I had been looking forward to this Sunday for a long time, for one reason: it was Fast Track Riders track day. A track day is a day at a racetrack when riders get to gear up and ride in a specified group determined by their lap time. Level 3 is for the fast guys and girls, Level 2 is the intermediate level, and Level 1 is for beginners.
Level 3 goes out at the top of the hour for a 20-minute session, then Level 2, and then Level 1 after. That way, every level gets a 40-minute rest period in between their sessions. During these breaks, riders usually tinker with their bikes, hydrate, hang out with their fellow riders, eat, and take part in some fun traditions. One of our favorite rituals is carving into the watermelons that my friend and suspension guru Randy brings to the track. He packs two melons in a cooler full of ice and lets them chill overnight. Believe me, after about 3 or 4 sessions, we’re all more than ready for that sweet, icy cold watermelon. It’s heavenly, and always much anticipated.
Considering that we were going to be dressed in full leathers and helmets riding motorcycles in 100 degree heat at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, I thought it was time to start a tradition of my own: I was going to make peach ice cream using liquid nitrogen. Usually when I finish a day of riding I crave nothing but ice cream, so I thought, why wait until the end of the day to get an ice cream cone when I could have one now?
I was determined to make it in my garage, so I could have that deliciously cold creamy treat whenever I wanted!
The night before the track day, I made a vanilla ice cream base. I bought some super ripe peaches at the farmers market, sautéed in a bit of butter and rum, and then poured it into the blender to puree. When it cooled down, I mixed the peach puree with the ice cream base and put it in a Tupperware container. I packed it into a cooler with ice, and the next morning grabbed my mixer, bowls and spoons and headed to the track.
When I was ready to make ice cream, all I did was add the peach mixture to a mixing bowl, put on medium speed, and slowly add the liquid nitrogen in small amounts until I got the ice cream consistency I liked. If you ever try this, be prepared to draw a big crowd – as soon as you add the liquid nitrogen to the mixer, it starts to smoke and steam like crazy!
It was so funny – all my fellow riders thought I was this crazy leather-clad, Willy Wonka-type mad scientist. I was flooded with questions – “What is LN2?” “How do you make the base?” and “Where did you get that cool mixer??” Some people thought I brought the mixer to make pizza, which actually might be a good idea…maybe when the weather is cooler I’ll bring my BBQ and do just that. I’ll be sure to let you guys know how it goes if I do!
Once the ice cream was made, it lasted a total of about four minutes. I was swarmed!! Everyone loved the ice cream – I just wished I had of brought more ice cream base! Regardless, I think I’m definitely onto something here, and will continue the tradition of track-cream at the next track day I go to. After all, I can’t let my reputation as a leather-clad mad scientist go to waste!
What’s a tradition you’ve started or been a part of?