What is your favorite summer dessert? Some of you may answer watermelon while others will say it is ice cream. If your favorite summer dessert is ice cream you are with the majority.
This past weekend we had some swelteringly hot days. It was not fit for man nor beast. Now, here I am not complaining – just stating a fact. I know that I will be glad to recall these hot days once the cold weather hits. It is just too bad we cannot bottle the hot weather and use it later when we need it.
We had ice cream at least two of those days. I had purchased some apple turnovers and I served them with ice cream. We also had ice cream cones one day.
July is National Ice Cream Month. Probably more ice cream is eaten in the month of July than any other time during the year. Vanilla remains the favorite flavor. Personally, if I am eating soft-serve ice cream, I like the twist cones with some vanilla and some chocolate. When we make the bus trip to Erie, we like to stop for ice cream. I always order the twist cone.
When my grandson was born, I remember taking my granddaughter out for ice cream. What did she order? Of course, she wanted a twist cone.
I also like homemade ice cream. We used to use a big ice cream freezer that was run by electric. Now, I use the little machine that I bought second-hand at the Salvation Army. It makes just enough for the family. This one you churn by hand. When the grandchildren were small, I allowed them to each turn the paddle for a certain number of times until it was done. They counted the turns and traded to allow another child to turn for a while. The excitement was high while we were making the ice cream. That night it was homemade ice cream for dessert. We made a number of different flavors but vanilla was the favorite.
That little machine came in handy the year I had Jared’s name for Christmas gifts. When we had gone to New York City we stopped at Penn State for ice cream. He saw that they had eggnog ice cream. When he tried a sample, he decided that was the flavor he wanted. For Christmas, I made him eggnog ice cream for the homemade portion of his gift.
We also made ice cream by rolling a coffee can filled with salt to melt the ice to churn ice cream. That was fun, too. I taught the staff to make this type of ice cream. One year they made it at the fair with the children who came through the 4-H building.
As far as I am concerned, I think the mint chocolate chip is about the best flavor. If I go out to order a cone that is what I choose unless they have a cherry chocolate chip. I have gotten so that I enjoy that, too. I have never been fond of ice cream with nuts. My mother always ordered either maple walnut or butter pecan. I really like cinnamon as well, but not many places have that.
When I was feeding the haying crew everyone liked it when Ice cream was the dessert. After a hot day in the field, it was a treat to feel the cool smooth dessert. Usually, if I had ice cream, I also had cookies. When that was the case the meal was most likely a lighter one.
These days I am thinking about going to the fair. The Eisenhower band has an ice cream booth. They have the hard-dipped kind. When my children were in the band I used to work there. I usually was a day chairman who opened the booth, ran it all day, they mopped the floor on my way out. It was a long day, but I did not mind. I was young and could handle the pace.
For a pint of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream:
3/4 c. heavy cream
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. milk
Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and cream-colored. Add milk, cream, and vanilla. Mix well. May be refrigerated and used later or used immediately.
If you do not have an ice cream maker you can freeze the mixture, then remove it from the pan and beat it several times during the freezing portion. You can also use ½ and 1/2 to make this. Before beginning the freezing part add 1/4 tsp. mint extract and 1/4 c. semi-sweet mini-chocolate chips. You may also add a couple of drops of green food coloring.
If you want to make a quart of ice cream double this recipe.
I hope I have made your mouth water. Go get that ice cream cone or sundae. You know you want one. By the way, the farmers will have their booth offering soft-serve ice cream at the Warren County Fair. Stop by to enjoy a cone, a sundae, or a milkshake.
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.