Originally Published in the Greenwood Daily Journal Saturday July 14, 2012
You would think that since I write about food and am a lover of all things food that I am an adventurous eater. Don’t get me wrong, I will try new things. I mean, I ate a fritatta just a few weeks ago. It was made with eggs. I hate eggs!
No, what I mean is that I like things a certain way. I like my cookies to be soft, my soups to be from scratch, my noodles firm and my ice cream free from chunks. I don’t think this is too bad of a list. I like to call them preferences.
Since July is National Ice Cream Month and it is after all, summer, I want to share one of the easiest recipes for ice cream that I have and a fun way I like to serve it to my kids. Normally, I do not have ice cream in the house unless my mother has been here. She generally comes bearing ice cream, magazines and K-Cups for my Keurig. Without fail she is always toting a sweet. She can’t let my kids go home without giving them something whether homemade brownies or cookies from an Amish bakery.
So when we do have ice cream, I like to make it. Preferences, not the need to control. Who doesn’t like to make ice cream? It is easy, you know what is in it and in the summer you can load it with fresh ingredients that cost a fraction of what they do in the winter and taste better too.
Many memories were made growing up that involve ice cream. The ice cream man, those ice cream cups with the wooden spoons at school on Friday’s, making ice cream at church on late summer Sunday nights. I think we all have them, that’s for sure.
A hot summer’s day fading into the evening. A churn on the porch being cranked in it’s bed of crushed ice and rock salt. The delight when it was finally time to scoop the thick, creamy frozen vanilla custard off of the paddle just as it was done. Making it the ‘Old Fashioned Way’ is a memory most of us have stored away but may not feel like getting all of that together to make ice cream now. I have a counter-top ice cream maker with 2 containers so I can make it one way for me, another way for my kids. All of this can be done in 30 minutes plus freezing time.
Lovers of this frozen treat fall into 3 categories, at least they do in my house. Those that will eat anything, so long as it looks like ice cream, those that have to load theirs with toppings, nuts, candies and sprinkles, and those that prefer one good scoop. I fall in the latter category. I prefer one good scoop of a high quality dark chocolate ice cream or vanilla with homemade hot fudge. Maybe if I am being wild I will get mint chocolate chip.
As a child I had local favorites that are woven into my summer experiences like The Chocolate Moose and Jiffy Treat in Bloomington. I still love those places, they are still open and I have now passed these experiences down to my kids.
But now that I am older and my palette has changed I prefer a small amount packed with real flavor. I can eat less and feel satisfied. My new local favorite is Pinocchio’s on 135 near Stein Mart in Greenwood. I resisted going there when it first opened because they sold Gelatto, a weakness of mine. But we caved in and since May I have had a constant craving for their Double Dark Chocolate gelatto. Oh my, if you are a lover of all things chocolate than this is for you. I get the Kiddie scoop which is more than generous.
But seeing my kids enjoy ice cream they way I did as a child is special for me. They don’t over indulge. They definitely have their favorites and a few times a week will want just a bit after dinner. It’s summer, they are running around and sweating it all off so I feel OK about the occasional indulgences. You can’t say no to everything. Plus, I have taken to making them little ice cream cups to serve it in and that really controls how much they get.
So next time you are itching to have ice cream and if you have the ability to make your own, try your hand at making this basic vanilla recipe. You can even add a handful of mini chocolate chips at the end for a bit of fun. Even a cup of your favorite chopped candy bar. The sky is the limit.
This week I tried out a few new toppings I had been given by Best Boy & Co. This Indiana Artisan makes gourmet sauces and toppings that are more tailored to an adult palette. I tried Balsamic Hot Fudge and Bourbon Barrel Caramel. I would eat both by the spoon they are that good and it was made all the more sweet when I found out they donate their profits to charities like Doctors Without Borders. It went nicely with my cinnamon sugar ice cream cups and homemade vanilla ice cream.
Ditch the drive-thru ice cream cones and over priced cartons from the store. Try something new and make a few memories in the process. Indulge your sweet tooth and delight your friends and family with stories about how when you were younger you had to crank the ice cream , by hand. In the snow, walking up hill.
Basic Vanilla Ice Cream
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/8 cups granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
Ice Cream Bowl