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Culinary skills, lessons come to Colonial Beach
Tides Inn Market brings culinary delights to Colonial Beach, and a chance to learn to make your own

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Date published: 8/29/2010


Caitlin Davis' opinion of most store-bought ice cream is short and to the point: "Xanthan gum, preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers, ugh!"

"It's hard to find ice cream that is made from just cream, sugar and eggs. Making your own ice cream is now about the only way to get it natural. It's easy to make your own, especially with so many inexpensive ice cream makers on the market," she said.

Just how easy was the subject of Davis' most recent class at her Tides Inn Market in Colonial Beach.

By the time it was over, Davis' seven students had made ice cream in plastic bags, simmered classic French custard on butane burners and sampled batches flavored with vanilla, chocolate, strawberries, mangoes, mint, basil, balsamic vinegar, ginger, cinnamon and coffee.

"Ice cream can be made of just about anything. I've even made it with corn, bacon and crab meat. It was delicious!" said Davis, 26, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

After graduation she tried the corporate food world, but didn't like the taste. Last year she became sort of a gourmet missionary in a town of pizzas and deep-fat fryers when she opened her little shop of delights in an old garage on Washington Avenue.

Davis and her mother, Meghan, blend their own herbal teas and make practically everything else themselves. The cooler is full of their entrees ready to heat and serve at home, and sandwiches and salads to eat at tables beneath a wisteria arbor.

The market "is now the first place I stop in Colonial Beach," said Adora Lee, an international health consultant from Washington with a weekend place in town.

An old farm table sits on the concrete floor. During the day it is laden with Davis' pastries, cakes, cookies and breads. Some nights the table becomes a groaning board for private dinners limited to the six or seven people who can sit at it.

"We just ate and ate and ate," Amy Porfiri of Fairfax said of the four-course dinner in April to celebrate her 20th wedding anniversary.

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