In the Karenpie household, we’re serious about our homemade ice cream. There’s a certain way you make it and the perfect recipe to use. We don’t just slap something together, freeze it and call it ice cream.
Because we are experts - connoisseurs if you will - and there’s no fooling us.
Now sit back, I feel a story coming on.
When Duane was growing up he had 2 uncles that were dairy farmers, Uncle Dean and Uncle Jerry. There are no longer any working dairy farms in the family, but back when they were milking? And they had an ever ready supply of fresh cream and whole milk? Oh boy did the family know how to make ice cream.
Whenever there was a family event, out would come the ice cream freezers. The aunts would assign the flavors - vanilla, chocolate and strawberry - and each family would bring a freezer full of ice cream to the party.
Doesn't that sound fun? I'm going to cultivate friends who have ice cream makers and plan a ginormous party! We'll all bring a different flavor and there will be brownies and cookies - in case you want to make a sundae or an ice cream sandwich. There will be caramel, chocolate and butterscotch syrups. And there will be sprinkles! Lots and lots of sprinkles.
Sprinkles make people happy. I'm pretty sure most of the world's problems could be solved with sprinkles which leads me to another tangent . . . how come I haven't been appointed the ambassador to somewhere? I think I've made my political savvy and skill pretty evident in this post alone.
Back to the story of making homemade ice cream.
Now these were not the easy, electric, no-sweat-inducing ice cream freezers we have now. We’re talkin’ hand cranking, baby. There would be a kid cranking and a kid sitting on top of the freezer to keep it in place. If little arms got tired, they either switched arms or called for help. The ice cream was done when it was too hard to crank anymore. Once Duane hit Junior High (that's 1970's code for "middle school") the family had purchased an electric freezer and his days of turning that dasher by hand were over.
So I hope you can understand, with this kind of history in the family, that our homemade ice cream is nothing to tinker with.
During both of the boys’ 4th-grade years when they were studying science, they came home with this recipe and both times I blew it off. It looked intriguing but I wasn’t ever in the mood for such a tiny amount of homemade ice cream.
I usually prefer the bucket-o’-ice cream size.
Nevertheless, it was always there in the back of my mind and one beautiful night this summer I decided to give it a try. Plus, I was all for the kids working for their after-dinner treat. Hey - aerobics AND dessert - what a winning combo! Of course that only works when you’re 8 or 10 or 12. I wouldn’t put up with that nonsense now.
Want to see how to do it? We’ve got a holiday weekend coming up and it’s a perfect activity for the kids - any size kid!
Here we go . . . .
For each serving you’ll need:
½ c. milk or half-&-half
1 T. sugar
½ t. vanilla
4 c. ice cubes
¼ c. rock salt
2 sandwich-size ziplock bags
1 gallon-size ziplock bag
If you decide to take pictures of the process, you may also need a goofball kid in the background. If you’re low on those, call me. I have extra.
Pour the milk or half-& half, sugar and vanilla into one of the sandwich-size ziplocks. Since we were making 4 servings, I used a muffin tin to hold the baggies. If you own a jumbo muffin tin, use that. The regular size tin I have worked but wasn’t quite big enough.
Here, our experts are adding vanilla. When you’re finished making the mixture, seal it up and carefully try to squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible.
Put this bag into the 2nd sandwich-size ziplock and seal it up.
Then, take the entire operation outside. This part gets a little messy!
Put the 4 c. of ice and 1/4 c. rock salt in the gallon-size ziplock.
Add your double-bagged ice cream mixture and seal it up.
And now it's time for aerobics. Put on Jane Fonda, dig out some lycra and leg warmers and go for it. For five minutes the bags must be shaken, squeezed, massaged and agitated. Hands will get very, very cold - you may want to pull out some mittens for this part.
Your budding ice cream makers may want to dance with their bags. Or do cheerleading routines.
They may decide to kick a soccer ball around . . .
Or do some soccer drills. Whatever you do, just keep shaking your bootie, er . . . the bag.
When the ice cream stiffens up, pull the small bag out of the larger bag. Quickly remove the inside bag holding the ice cream, being careful not to get salty water on it.
I wasn’t smart enough to double bag the mixture when we did this so we had to rinse off the bags outside. This made it melt a bit.
Please note the one child up there, operating the hose, who is wearing his socks in the puddle of salty water. Because my laundry pile is so trivial and small he was actually doing me a favor by adding to it.
Dump the ice cream into a bowl or you can eat right out of the bag and save yourself some dirty dishes!
Add some toppings and suddenly . . . . it’s quiet in the house. No sound but the clinking of spoons against the bowl.
This ice cream doesn’t get hard - it’s more of a really thick milkshake consistency. Which is also delish!
I think using chocolate milk might work, too. You know the chocolate milk they sell at Costco? The kind that’s part cream and has a bazillion grams of fat per serving? That would be perfect. This would also be a fun activity for a kid’s birthday party.
So, let the ice cream-making begin! And have a fabulous Labor Day weekend!