to the recipe oh bounteous one! ;-)

Daisy said...

steve...i completely understand...when i am over there i get one a day...can't help myself...and i crave them the rest of the year...btw...everyone needs something to get them through...thankfully your addiction is so low cost and less harmful than most...put it in perspective and you will be fine...

Lucy Fishwife said...

Could I have a Solero (fruits of the forest flavour) please? Unless you can magically get me the marron glacé flavoured ice cream I had in Honfleur... *sigh*...

Steve said...

Daisy, I salute a fellow Magnum addict...

Lucy, I don't think the newsagent round the corner stocks marron glacé flavoured ice cream. I don't think they even stock Soleros. They do Magnums, Feasts and the occasional Cadbury choc ice. As an ice cream emporium they're pretty lax. Only their devotion to the Magnum recommends them.

The Sagittarian said...

Sweet potato pie flavor in a scoop of ice cream! Serve this sweet potato ice cream with a caramel sauce or sprinkle with chopped pecans.
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
5 egg yolks
1 cup sweet potato puree
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat the cream, milk, and brown sugar in a heavy medium saucepan, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks briefly; slowly pour about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, whisking briskly while you pour. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon, about 6 to 8 minutes. Do not boil.
Strain the mixture into a bowl. Whisk in the sweet potato puree and spices. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Freeze in ice cream freezer following manufacturer's directions.
Makes about 1 pint (litre).

Good scoffing.

skatey katie said...

ooo yes please, a gooey raspberry memphis meltdown.
and if there's none left, i'll have the classic magnum thanks.
none of this ecuadorian or almond or peppermint heresy ! X

Steve said...

Cheers Amanda, you're a star.

Ah but Kate, ice cream sacrilege never tasted this good...!

Dominic Rivron said...

I've a weakness for Magnums (or should it be Magna?) myself, though my preference is for the Classic.
The only trouble with them is that when you bite into them, the chocolate coating begins to crack like thin ice on a pond. From then on you need to guard against shards of chocolate dropping onto your shirt.
As a self-confessed addict, do you have a answer to this problem?

Steve said...

I know what you mean, Dominic, alas there is no real solution other than to make a point of devouring all the chocolate first or keeping one hand directly underneath the Magnum to act as a safety net. Some chocolate will always escape however... a small price to pay for the overall sense of pleasure!

Anonymous said...

Well I am a bit odd in that I have never liked ice cream but I'll have a hunk of stilton on a stick to keep you all company. Not that I usually go for hunks but sometimes I fancy a change!!

My sons like those Cornetto things where you take the thing to the counter and they put it on a machine and it comes out all soft. No idea what they are called and I haven't described them very well either, have I?

Steve said...

Gina, if stilton on a stick floats your boat you can have stilton on a stick. I want everyone to be happy. I'd like Keeley Hawes on a stick but let's not go into that here...

As for the Cornetto things... I'm not sure what you're referring to. Some kind of slush puppy ice cream thing? Or a half melted cornet?