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Who doesn’t like frozen sweet treats? And, today there are so many flavors to pick from that we could eat ice cream every day. There’s no less than six days celebrating ice cream in June.
On a few Saturdays, which was always baking day at my house, my mom would hand me a quart jar with a dollar bill in it and ask me to bike over to the Schlittenhard farm. It was the closest farm to the east end of Gackle. I would exchange the jar for one filled with freshly-separated cream.
That cream was for caramel rolls or kuchen most of the time because ice cream was a very special treat at our house. We didn’t have our own cow so we ate something called Ice Milk. Yep, it was less expensive than store-bought ice cream and had less calories.
According to Wikopedia, Ice milk is a frozen dessert with less than 10 percent milk fat and the same sweetener content as ice cream. Ice milk is sometimes priced lower than ice cream.
However, in 1994 a change in United States Food and Drug Administration rules allowed ice milk to be labeled as low-fat ice cream in the United States. And of course, the price for low-fat anything is slightly higher than the real deal these days. It’s all in a name.
Again, there’s nothing better than real ice cream; which is so easy to make. The ingredients are simply cream, milk, sugar and flavoring. I love vanilla the best especially when made with real vanilla beans.
If you like really rich ice cream there are several recipes made with egg yolks. The color is creamy yellow and the flavor is very rich. This ice cream is cooked like a pudding, and then chilled before freezing it in the ice cream freezer. The other stuff can simply be mixed, chilled and then put in the ice cream freezer.
For those of you who feel they cannot justify a 5-quart ice cream machine, or find rock salt, or just don’t want to bother sharing your creamy concoctions; you can invest in a small $50 Cuisinart. The inside container is kept in the freezer until it is needed and it makes about 1 quart of homemade ice cream. They don’t take up much space and are well worth it if your family loves ice cream.
In my experimenting with the flavors in the handy recipe book that comes with the unit, I have also developed some of my own. At Christmas I make Egg Nog Ice Cream and in July, cinnamon ice cream has become my favorite.
If you don’t like exotic flavors, You can add just about anything to the cream mixture you have around the house like snicker bars or peanut butter cups chopped in pieces. Some of the recipes that I have tried are S’mores, peanut butter, rhubarb and chokecherry ice cream.
My old standby is vanilla made with the bean. That’s because you can easily add nuts, chocolate, caramel, etc. etc. etc. to plain old vanilla and you can change your mind about flavors on a whim.
Besides vanilla bean vanilla there are several other ways to make a great vanilla ice cream.
There’s French Vanilla, Vanilla and New York Vanillas out there. I did a little research to see what the differences were and I found a couple of vintage ice cream recipes.
In these two recipes I found from 1907 for French Vanilla and New York Vanilla, the French Vanilla has cream and egg yolks in abundance. The New York Vanilla has half milk and half cream and fewer whole eggs for a little less rich ice cream.
So, if you love ice cream, I would recommend you give it a try. Oh, and if you are fortunate to score some real cream, you know the kind that comes from real cows with no added ingredients, my Aunt Laverna and Uncle Clifton suggest adding a tablespoon of brandy to your ice cream recipe to minimize the raw “cream” taste. Oh so they say.
Italian Ice Cream (1907 Recipe)
French Ice Cream (1907 Recipe)
New York Ice Cream (1907 Recipe)
If you only want a quart, here’s a recipe for rhubarb ice cream since rhubarb is abundant. If you have strawberries you can also make topping for rhubarb ice cream and then wow, enjoy.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.