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adventures of a half-chinese yalie in hollywood

My New Thanksgiving Toy: Breville Ice Cream Maker

My New Thanksgiving Toy: Breville Ice Cream Maker

Guardian of accountability (you, my reader)—I call on you now! Keep me on the straight and narrow.

Since the genesis of Violet on Orange this past summer, I’ve not maintained the prolific output I envisioned for myself. I want to be your New York Times, or Buzzfeed or Oh No They Didn’t—viz., a trusted site you can check in with hourly—whose very web address connotes the unstanchable gush of updates that keep you informed, entertained and pumped full of feel-good neurochemicals. (My mom, exhorting me to post more often, told me: “Clicking links and seeing new content causes a rush of dopamine. Give the people their dopamine!”)


Theme song for the breathless wait for new blog posts … in my fantasies, at least.

The more time passes, the more I daunted I become at the prospect of re-assembling and recounting erstwhile adventures. They seem ancient, bygone and wantonly tangled around the tether pole of chronology.

This is a ridiculous, spoiled complaint! Consistent claims on my time include nominal Egg Timer Job responsibilities (by their nature, these gigs eat up a lot of time in the back-and-forth, and there is always clerical work to be completed, but I am far from complaining) and my new daily trail running habit. But aside from that, the number one obstacle preventing me from doing the mental organization and rote literary grinding required to post a new blog entry is … more fun activities! There’s always a new project, new recipe, new beloved friend coming into town for the weekend, etc. All eminently bloggable events, but I’m too busy getting my own dopamine jolt from them to get into recap-and-blog mode. Ridiculous, spoiled and tenuous complaint, I know. So let’s reverse the trend … now!

A few weeks ago, as I mentioned, I had a birthday. Deepak’s birthday is 10 days before mine. Birthday-wise, I like being the headliner to his opening act. (Chronologically, I mean!) Like this:

So! Back to my birthday. Deepak took me to MB Post, one of our favorites. Naturally, we started with a cocktail. Actually, we started with an unflattering photo. Oh well. The romantic lighting made for great ambiance, but it sure didn’t play well with the native iPhone camera app.

There's nothing so encouraging as starting your new age with an unflattering likeness of yourself gorging.
There’s nothing so encouraging as starting your new age with an unflattering likeness of yourself gorging.
Solution: another drink.
Solution: another drink.
A profusion of small, decadent plates --> heavy, eater's remorse-having humans
A profusion of small, decadent plates –> heavy, eater’s remorse-having humans
Of course, a candle-bearing dessert was demanded.
Of course, a candle-bearing dessert was demanded.

During dinner, it became obvious that one of my birthday presents that day was the gift of being able to babble freely. This is largesse! I noticed something was awry (or a-right!) as I babbled on about topics that typically trigger a subject change or an eyeroll from Deepak, yet all he did was smile and nod. Must have been the cocktails.

One subject was a laborious brainstorm of future entry topics for this very blog. Now, it isn’t that Deepak isn’t interested or isn’t supported, but I think these subjects are so far off his personal radar as to be unrelatable at best and tedious at worst. Anyway, he had a weird reaction when I mentioned the future topic of Gifts I Considered Getting for Deepak’s Birthday But Didn’t. Top of the list was the new Breville automatic ice cream maker. This summer, its appearance at Sur le Table (one of our regular haunts — who can deny the “stop inside for a free Nespresso-made latte” sidewalk signs? Not us, most times!) made for many a joyful sample experience, as they promoted the machine by whipping up endless batches of high-fat premium Breville-made ice cream, and of course handing out cups of it to passersby. By the end of the promotion period, creative methods were required in order to quell Sur le Table employee suspicions.

Photo of Deepak and me heading into Sur le Table for our umpteenth Breville ice cream sample. Image courtesy the El Segundo Plaza mall cop.
Photo of Deepak and me heading into Sur le Table for our umpteenth Breville ice cream sample. Image courtesy the El Segundo Plaza mall cop.

Back to our MB Post dinner. After the meal, this Violet (Beauregarde) became Veruca Salt. It’s only appropriate on one’s birthday! “I want ICE CREAM!” I demanded. And Deepak kindly relented.

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MB Creamery ice cream sandwich. So crapulously, birthday indulgence-ly great.
MB Creamery ice cream sandwich. So crapulously, birthday indulgence-ly great.

If you find yourself in Manhattan Beach, get yourself an MB Creamery ice cream sandwich. Especially if it’s your birthday! They are SO good. And they’re clearly what the Romans had in mind when they designed vomitoria. (I’m referencing the debunked/straight-up false idea that the Romans had rooms specially designed to vomit in, so that they could eat/drink way too much, then vomit to clear the stomach for even more (“boot & rally,” in modern-ish parlance). Totally apocryphal, but go with it in deference to the deliciousness of these sandwiches …)

But then, when we got home, Deepak uncovered …

Give a woman an ice cream, feed her for a day (or, who are we kidding -- a week). Buy a woman an ice cream maker, and ... you surely don't want to know the end of this sentence. It involves having to reinforce your floorboards and eventually schedule lapband surgery.
Give a woman an ice cream, feed her for a day (or, who are we kidding — a week). Buy a woman an ice cream maker, and … you surely don’t want to know the end of this sentence. It involves having to reinforce your floorboards and eventually schedule lap band surgery.
And so, it muscled onto the countertop in a new place of glory.
And so, it muscled onto the countertop in a new place of glory.

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To quote one of my many idols: “As God is my witness … I’ll never go hungry again.”

Scarlett Ice Cream



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