1 tablespoon neutral-tasting oil, such as grapeseed
1 tablespoon vodka
Combine 1/4 cup of the milk and the cornstarch until smooth and set aside.
In a large saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream along with the sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Add the chopped bay leaves, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes, then remove mixture from heat, cover, and steep for 30 minutes.
Return mixture to a boil, add the corn starch slurry (stir it first to get it smooth again), and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and discard bay leaves.
Pour 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into a small bowl with the cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth, then whisk this into the rest of the milk mixture. Cover mixture and chill completely.
To make the roasted plum sauce, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss plums with oil and sugar in a baking dish and roast until juices are running and the plums are very soft, about 25 minutes.
When cool enough to handle safely, puree the plums in a blender or food processor with the vodka, then strain through a fine mesh. Discard solids, cover and chill.
When both mixtures are completely chilled, churn ice cream according to manufacturer instructions, then alternate layers of ice cream and plum sauce in a storage container before freezing. Makes a quart.
"Dionysus was the god of the most blessed ecstasy and the most enraptured love. But he was also the persecuted god, the suffering and dying god, and all whom he loved, all who attended him, had to share his tragic fate."
From “Dionysus: Myth and Cult,” by Walter F. Otto.
James Basire, egyptian & greek script of the Rosetta Stone, 1810. Engraving. Society of Antiquaries of London. Via NYPL
The Rosetta stone is dated 196 BC, made in Memphis, Egypt. The stone was brought to England in 1802 during the Napoleonic Wars and has since then been on display in the British Museum. It shows three scripts with the same text: the code of the hieroglyphs could be cracked in 1822.