But at work, where cell phone usage is forbidden, I have to be creative, so I’ve taken to estimating the time by the position of the sun. And in some particularly desperate times, I’ve even hawk-eyed the displays adorning guests’ arms from afar.
Don’t judge me.
It gets the job done.
Usually I can handle not knowing the exact time because, quite honestly, it’s not that important. It’s just that sometimes… Well, sometimes I really just want to know. Sometimes I just get that itch and time is all I can think about, even when I have no legitimate reason to know besides satisfying the aforementioned inexplicable desire.
Amid all this, you’d think it would make sense to simply ask what time it is. But not here – I’m tired of being told that it’s “time to get a watch” when it’s quite clearly closer to 6PM than it is to “never o’clock.” Besides, during the day I’ve become fairly accurate in regard to calling time in relation to the sun’s position. Knowing when it sets and taking clues from the comings and goings of employees makes it relatively easy. Oh, and knowing the closing times of the water park (7!) and actual park (10!) are helpful, too.
But after the park closes, I’ve nothing left to go by. Puffs of small, slow, brown bugs arrive in swarms when the darkness sets in at nine, flooding the sky and clouding my senses with muffled irritation. It’s always this time of night that not knowing the time really gets to me, because only an hour remains and it passes slowly thanks to the invasion. Although my newly-arrived foes can be downed with a single swat, because there are hundreds more to replace each that falls, it’s done to little satisfaction. Frustrated and blinded by the bugs, I wish feverishly for closing time to arrive – and fast.
This is when I ask for the time.
This is when I feel it slowing.
This is when I feel I’m losing it.
This is when I realize that it really is time to buy a watch.
Wild Cat Crunch Ice Cream inspired by the MSU Dairy Store
When I saw Wildcat Crunch at the Dairy Store, I knew I was going to love it. Yogurt, granola and lightly sweetened berries swirled into a thick vanilla ice cream make for a very refreshing dessert! Definitely a new favorite.
1 1/2 c (298 g) sugar, divided
2 c (473 ml) milk (whole is recommended, but I used 1/2%)
2 c (473 ml) heavy cream
7 egg yolks
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 c (118 ml) chopped strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or a combination of all three
4 Tbsp (48 g) sugar
1/2 c (118 ml) granola clusters (hoping to update soon with a recipe for homemade!)
1/2 c (118 ml) Greek yogurt
Put 1 cup (199 grams) of sugar, the milk and the cream into a medium saucepan. Begin cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, place the remaining 1/2 cup (99 grams) of sugar in a large bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk until ribbons form, keeping an eye on the cream. Just before the cream mixture begins to boil, use a ladle to add about 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) of the hot cream to the egg yolks and whisk immediately to combine. Pour the egg yolk and cream mixture back into the saucepan and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened. A good test to see if it has thickened enough is to dip a spoon into the custard, remove it and run your finger from the top of the spoon to the bottom. If the line from your finger floods over, keep cooking. If not, it's done!
When the custard has thickened sufficiently, remove it from the heat and pour into another container. Allow to cool slightly, then press plastic wrap over the surface and refrigerate overnight.
In the meantime, sprinkle the 4 Tbsp of sugar over the berries and stir to incorporate. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
After your custard has cooled completely, stir in the vanilla. Pour the custard into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. After the ice cream has been churned, quickly stir in the granola clusters. Briefly fold in the macerated berries and Greek yogurt, the freeze about 8 hours before serving.