Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Scream, You Scream For Home Made Ice Cream

Yesterday, we celebrated our country's independence from England, better known as The Fourth of July.  Hooray for freedom from repression, freedom to be who we are and do what we choose.  We are blessed beyond measure to live in this great country of ours.  How did you celebrate?  This is what we did.

We had family and friends coming for dinner so I started in the kitchen at a very early, or late, hour to prepare for the festivities.  I put a brisket in the oven at 11:30 pm the night before the fourth and cooked it at 200 degrees for 8 hours.  I put a lovely spicy rub on it, wrapped it in foil, put it in the oven and went to bed.  I made a fabulous spicy barbecue sauce to go over the brisket and that was just the beginning.  (I will post the recipes later.)

Early the next morning, I mixed up the ice cream to put in the electric freezer.  It's best to make it early in the day, freeze it and let it sit before eating.    I mean, what is the Fourth without watermelon and ice cream because it is usually quite hot and humid by this time of year and everyone looks forward to refreshing, cool treats after lots and lots of food.

Our menu was barbecued brisket, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs with all the "fixins" (even bacon), fresh green beans cooked with vidalia onions, bacon and potatoes, home made macaroni and cheese, romaine lettuce boats with heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette,  sliced cucumbers and onions in oil and vinegar, a huge fresh fruit platter with watermelon, pineapple, grapes and strawberries, home made pickled beets, peach cobbler and home made vanilla ice cream.   Yes, we had plenty to eat and we were stuffed.

The ice cream and cobbler were quite a hit.  Comments were "You could sell this and make a fortune.  People would pay to eat this,"  and "Best home made ice cream I ever had.  Usually it's full of ice crystals.  This is so smooth and creamy."  So, I think it was a hit.  Here is the recipe:


1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tsps vanilla

bags of crushed ice (I used 2.5)
1 box ice cream salt

We have an electric ice cream freezer that makes 6 quarts of ice cream.  I TRIPLE this recipe and it makes the container about two thirds of the way full.

So, I put 3 cups whole milk, 1.5 cups granulated sugar, 6 cups heavy whipping cream and 6 tsps vanilla in the metal freezing container.  Stir with a long handled spoon until all the sugar dissolves.  Put the dasher in the freezing container, put the lid on.  Set this in the bucket and put the electric motor on top.  Fill the bucket with ice and ice cream salt by layers.  I fill about 1/4 of the bucket with crushed ice and cover heavily with ice cream salt.  Repeat until you get to the lid.  (The salt is very important because it thaws the ice allowing it to get colder and freeze the ice cream harder.)  Plug in the motor and it will start to turn.  Keep adding ice and salt as it decreases until the motor stops.  Unplug immediately.  Take the motor off, add ice just to the rim of the lid and another layer of salt.  We then set the bucket in a cooler to catch any water run off from the bucket (it has a hole to drain the salty water and you don't want it to get over the top of the container as it might run in the hole at the top and contaminate the ice cream).  I cover the bucket with several thick towels to keep it insulated.  Letting it sit "ripens" the ice cream and lets it get good and hard.  The ice cream sat for about 8 hours before we opened it up to eat.

After spending the rest of the day in the kitchen preparing everything for the celebration, I certainly looked forward to enjoying the peach cobbler with a big dollop of ice cream on top.  Needless to say, I think it was a hit!  As a matter of fact, there was a little left over so we put it in a quart container and had it after a "left over" dinner tonight with, of course, cobbler.  Double delicious because I didn't have to cook tonight!

There are so many warm days left in the summer.  Enjoy a special treat with friends and family when you get the chance.  Ice cream is a very special treat, especially when it's made with love.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Food prepared with love is twice as good!

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