I didn't buy the Redi-Whip to accompany my parkin. I don't think Whole Foods even had any pressurized whipped cream, but I didn't get around to looking, because the organic heavy cream was on sale, and goddammit, I am a cheap bastard and buy things that are on sale (wait till you see what I'm getting from Amazon tomorrow). I bought two pints.
The instructions for whipped cream didn't seem hard. Put the bowl and the whisk in the freezer, make sure the cream is chilled, and once you take the bowl out stick it in a bowl of ice water and add some sugar and vanilla. Whisk until soft peaks form. Can do.
Not trusting the generic ("Chef's Essentials") 10-parts-in-1 hand mixer/food processor/immersion blender thing I found on sale for $20 (yes, cheap bastard) four years ago that I haven't used since moving to Arizona three years ago, I decided some manual labor was in order. I was chatting with Stephen about it and he said making whipped cream by hand was possible but just involved some considerable "stamina and endurance". I'm tough! I just climbed an 18,143-ft mountain. Stamina and endurance! What's some wrist-flicking?
I got the whisk and bowl out of the freezer and plopped my bowl into the ice-water bowl. Half-teaspoon of vanilla, two tablespoons of powdered sugar, a cup of cream, and whisk away! And away. And away. Zanotti goes and takes a shower. He comes out ten minutes later and I'm still fucking whisking. I asked him if my cream would deflate if I stopped, because my wrist is killing me and I'm not dextrous enough to whisk with my left hand. He says it won't, so I go look for the 10-in-1 thing in the cabinet. I find it, but it's in some weird configuration, so I go back to hand whisking and get it to some foamy state (how it gets after it bubbles) but it doesn't seem to be progressing much beyond that. I'm mortified at this point that it's too warm, get more ice to put in the water, and contemplate how happy Jake and Ralph-dog are going to be to get a batch of fucked-up whipped cream to eat.
Zanotti, being Zanotti, goes and looks at my hand mixer contraption and somehow gets the balloon whisk attachment on. We plug it in and it actually spins when I push the button. I gleefully stick it in the semi-whipped cream, and find that the button is just a pulse button - I have to keep pressing it to make the thing keep going. I see there's another button on the bottom, and I get excited there's a perma-mode, so I press it.
The goddamn whisk falls into the whipped cream.
The top part is untainted so I put it back in, and somehow not realizing what I just did, I do it again and Zanotti makes fun of me at this point so I realize I am doing something pretty stupid, and go back to holding down the medium-speed button, which cramps my hand, but after a few minutes the whipped cream is holding up enough so that the whole bowl turns by itself because it is floating in the other bowl (ghetto mixer! I have to try that with actual batter sometime), and I get enough willpower to keep holding the damn button down because it's resembling something like whipped cream. I keep at it a little longer and it magically becomes actual whipped cream, which I promptly slather on my cake and eat. It's good. I put the rest in a container in the fridge for tomorrow. I still have leftover cake, but I might just eat it out of the bowl. Ssssh.