Two Scoops for the Mayor

Even Mayor Menino wants in on the salted caramel….

Pig, Beer, and Ice Cream event – June 26

We don’t have a bacon ice cream, so what’s the next best thing?  Taking part in a Pig, Beer, and Ice Cream BBQ event! How does our salted caramel with pig sound?  Throw in some beer, and it’s a shindig not to be missed!  Come on down to the Sam Adams Brewery in Jamaica Plain on Sunday, June 26 from 4-8pm for this event being organized by the Boston Public Market Association (BPMA).  This is a celebration around local food,  so we’re supplying the ice cream, Stillman’s Farm the pig and Sam Adams the beer.  We make the ice cream right there at the Brewery complex, so it couldn’t get more local.  Veronica and I will be wheeling it over and hanging out there ourselves, enjoying the event.

This is a fundraiser for the BPMA, which is an instrumental group working to bring a public market to Boston that will be a year round market for local foods. Tickets are $20 (adults) and $5 for kids (age 7-20) and those 7 yrs old and under are free – check out the BPMA’s Facebook Page for more details.

We <3 Edible Boston

Do you read Edible Boston? We sure do!  It’s packed with all sorts of stories and information about local foods in the Boston area. Ilene, the editor, and her crew are truly the defacto source for all things local in the Boston area, providing a magazine that you’ll want to read cover to cover.  You can pick up a copy in shops like City Feed or in cafes like Flour – click here for a full list of locations where you can get a copy.  The magazine is partly responsible for how we came up with the idea to launch batch.  So it also has a special place in our heart!  Their summer issue just came out, and in it, is our first print ad.  Let us know if you read Edible Boston and which articles you’ve enjoyed, as well as what do you think of our ad?

April 10 Ice Cream Sundae event with batch + Taza Chocolate

There are many great pairings in the world.  Take for instance the celery stick in the bloody mary, a glass of red wine with some stilton cheese, or freshly tapped maple syrup with pancakes.  So we started thinking about what might be a tasty pairing with batch?  We thought, and we thought and then came up with chocolate.  Not just any chocolate, but artisanal chocolate made by a company that values its product and quality as much as we do.

That’s how we’ve decided to pair with our good friends Taza Chocolate for a “meeting of the dessert minds” event  — aka a very special Ice Cream Sundae sampling. Of course it had to be on a Sunday too!  So on this Sunday, April 10th from 2-4pm we’ll be sampling our premium quality, local ice cream alongside special Taza treats such as dark chocolate sauce for drizzling as well as Roasted and Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs for crunch.

We’ll be in the new Taza factory store which is located at 561 Windsor Street in Somerville between Union Square and Inman Square. Sampling will be from 2-4pm or until the ice cream runs out, whatever comes first. If you want to send this to all your friends or let us know that you’re coming, feel free to check out the Facebook event. While registration is NOT required, it is helpful for us to know how many to expect.

Don’t miss this chance to sample two of Boston’s hand-crafted artisanal treats at once. We can’t wait to see you there!

Ready to make gobs and gobs of ice cream

After much planning and then waiting, we finally have 2 more machines that will help us to be able to produce more ice cream. One of the machines helps to mix up all the ingredients, while the other one is a super powered freezer (aka blast freezer in the ice cream industry) that works to quickly drop the temperature of the ice cream as soon as it comes out of the ice cream maker.  With these 2 new machines, we can make a lot more ice cream.  Especially salted caramel!

All the details would be boring, but here’s some of what we have had to do to get to this point.  Get a 600 lb machine off a wooden pallet to which it was bolted.  Every time we have received a machine on one of these wooden pallets, I have always scratched my head and wondered how other people solve this when not having a pallet jack.  Most people probably call movers. We just hunker down, let Veronica utilize her engineering brain, and then do some praying that no fingers or toes or feet for that matter will get injured.  Ultimately this involved using a make-shift ramp, a big metal wrench used like a hammer, and some serious whacking and balancing acts.

Next up was to make room for one of our machines by moving an 850 lb mixer machine (not ours) across the kitchen to a new spot.  More muscle power.  And praying….

So with new equipment comes new electrical needs.  This being our fourth and fifth machine, I’m becoming more knowledgeable in what’s involved with this electrical stuff.  When we got our first machine last year, I was amazed when it showed up without a cord.  That was par for the course apparently though as you can’t just plug one of these things into the wall like a toaster.  No, these things take some serious power and need special cords and receptacles (those things in the wall that you’re not supposed to put your fingers into), as well as 3 Phase power and xxx number of amps.  Blah, blah, blah.  See how much knowledge we’ve gained?  (Maybe Veronica already knew all these, but I certainly did not).

Anyway, for the past 3 days, the focus has been on having an electrician install all the electrical lines.  Those guys like to work early.  Like 7am.  :-( So it’s been a lot of early mornings for us this week.

With just a few more small details to do around one of the machines, we are basically done and ready to make gobs and gobs of ice cream.  Bring on summer!

Factory Image Credit: leiris202

Our first employee

We’d like to introduce you to our first employee – Diane!  We met Diane a few months back when she worked for another company that had operated out of the Crop Circle Kitchen.  A few weeks ago she walked back in again to work for one of the caterers who had an event.  Boy, were we happy to see her!  That’s because we were just about to start looking for a Production Assistant to join our team.  She has lots of experience in the food industry here in Boston, having worked in many different types of positions. Some of those positions have included prep cook, line cook, dessert maker, and production baker.

It’s Diane’s second week with us and she’s been quickly picking up the various Production Assistant tasks. Her humor and music recommendations like The Karminsky’s are very much a welcome addition on our production floor!

Diane lives in Dorchester with her husband, Mister Drinkies, and a vegetable-eating calico cat named Miss Flo.  She is a collector of vintage aprons, kitchenware, and books, and also is a quilt maker.  She has gotten to visit some really cool places throughout the world when traveling with her husband, who is a musician.  Welcome, Diane!

Delicious Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is nearly upon us.  Here in Boston, it is a huge event. That’s because this is a big Irish town after-all – just look at how many Irish pubs we have, how many people here with last names like O’Sullivan and O’Rourke, and how practically the entire city comes out for the annual St. Paddy’s Day parade in Southie. While some may think of St. Patrick’s Day as a time for Guinness and whiskey (which it is!); for many of us, it can also be a time to celebrate with traditional Irish foods. Whether it’s fish and chips, Irish stew, soda bread or Irish breakfasts, the options are many and certainly delicious.

What some people may not know is that from the Middle Ages until the arrival of the potato in the 16th century, one of the dominate professions in Ireland was cattle herding. As a result, dairy played a large role in the diets of many Irish individuals. Given this history and the importance of milk and cream, we think incorporating ice cream into your Saint Patrick’s Day menus is a great way to celebrate. So here are a couple of Irish inspired desserts to think about!

Irish Coffee: For our Irish Coffee we take 4oz of coffee and add 1.5oz of whiskey. Then we skip the traditional sugar and whipped cream and instead top with a scoop of Batch Vanilla Ice Cream. Or for a more deconstructed version, skip the hot coffee entirely and instead scoop Batch Coffee ice cream into a bowl. Then top with whipped cream and a little Irish Whiskey for a fast, sinful treat!

Guinness Ice Cream Float or Milkshake: Combining the kid and adult in you; a Guinness float is a quick way to celebrate. First take a frosty glass and fill with Guinness. Then top with your favorite Batch flavor. We’ve heard reports that Chocolate, Vanilla and Salted Caramel all work great! Or for something slightly more complicated, you can make a Guinness milkshake. Try blending Guinness with Batch Vanilla ice cream and then topping with chocolate syrup and some shaved chocolate flakes.

Brown Bread Ice Cream: Our most traditional recipe, this dessert draws from the dark brown bread that plays a large role in the traditionally Irish diet. Similar to a praline ice cream, toasting brown bread crumbs with sugar and cinnamon produces a sweet and crunchy topping that can be mixed into Batch Vanilla ice cream. For a more unique treat, pick your favorite flavor and mix the crumbs into that!

(Natural) Green Ice Cream Sandwiches: A kid friendly recipe that avoids all those neon green food colored desserts found at this time of year. Simply whip up a batch of sugar cookies with natural green sanding sugar.  After you cook and completely cool the cookies, scoop some of your favorite Batch ice cream into a bowl and let soften a little.  Once spreadable, spread a layer of ice cream on to a cookie and then top with another.  Place the sandwich cookies into the freezer to harden and then serve.

Now that we’ve shared some of the sweeter ways we celebrate this holiday, let us know yours!

Parade Image Credit: David Pursehouse

Five Reasons to Vote for Batch as Best Ice Cream in Boston!

As some of you may have already heard, Batch has had the honor of being nominated by the Phoenix as the Best Ice Cream in Boston! While we think our competitors all produce some stellar products themselves, here are a few reasons we think you should cast your vote for us!

1. We Pride Ourselves On Only Using the Best!

We believe that if something doesn’t taste good, we shouldn’t include it in our product. Sometimes this means a whole heck of a lot more work, but we feel it’s worth it. Take for example, our chocolate chips. We tried grinding chocolate disks, hand chopping bars and many other methods but nothing resulted in a product we were proud of. In the end, we’ve found that melting chocolate and making the chips by hand is the only way to make a chocolate chip we think you’ll love. Yes it takes a whole lot more time, but it’s worth it to us. Whether it’s finding the perfect sea salt in Maine or the best ginger in New England, it’s worth the time to produce a quality product.

2. We’re On a First Name Basis With Our Cows!

Some people have pet dogs, some pet fish and maybe a few have “adventurous” pets like ferrets or exotic birds. (Penelope, the snake, recently found on the Red Line, comes to mind, but we digress…) We here at Batch always like to be unique… we have “pet” cows. Okay, we’ll be honest, they really belong to a local dairy farm. But, we’ve spent so much time finding exactly the right dairy farm with exactly the right, well treated cows that we’ve almost come to think of them as part of the Batch family. Not many other ice cream companies can say that!

3. We Think You Shouldn’t Need a PhD to Understand Ingredients!

Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Xanthan Gum; Do you know what each of those ingredients are — they’re in many other ice creams that you’ll find at the grocery store. But, like our moms always told us, just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean we should. We believe anyone who reads our ingredients should be able to understand them. Milk, sugar, eggs — now aren’t those pretty straight-up sounding? Voting for Batch means you’re voting for real products that a real person can pronounce.

4. We’ve Been Asked If Our Ice Cream Has Addictive Properties (It Doesn’t)
We had a very insistent customer approach us and ask if perhaps our Salted Caramel ice cream contained some sort of addictive substance as she couldn’t stop eating it. While we don’t like to toot our own horn, we’ve heard this very question from numerous customers. From our Salted Carmel to our Cinnamon and Chocolate Bits to our Ginger ice cream, there’s just something about Batch that keeps our customers coming back. There’s no magic or substances to it; we think it’s the quality ingredients and effort we put into the ice cream that you’re tasting.

5. We Really Want This For Our First Birthday!
In February 2010 we posted our first blog post introducing Batch to the world. Now a year later we’re amazed, excited and extremely appreciative of how far we’ve come and the positive feedback we’ve heard from everyone. While most one-year-olds might celebrate by smashing cake into their face, we’re too busy making your favorite ice cream to take much time to celebrate. So don’t send cards, don’t send gifts — all we want for our “first birthday” is for Batch to win this honor.

Whether you love the fact that we use local ingredients or that we refuse to compromise on quality, we hope you’ll take the time to vote for us for this award. Help Batch be the Best!

On the ballot for Boston Phoenix’s Best Ice Cream in Boston!

Holy moly!  We are on the Boston Phoenix’s ballot for Best Ice Cream in Boston!  We are so excited and hope you’ll vote for us. Just click on the image below.

Introducing Our New Flavor…Ginger!

GINGER!   It tastes like the real deal!  There’s even an ever so delicate bit of heat to it at the finish.  Of course it’s luxuriously creamy and smooth.  And guess what?   We found a local farm that grows ginger.  Local ginger in Massachusetts…what?  Yes!  Old Friends Farm in Amherst, MA is doing what we thought was not possible: growing ginger in a non-tropical climate.  When we found this out, we made a beeline for their stand at the Copley Square Farmer’s Market.  They agreed to reserve a patch of the crop for us – and so it became the batch ginger patch!

Kudos to Casey Steinberg, the farm’s co-owner, for mastering how to grow this here and supplying us with such a beautiful crop!  He harvests the ginger when it is young, so there is not much skin on it. That’s why it looks pink (as seen in the above photo.)

Both Veronica and I really like ginger ice cream.  We’re looking forward to hearing from ginger fans what they think of this new flavor.  It has left the building and is already on its way to a couple of the shops that sell batch.  Look for it and be sure to let us know what you think!

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