I have memories of making homemade ice cream, with my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings all outdoors while the bucket churned away on the back deck.
My parents have memories of hand cranking a similar bucket.
My children, on the other hand, have memories of stopping at the store and choosing a variety of flavors.
That is, until recent years, when I got inspired to buy an ice cream maker and try my hand at making â€˜the real thing.â€™ I figured I knew how to cookâ€”surely I could give this a whirl.
Problem is, the first few attempts were less than stellar. I remembered the ice cream coming straight out of the container, hard as a rock and as yummy as only sweets in the summer sun can be. Mine, on the other hand, came out a little too softâ€”even though our bucket sits in the kitchen sink and isn’t even exposed to the outdoor heat.
And, it tasted, well, like someone was trying to copy Baskin & Robbins without knowing all the right ingredients.
So, the ice cream maker was relegated to a far corner of the storage room and forgotten. Until our Test Kitchens decided to do an ice cream series, and recruited all kinds of ice cream makers to use in trying out the recipes. I dug out my bucket and donated it to the cause . . . and enjoyed the literal fruits of the test when we all sampled this version of Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream.
The chefs returned my ice cream maker, complete with directions on how to use it. Imagine thatâ€”directions! Who knew where the original booklet had gone, unread. But here I had a sheet with step-by-step instructions. Hmmm.
And then, to top it off, our friends decided to have a party featuring homemade ice cream.
â€˜You can bring some,â€™ the hostess asked, â€˜can’t you?â€™ The inference was clearâ€”you know how to cook; you can make the ice cream. Others were given assignments such as brownies or sandwiches. But, no, I got ice cream.
So I tried again. This time, I followed the directions, both for the recipes I chose, as well as for how to use the ice cream maker. And, amazingly, I made ice cream.
Click for the recipe for Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, adapted from a version at Allrecipes.com.
So, if you’ve relegated your ice cream maker to storage, dig it out, try again, and before you know it you’ll be making memories.
Just follow the directions.