I am back from an unintentional blogging break. Life always goes so fast and suddenly it is June and I am making ice cream again. On the subject of time passing, I have decided to change the name of this site from Two for the Moon to Erin Simpson Lozier. It has been the gradual progression of the site, really, to go from a blog about newlyweds to my personal/professional site. Two for the Moon began as a way to chronicle our lives when we were just married and living in the heart of D.C. Now we have a toddler and have settled into a new life in Virginia. During last week’s technical transition to the URL, erinsimpsonlozier.com, I played around with the coding and the blog went down for a day or so. When thinking (or fearing) it was gone forever I realized just how much I have loved this little project. Having the stories, recipes, and design of the blog to prune, fine tune, and leave and return to over these past three years has been a joy. Two for the Moon was a very special era—a phase of growth, of learning to be married, learning to be a parent, and learning how to build an independent creative career. When the site began Mr. L and I were newlyweds and I had been enjoying the glitz of being a food editor for one of the largest magazines in the country for almost five years. It was a big shift moving to a new city and becoming a freelancer. We had a short lease and debated where to move next. I began a freelance travel writing gig and had an ever changing schedule. While we were happy to be married and together, I personally felt unsettled. It was like I was roaming in the wilderness trying to find true north, a path. It was the same way I felt when I graduated from college and culinary school when one chapter had closed but the next one hadn’t opened yet. I call these times of uncertainty the wilderness years, even though they are often just months. I always find comfort in the kitchen, and producing Two for the Moon allowed me to think, really think, about what a meal or a time of year or a moment meant to me. Eating is one of the simplest ways to embrace life and writing is a way to process it.
One of my earliest food memories is of playing in a strawberry patch as my mother and grandmother picked strawberries. In this memory I do not recall actually doing any work but just hopping over the rows of strawberry plants, hiding and pretending. It was a magical day. This memory faded in my mind until I wasn’t quite sure if I actually lived it or not. Then when I was 19 I began to cook. With the fevered pace of youth I wanted to make everything, taste everything, know everything about food. I read magazines, collected recipes, and, of course, called my grandmother and mother to ask questions. The strawberry patch memory came back to me and I asked my grandmother about it. She still went to that strawberry patch and picked strawberries every year. So that spring, while home from college, I went with her and we picked in the cool of the early morning. My grandmother showed me how to cradle the berries in my hand as I picked them and which ones to pick. I noticed how the red berries shined in the sun and how fragrant and warm they were. I was coming into my own and growing up. I was paying attention more. We picked and chatted in the morning sun, fully present and alive. I have not stopped seeking beautiful food moments since.
I stopped traveling and writing for Forbes Travel Guide in January after nearly two and a half years. I was once again in the wilderness trying to find the path. I paused and did some reflecting, and then I looked back for the heart of why I was drawn to working with food to begin with. It has always been about the shared experience, the sentimentality I felt for those moments of working together with family and friends to create a meal. I cook to bring people together, to delight them, to give them a taste of something new or cherished.
To share this joy with others and teach them how to feed themselves and others well has always been my intention—through teaching them in Better Homes and Gardens, finding the best restaurants for Forbes, and the recipes of Two for the Moon. I am honing this vision now to include more hands-on events. I want to create lovely food experiences for people through cooking workshops and personalized classes. I am currently lining up workshops in the greater Washington, D.C. area and Charlotte, NC. I am also planning a few private group cooking classes for this summer as well. I will be capturing these gatherings on this site and continuing to share recipes and stories as before. And when this new chapter ends I will know just how to embrace it and trust that I will always find my way back from the wilderness.
- 1 pint fresh or frozen strawberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can heavy cream (use the empty condensed milk can to measure)
- 1 can buttermilk (use the empty condensed milk can to measure)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Hull strawberries and slice. Combine strawberries with sugar on a baking sheet, tossing gently to mix well. Roast for 10 minutes, or until just soft. Let cool slightly. Puree in a food processor with lemon juice. Pour the puree into a large bowl and refrigerate until cool.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk, cream, whole milk, vanilla, and salt to the berry puree and whisk well to combine.
- Pour the ice cream mixture into the frozen canister of electric ice cream freezer and run according to directions of ice cream maker. (Freeze half at a time if using a 1-quart ice cream maker; chill remaining ice cream base while freezing the first batch). Pack the finished ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to soften before scooping.