Making ice cream while hung over


Noda-san mixing frozen yogurt
Noda-san mixing frozen yogurt

Random Observation/Comment #102: When the “schedule” is set, you’re not allowed to make any impromptu changes.  Even if you drink until 4AM the night before, you still must wake up at 8AM to attend a frozen-yogurt-making activity.  Almost everyone I know would have slept in (which would be convincing enough to follow guilt-free), but every single drunken mess I saw the night before was outside on the benches (almost) ready to start the morning.  That’s dedication.

It was a beautiful morning, but I wasn’t in the beautiful-morning-mood.  I could have used more than 4 hours of sleep, but I didn’t want to offend anyone or show Japanese people how lazy Americans really are.  I guess by waking up on time with a smile, I was poorly representing my background as a 21-year-old New Yorker on vacation.  What I should have done was wake up at 2PM and raided the fridge for Tostitos and salsa while wearing argil business socks and CK boxers (that might just be me at Jake’s house on a Saturday morning).  You could imagine my enthusiasm for making ice cream.  They were lucky that I was conscious, let alone functional and social.

I thought ice-cream-making was for elementary school kids, but apparently graduate students getting their PhDs in artificial intelligence subjects can also have a good time mixing ingredients and tossing around a huge canister.  The process is pretty simple, but the competition between college groups added some motivation.  I wasn’t sure of the exact amounts, but we mixed sugar, sour cream, and egg whites together into a bowl.  Then, we beat it to give the whole thing some body.  You really want a thick, yet fluffy consistency.  After you have this goop, you put it into a metal container inside of a larger plastic canister and fill it with ice and salt.

Then the fun part: Close the plastic lid and roll it around to rapidly decrease the temperature against the metal.  The rolling action should keep the frozen yogurt at the edges of the container and the ice should freeze it after about 15 minutes of movement.  Different teams tried different methods of rolling the container.  My team basically found a hill and threw it down a couple of times (like 50).  I was doubtful of this success because if you graph the rolling speed against time, you will see some shaking for the climb up the hill, and then an accelerated roll down the hill.  Although the average speed may match that of a conventional method of kicking the thing around, the inconsistency of motion and body heat added during the physically transport of the device was inefficient.  In fact, after 15 minutes of this unnecessary work, the frozen yogurt looked more like frozen pudding – Failure.  Oh well, take two.  … Take three.

Well, we eventually got it.  I also gave up half-way and went to a vending machine to spend 100 yen on real ice cream.  I guess the one I ate wasn’t made with love and teamwork.  I tried some of their frozen yogurt and it tasted pretty good.   I was never a big fan of the sourness that came with frozen yogurt – I always thought frozen yogurt was like rejected ice cream.  The toppings are decent, but I rather have some cookie dough or mint chocolate chip.  If they come out with double chocolate chunk frozen yogurt, I’ll be, as they say, “all up on that shit.”

 

~See Lemons Make Frozen Yogurt

 

Ikemoto-san rolling the canister full of frozen yogurt
Ikemoto-san rolling the canister full of frozen yogurt

 

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