Adventurer of Ice Cream, Part 1

I'm making, er, I was making basil ice cream based on this recipe from Epicurious.

I put the bottom pieces of the blender pitcher together in the wrong order. As I lifted the pitcher to pour the custard back into the pan, the bottom of the pitcher fell away and sent my blend of exotic smelling milk, sugar, chopped basil, and egg yolk all over the counter and the floor. All over.

It green-gushed everywhere: my glasses, the dish towel drawer, the cat and in coated the cabbage I started working on for supper.

Since R* is on Long Island for the day managing a friend's moving sale, I decided to dedicate today entirely to researching and making ice cream (and trying to get Sears to fix the dishwasher). I'm trying to create my entry for The Best Lick ice cream recipe contest at Apartment Therapy Kitchen.

My plan was that I would make three kinds of ice cream today. I would try existing recipes for a custard-based basil ice cream and then a Philadelphia-style berry ice cream. Then, based on learning from those tests, I would start developing my own recipe building on what I discover in my testing.

After steeping the basil in warm milk, the recipe says to use the blender to chop the basil leaves into very small pieces. Then, the recipes says to use a hand blender to mix the rgg yolks and then incorporate them all together. Since the blender was already dirty from step one, I thought the blender could be used for the rest of the steps, keeping the hand mixer out of things all together. I wonder if the Epicurious recipe recommends using the blender for only one step and the moving on to the mixer is because blenders, especially the cheap-o kind I have that I really only meant to use for margaritas, are unstable.

So far I've learned:
[] I didn't know how to put the blender together correctly. It frustrates me from time to time, but I now admire the genius of how the Cusinart only works when each piece is lined up properly.
[] As soon as I got back from the farmer's market with my blueberries and lemon basil, I wrapped a blueberry in a basil leaf and bit. The taste was not encouraging. Too bitter, too vegetal. After that mess of flavors cleared though, there was a bright clean lemon basil taste with an almost cinnamon-like blueberry taste. These are the flavors that I need to fight out of my ingredients as I cook.
[] I'm wondering if I should add lemon zest to exaggerate the flavor of the lemon basil. I'm trying not too -- I think it would be exciting to get a perfume of lemon without using any. A little trick. One problem with that is that people who don't have access to lemon basil will not be able to make the recipe as I'm testing it.
[] I tasted blueberries at four different farmer's market stands this morning. The mouth feel, size and taste of the berries varied much more than I expected.
[] The smell of the lemon basil in the milk is amazing, reminding of the perfect lemon panna cotta J and I had at Dona last week. Since my spill, the whole apartment has that sunny lemon smell.
[] The color though, I'm not so sure. At first glance, I thought it was a beautiful pale pea color. Once it was all over my counters, it looked like bile or a McDonald's shamrock shake that was abandoned in the back seat of the car.

Bail out the dishwasher. It's not a barrel of fun.

After going years without a dishwasher, I immediately fell for this Bosch dishwasher (Stainless Steel Bosch Appliances 24 in. Built-In Dishwasher with SENSOTRONIC™ Wash, Model SHX46A05UC). It cost much more than I had budgeted, but I figured I could find a less expensive fridge (who needs a post-grocery shopping quick chill mode anyway?) and spring for it. I lovedthe Bosch's minimal look with all the controls tucked inside the door and its ability to manage plates and wine glasses on both racks, perfect for parties.

Whenthe dishwasher was installed, R* and I had a running joke about not being able to tell if it was on our not, that's how quiet it ran. And all my dishes, even bowls with dried chocolate frosting stuck to the sides and a Pyrex meatloaf pan, came out perfectly clean.

Until about a month ago, I only had one quibble with the dishwasher: At the end of the cycle it beeps and beeps. If you don't come running to shut it off, it keeps blaring like an alarm clock with a snooze bar gone wild. I learned to babysit the beeping and then found out that some models flash a red beam of light on the floor, rather than giving an audio alert. If you're dishwasher shopping, look for that feature.

Now I have two much bigger concerns. I bought this dishwasher from Sears late last summer for almost $1,000 and had it installed in November. After less than eight months of light use, it isn't draining or drying the dishes and there is a crack in the plastic surrounding the on/off switch. Water can seep through this crack into the digital control panel.

Sears repair center (1-800-4-MY-HOME) has been difficult to deal with on this repair project. Since I work during the week, I need them to come on weekends. They, of course, are booked 3-4 weeks out for weekend service and the Long Island-based repair people don't like coming to Brooklyn. Last time, we stayed at home a whole sunny Saturday and when repair guy showed up at 6 p.m., said he had to order parts and would be back in about three weeks.

Finally, tomorrow's the day. I called Sears tonight to confirm. Mrs. Palmer in Texas, a supervisor at Sears customer service who appreciates "one more chance to get this right", told me that I'm the first stop on the repair team's run. I'll let you know what happens.

"Tub won't drain" says one reviewer who also had a bad experience with this Sears "lemon." Does anyone else have a problem with this or another Bosch dishwasher? I thought I did my homework before I bought this appliance, so I'm so disappointed.