Sep 26, 2009

Paul Newman's Recipe For Shared Happiness

It's not often that these words come together in a meaningful context:

  • celebrity

  • food

  • philanthropy

However, I can think of one person who achieved just that. He was a great actor and a unique individual. Who am I talking about? The legendary Paul Newman who died one year ago today.

He made some great movies, amongst which are two of my family's favorites - 'The Hustler' and 'The Color of Money'. Playing the character of 'Fast' Eddie Felsen, a pool hustler, he played it to perfection. No-one could have done it better. We are 9 ball fans in our house so these are must-see movies every once in a while.

However, in addition to being an exceptional actor, Paul Newman was perhaps one of the most genuine, modern day philanthropists the world has seen. If you visit his Newmans Own foods website there is a delightful video clip of him explaining how he started the company, by accident almost it seems and he goes on to talk about the need to help others less fortunate and how luck plays a part in all our lives. His words are spoken with genuine warmth, sincerity and honesty. His motives for the food company are clear and the success of Newman's Own Foundation is astonishing. Donating all profits to charity, the Foundation has given over US$265 million to charity since 1982. Learn more about Newmans Own Foundation

Paul Newman took his own food recipes and turned them into a unique success, getting the most important recipe right - the recipe for shared happiness. The world is certainly better for his having lived and, through his foundation, his energy and compassion will continue to shine for a long time to come. Perhaps the best description of him was actually made by himself when he once said ...

"I'd like to be remembered as a guy who tried — tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn't complacent, who doesn't cop out."

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Apr 7, 2008

The Story Of The Long Distance Strasberries

Strasberry - no, it's not a misprint and yes it is a real fruit. I recently read about this unusual and rare variety of strawberry and jumped headlong into a 'quest' to find out more and, moreover, to get hold of some strasberries and use them in an ice cream recipe.

It took just under a week from the start of my 'quest' to having a strasberry ice cream batched in my ice cream maker. It was not the easiest of tasks. Here's why:
  1. The only place to get strasberries currently in the UK is Waitrose in London.
  2. Strasberries are only being sold by them at selected stores and for a limited period.
  3. When I rang one of their London branches I was told they had sold out of strasberries.
  4. Undaunted by this I enlisted the help of a close friend, a resident of central London, who kindly offered to pursue the matter further.
  5. My friend, Mary, then managed to enlist the help of someone else - friendly Waitrose store assistant Neil who said that some more strasberries might be coming in and would reserve some for her to go in, buy and collect.
  6. Having trekked down to the store and bought the strasberries, Mary then had to get them to me - via post!
  7. They arrived by Special Delivery with our postman fully intrigued by what was in the box. It was leaking strasberry juice! He didn't seem to mind though - his comment was that the smell was wonderful!
  8. I immediately unwrapped the strasberry juice-soaked package to find the strasberries still amazingly in tact and placed them in the refrigerator whilst I got ready to make ice cream.
  9. Half an hour later, using my own strawberry ice cream recipe as a basis, I was busy making my own strasberry ice cream.
  10. The result .... a truly delicious and unique ice cream.

I photographed every step of the ice cream making process so that I had evidence of what I'd done and how different the strasberries looked compared to normal strawberries and full details of my 'strasberry experience' are now live on - see:

The Strasberry
My recipe for Strasberry Ice Cream
My Strasberry Photographs

All published and live today 7 April 2008. It's a date I can easily remember as it's Jackie Chan's birthday - one of my son's heroes (and one of mine too!). I've already written about Jackie enjoying chocolate ice cream so it couldn't be a better publishing date.

Having checked extensively on Google, it appears that mine is the very first strasberry ice cream recipe ever published on the Internet. A genuine 'World First'. I'm delighted!

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