Monday, June 29, 2015

The Dessert Factory

Take one six-quart Rival electric ice cream maker. Add two grandkids who are staying at your house for the week. Then, mix up a few choice ingredients to pack with layers of rock salt and crushed ice. If you follow this procedure carefully on the first night of the kids' visit, you will have your dessert menu planned for the week, and you will have happy kids that look something like this:

From the mixing to the packing, Sooby and Pooh completed all the steps of the ice-cream manufacturing themselves. They combined three 8-ounce packets of Rival Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream Mix, six cups of whole milk, six cups of Half & Half, and two generous tablespoons of vanilla. For the kids, the mix is easiest because it requires no egg-cracking or cooking, and trust me when I say that flavor and texture are in no way compromised.


Once the mix is prepared, move the metal canister to the plastic bucket and secure the motorized top piece. One side of a double sink is perfect for this as long as you are within an appliance cord's length from an electrical outlet. That way, you can use the other half of the sink for the bag of crushed ice and your rock salt.

Show the kids how to pack the freezer in layers of salt and ice. Use the opportunity, if you wish, to discuss the freezing and melting processes and explain how the freezer works. Once it is packed, plug it in and begin the approximately twenty-minute-long freezing process. Coach the kids to add salt and ice as needed until the thickened ice cream halts the motor.

Tell the kids they can "lick the dasher" as a preview, but cork the canister as soon as possible and set it in your freezer to harden overnight. The next night you can have the first of any desired litany of ice cream treats, all made with your special homemade ice cream.

During the course of the week we had root beer floats, hot fudge sundaes, banana splits, and a side of ice cream with a preview cupcake in honor of Sooby's fast-approaching eighth birthday.

This was the kids' first time to make homemade ice cream all by themselves. They loved both the process and the results. For me, it was nice to have dessert already prepared each night. Some nights, we saved the treat until right before bedtime.

There is nothing that says "summer" like a freezer of rich, creamy ice cream. I would be willing to bet that homemade ice cream becomes a Googie Camp staple. Next year, we may try a new flavor (strawberry was suggested), add some new toppings, and experiment with the fine art of malt- and shake-making.

I didn't tell the kids, but I saved just enough ice cream for Pa-pa and me to have a small dish apiece tonight. This way, the flavor of a great summer visit can last just a little bit longer.

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