My mom and I have taken quite a few trips together. After I graduated high school, she took me and my two younger sisters to Costa Rica and Guatemala. We don’t do vacations the easy way with my mom. Because the easy way is no fun. Instead, we rent a car, and we navigate via paper map (the trip to Costa Rica and Guatemala was before any of had iphones) and we stay and eat at local places. My mom is a seriously amazing trip planner. She was definitely a dope travel agent/ full time quilt maker in another life. I don’t know how she does it but she finds the most amazing sights, hotels, and restaurants.
I, being the only one of the family who spoke Spanish, was the dutiful designated translator. But I got tired of that real quick. My job, as we drove, was to roll down the passenger window and ask strangers (in Spanish) how to get to some obscure place. This never quite worked out as planned. At one point during the trip, we were staying in a Costa Rican jungle town when our credit cards stopped working. We drove to the local bank to try and figure it out. It was pouring rain and my two sisters stayed in the car while my mom and I went into the bank. Lo and behold my mom had forgotten to put the emergency brake on the manual car and the car had rolled forward and smashed into the metal beam directly in front of it. The people in the bank saw what happened before my mom and I did, as we were distracted and distraught over the money situation. So that happened.
Then a few days later, on the way to the airport, in the wrecked car, trying to make it to the car rental return in time to pay for the damage and catch our flight, we got lost. As the navigator, I had no idea where we were. We were freaking out. Now I love my mom very much as I hope is evident in this post, but I had just about had it and amidst arguing, I remember quite vividly yelling at her as she asked my where we were, “I don’t know where the f*** we are.” Sorry mom. It’s pretty hilarious looking back though, right?
I tell the above story because I’ve written about going on trips with my mom and how amazing they are, but they are also sometimes stressful. But let’s be real, all good trips are a bit stressful. However, a few years back, at the end of August, my mom and I took quite a peaceful trip to Key West. She was on a business trip in Naples and I flew there first and then we rented a car and drove to the keys. Despite never harboring a burning desire to visit Key West, it will remain one of my favorite destinations. So what was so great about it? We stayed in a hotel on the outskirts of town but we rented bikes and biked into town every day. We drank mojitos at the harbor as we watched the sun go down. We went to Ernest Hemingway’s house and it was filled with cats! We ate Cuban food and ordered key lime pie at every restaurant. We were there during the Lobster fest. The streets were filled with people grilling lobster tails and it was hands down the best lobster I’ve ever tasted.
And every day we stopped by an inconspicuous street stand to buy a peanut butter soft serve cone dipped in chocolate. That stuff was life changing. And I’ve since yet to find anything of the sort. So I made my own of course.
Peanut Butter Ice Cream – slightly adapted from Design Eat Repeat
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk eggs, sugar, and milk and 1 cup of heavy cream till mixture is hot and steamy. Remove from heat and stir in the rest of the cream, salt, and peanut butter. Stir until smooth. Refrigerate for 4 hours or freeze until cold. Process in ice cream machine.
Chocolate Shell – recipe from Serious Eats
1/2 cup refined coconut oil (or unrefined if you want it to taste like coconut)
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt all ingredients. Once ingredients are combined and incorporated, remove from heat and pour into bowl for dipping.
To assemble: roasted, chopped peanuts and sea salt
Scoop ice cream onto your choice of cone. Use a knife or straight metal spatula to shape ice cream into a cone shape. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.
Remove from freezer and dip upside down into bowl with chocolate shell. Immediately roll cone in peanuts and sprinkle with sea salt. It will take a few second for the shell to set. Enjoy!