MELT+one month

It has been a month.  A month of business, a month of learning, a month of little sleep, a month of swollen fingers and swollen wrists.  A month of hiring.  It has been a month filled with happy faces and delighted customers.  A month of scooping and teaching employees.  A month of trusting other people with this thing I worked so hard for.  A month of my friends dropping off meals for me.  A month of my husband helping out after work and on the weekends.  A month of making ice cream, testing ice cream and serving ice cream.POST 2

 

I have survived!!! Hip hip hooray!!! I am unbelievably thankful for the amazing community I live in.  Their support, my friends bringing me meals, and my dapper husband has gotten me through this crazy new adventure.  My friend Tina brought me egg rolls and I ate them all, for snacks, for dinner and for breakfast, she orchestrated this little group of gal pals to bring me food, like actual homemade food that goes in your belly, so I wouldn’t have to think about the grocery store and so my husband wouldn’t starve.  People, this is how awesome my community is, I love my people.  Not to mention I have some pretty cool customers and a pretty great team at MELT.  I also started drinking coffee black after all these years of cream and sugar (who has time for cream and sugar?)!   Cheers to a month of MELT!

We’ve been busy…

We have been crazy busy at the shop, like crazy no sleep busy.  So, I never got around to posting the blood, sweat and tears that went into bringing life into the little building we rent.  Here are a few pics of what we have done!  I have so much to say about the last few weeks of being in business, our grand opening, learning curves and the excitement of the ice cream world but it will have to wait.  I am off to make ice cream!

Before and After:pic one before after
before after 2

before4 Weve been busy...wide angleafter 3

And a big ol thanks to my pal Amanda Marie for most of these photos!

 

 

5 things I have learned

5 things I have learned:

Hello crazy journey of opening an ice cream shop.   I have learned more in the last three months than possibly my working career combined.   But here are five things I have learned as of lately:

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1)   Everyone loves ice cream.  I was shocked at the amount of support Melt has received and decided it has nothing to do with me but everything to do with ice cream.

2)   Most people want to see your dreams happen.  I have only had a handful of negative naysayers, whom I am choosing to ignore.

3)   Good architects are worth their weight in gold, seriously they are spilling with ideas, obstacles make them giddy with creative powers, serious magic folks.

4)   Patience.  You cannot change the amount of time some things take, this will give you patience even if it’s begrudgingly.  You may be tempted to cut off your arm or sell your most prized possessions to get a loan but patience works better.

5)   There is nothing wrong with asking lots of questions.  In the last few months I have talked to farmers all over the state of Texas, I have talked to manufacturers, distributors, health inspectors for the city, for the state and the owners of some large ice cream companies.  Not to mention I ask a lot of questions from local restaurant owners.  If you are nice to people they are willing to talk to you.  Keep searching and keep asking like your dreams depend on it.

Big Announcement

This year has been filled to the brim with self discovery, pushing limits, drudging through the unknown, and hashing out things that seem impossible, daunting, and borderline insane.  It’s been a year of trusting that God has a plan for my life, that he created me with this vast desire to do and accomplish more than one occupation or one dream. Stay with me, this is a long a post….

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To understand a little more of my journey I have to back up to last January when I decided to stop taking wedding clients officially.  I had a bazillion ideas swimming in my head and knew another business was on the horizon.  I just didn’t know what business. So I traveled to Austin and took Kelly Simant’s Simple Plan course for making a business plan so that I would be ready when the time came.  It felt like the pieces were all just lying on the floor, begging for me to make a decision for my next life step but I wasn’t quite sure what it was.  My journey continued with abstract painting classes and water color classes.  In March I headed back to Austin to gather with some of the most innovative and creative women I have ever met at a Crush event put on by Danielle Krysa, a shaker in the art world (watch out, she’s doing unreal things).  It was empowering to be around creative women all working towards their goals.  It pushed me to press on.  In the back of my mind I knew what I wanted to do but it seemed too hard, too impossible, and too expensive.

I consider my self extremely lucky to be married to a husband who stands beside me and encourages me to push boundaries, to hold my hand when things are hard, and who’s willing to listen to me talk endlessly.  He has been my rock.  He whispers words in my ear to spur me on, he talks me off a ledge, and listens to all my ideas without making me feel crazy.storyboard023 Big Announcement

The last few years when I wasn’t shooting portrait or wedding clients I was shooting editorials for local magazines and publications and I fell in love with the food industry thanks to Fort Worth Foodie and the friends I made with the chefs and writers on staff.  I fell in love with the process and the story of food.  I fell in love with the culture of food.  Where it came from and the passion of the hands creating the dishes.  I started reading cookbooks like novels and asking questions to local chefs any time I could.  I have a chef friend on speed dial who sometimes lets me follow her around at her job and ask a million questions. Still, culinary school didn’t seem to fit.  I knew food was deeply rooted in the DNA that makes me come alive and excited.  So I pressed on with intensity of finding the next step.ice cream cones

For years my husband and I have said our neighborhood needs ice cream. Our little hood is lacking cold, creamy, homemade ice cream on sweltering summer days and every good neighborhood needs a good ice cream shop.  So I decided on ice cream.  It fit.  It was an idea I couldn’t shake.  I could be creative in the kitchen, connect people to food and hopefully see lots of people smile. So I did my research.
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Last June I took a trip to Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Florida to taste ice cream, to meet ice cream makers, and to peer into the world of ice cream.  I met some amazing people along the way who shared bits of their story and I learned so much about the industry.  I decided the next step was to learn to make ice cream from scratch. Unfortunately I was turned down by every shop I wanted to learn from.  I asked people all over the country for an a apprenticeship and finally found a couple in Ohio willing to take me under their wing.  So in September I traveled to Cleveland, Ohio and learned from an incredible ice cream maker.  We made ice cream the old fashioned way over the stove.  We didn’t use prepared mixes or artificial flavorings.  We went to the farmer’s market and bought produce and roasted it and pureed it for flavor.  I came home and started writing recipes every other day.  My neighbors became my taste testers.  I started looking for a space to rent or a kitchen to work out of.  The vision started to come alive.storyboard022 Big AnnouncementAll the photos that I am in were taken by my friend Amanda Marie.

I never dreamed of having my own little corner in the South Side, it still feels so unreal and there are still so many details to work out but in 2014 I plan to open Melt Ice Creams, a craft ice cream shop in Fort Worth, Texas located at 954 W Rosedale Street!  I can not wait to share more about my journey and more about what Melt will offer.  I owe so much to the people who have helped me, pushed me, and encouraged me on this journey, thank you, I am deeply grateful.  A big special thank you to Robbie Werner of Stir Crazy Baked Goods for letting me ask her questions, for her honesty, and her constant excitement!  I am ecstatic to roll up my sleeves and bring you some amazing ice cream in 2014, so cheers to ice cream, raise a cone for the upcoming year!

Please join in the fun and follow Melt’s story on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/MeltIceCreams and instagram at: MeltFW

 

Today marks one year that we have been living in our little cottage in our neighborhood.  One year that our neighbors have become family.  One year that we have sewn roots into the ground of Fairmount and one year that we have called this home.  Mark and I moved to Fort Worth nearly four years ago and by happen stance fell into our little hood.  We rented a quaint, drafty bungalow for three years before deciding this was a more permanent stay.  When we started the hunt for a home we never dreamed we would find our perfect home or our dream home.  After we lost some heartbreaking contracts on homes, hauled all our possessions into storage, lived in our friends attic room and shared a bathroom with three kiddos for a few months, we thought the home buying experience might not be for us.  Then something astonishing happened, this home found us, quite literally.  At a neighborhood social a kind lady started chatting with me and offered to show us her home after hearing our story.  Her home was not on the market nor did anyone know she was even thinking about moving.  You could say the rest is history, because on November 5th, 2012 we had the keys to our first home.  For us, our cottage is perfect in every little way.

Last Saturday we hosted our first house show.  If you are not familiar, a house show is a private concert.  It brings back intimacy with music and close friends.  It weaves together an experience with songwriters and their captivated audience.  We hosted the raw and honest talent of our friend Jacob Furr and his sidekick for the evening Marian Brackney on violin.  We asked our guests to bring a fall inspired Italian food for a communal potluck and we prepared dessert for all.  Our table was bare until the droves of our friends started pouring through the door and then little by little the table started filling up.  There were pumpkin pastas with fried sage, pastas with kale and butternut squash, pastas with pumpkin sauce and spicy sausage,  prosciutto salads, crustinis with pickled asparagus,  cheese boards, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted squash, and steamy hot soups with curry and basil. There was a feast and we broke bread and drank wine with the sweet faces that lingered in our dining room, hovered in our kitchen, leaned on doorways, and sat around our farm table.  We refilled glasses with wine ‘and settled in for an evening of music under the twinkly lights.  The violin danced and the guitar whispered against Jacob’s voice.  He sang songs he had written inspired by Scout Finch, songs about sunrises and hill country, and we all held our breath as he sung a song written for his dear wife that he lost this summer, a friend who is missed every day in this neighborhood.  We will be forever grateful for his gift of sharing those intimate songs, letting us hear those words written from his heart and making that night so special.  The music was simply transporting, you can hear more of his work here.  In between sets we served dessert, a pumpkin panna cotta with brown sugar whipped cream and pecan biscotti!

I keep describing the night as magical, here is a look:

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Pumpkin Panna Cotta

When I am serving something with layers I want to balance out the sweet, so this is not an overly sweet panna cotta!

1 1/2 Cups Half & Half
2 1/2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
3/4 Cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 Package (1/4 Ounce) Gelatin
1/3 Cup Milk
Place the milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it, stir gently and leave for 5 minutes to soften.
Combine the half and half in a small saucepan with the syrup and pumpkin, and heat until the mixture just reaches the scalding point but does not boil, whisking often.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the pumpkin pie spice.
Whisk in the gelatin mixture until smooth.
Divide the mixture into glasses refrigerate until set (I do this over nite).

Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

3 tablespoons brown sugar (I rub this through my fingers to make sure there are no clumps)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.Place the sugar into the mixing bowl and add the whipping cream. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. When the panna cotta is set, add dollop of whipped cream atop.
I trusted Betty’s recipe for my biscotti and just replaced the hazelnuts with Texas pecans and served this in the panna cotta, it was a great compliment!  I made two batches and added chocolate chips to second batch for a tad more sweetness and because, well who doesn’t love chocolate?
  • Kari Crowe Seher is a photographer turned ice cream maker, passionate Ft Worth transplant, entrepreneur, and all around people lover!

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