When summer finally arrives in Seattle, sun-starved folks fill parks and cafes. At the heart of Capital Hill’s popular Pike-Pine corridor, Elliott Bay Book Company sits a block from Cal Anderson Park, where many picnic blankets are staffed by sun-bathing readers and empty cups of ice cream.
Between the park and the bookstore, identified most hours of the day or night by the line snaking out the open door, is Molly Moon’s Ice Cream. Perhaps it’s the shop’s proximity, perhaps their creative ice cream recipes or perhaps the clever and accessible writing that brings the recipes to ice-cream lovers, but Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream: Sweet Seasonal Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, and Toppings Made with Local Ingredients has settled onto Elliott Bay Book Company’s bestseller shelves and even made an appearance on the Pacific NW Independent Bestseller List.
The book, authored by Molly Moon Neitzel and Christina Spittler, with Kathryn Barnard’s delectable photographs, is a how-to guide to making ice cream and more. The recipes, like the shop’s menu, are seasonally structured to highlight local ingredients like Honey Lavender in spring, Cherry Chocolate Chunk in summer, Pumpkin Clove in fall or Mulled Wine Sorbet in winter. The recipes give direct and thorough instructions for making each of the shop’s favorite flavors at home, along with creative toppings like pepita brittle and bee pollen sugar.
Molly Moon’s commitment to sustainable, local and/or organic ingredients is championed in the book and in the shop, where all the utensils are compostable and long-standing relationships with local farmers and bee keepers are proud publicity.
The commitment to friendly service is also reflected in both the shop and the book. Customers line up at the counter, trying samples, while a clerk suggests to a couple: “That one’s particularly good in a blender with some booze.” (They buy a pint.)
The book’s generous tips assist readers in making the perfect ice cream sandwich or making lactose-free substitutions for most recipes. Be careful using too many of these phenomenal recipes in your own home, though, or you, too, may end up with lines of people stretched out the door and around the block.—Kristianne Huntsberger
Kristianne Huntsberger is a writer, performer, and educator who, when not roaming the world, makes her home in Seattle. She has worked with the Elliott Bay Book Company in various capacities over the past ten years and she thinks there is something wonderful about the combination of Beecher’s cheese and ice cream. Thank you Molly Moon for making that happen.