A quick way to get the kids out of the house in the summer, is to give them money for the ice cream truck. Sure, this might keep them busy for awhile, but how do you occupy them longer? You let them make it for themselves.
Making homemade ice cream serves two purposes – it’s a fun, yet an educational activity, and the kids get to eat their finished product. Don’t have an ice cream maker? Not to worry, you need only a couple zip-top bags, rock salt and the ice cream liquid. To prepare the liquid, mix 1 cup of whole milk (you must use whole milk as skim won’t work) with ½ cup sugar (or more to taste), and a splash of vanilla. Like chocolate ice cream? You can make the liquid with chocolate milk, or add cocoa powder to the mixture. Pour it into a quart-sized zip-top bag, squeeze out the air and seal. In a gallon-sized zip-top bag, place four cups of ice topped with 4 tablespoons rock salt. Insert the milk bag into the ice mixture, press the air out and seal. Fold the first gallon-sized bag over and place inside a second gallon-sized zip-top bag. Have your kids grab the outside of the bag by the sides (not by the top) and shake vigorously for approximately three minutes, or until the milk hardens. Make certain to wipe the top of the milk bag off before opening to prevent salt from falling into the ice cream. Once it’s ready, give the kids a spoon and let them enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Ice cream can be prepped ahead of time to have on hand for later. Scoop softened ice cream into a muffin tin, and add your favorite toppings (cookies, sprinkles, nuts, etc). Freeze inside the muffin tin, then store in a zip-top bag in the freezer. This will speed up the process when you’re serving dessert, in addition to giving you more options. Like ice cream sandwiches? Place one of your muffin-shaped ice creams in between two cookies and enjoy! You can also throw them on top of brownies, cobbler, pie, you name it.
Another idea is to buy a premade pound cake. Slice it in half, and place it on plastic wrap. Spread your favorite flavor of softened ice cream atop one side and top it with the other half. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. Once firm, take it out and cover with frosting. You’ll be met with rounds of applause when you serve this up. Happy cooking!
By Tiffany Hughes contributing writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.