It’s National Ice Cream day, and it’s certainly fitting for those in warmer climates as it’s the perfect way to cool down on a hot day. But I like it year-round. It wasn’t always that way. Not to date myself, but when I was a kid, summer gatherings – especially Memorial Day, July Fourth, my birthday in August, or when out-of-town relatives visited – all meant one thing. Lots of fun, laughter and playing games while we waited hours for the ice cream to finish. As a child, it seemed like an ordeal. I was much to impatient. But my grandparents, and especially my father and uncles, relished the opportunity to churn up the most incredible tasting ice cream I’d ever had.
A Simpler Time
My family, especially my grandparents, were of modest means. So ice cream was a real treat, but it wasn’t something you bought in the store. The hours it took to create were part of the fun. From going to buy a huge block of ice, which then had to be chipped into fragments small enough to pack around the ice-cream freezer, to buying rock salt which melted the ice and hastened the freezing process.
Everyone Chipped In
The earliest recollections involved churning by-hand. And we all took turns as it was too long a process for one person to finish alone. The freezer sat inside a wooden tub and was topped with a device that included a handle to crank for hours. Not to mention it needed to set after it was churned. Having churned their own butter earlier in their lives, my grandparents thought nothing of it. But for me and my cousins, the wait was torture. But we did enjoy taking our turn at the churn. When they finally went electric, it just wasn’t the same. And I realized, it was more about the time spent on the adventure – buying ice, rock salt, and the conversations and laughter that took place around the churn – that’s what it was really about. Ah, hindsight…
So, we celebrate National Ice Cream day and the memories it brings, not only of cool, delicious flavor, but the memories of those with whom we’ve shared. Here are some favorite recipes featuring ice cream as the main event or an enhancer!
Here’s a quick summertime dessert that can be done ahead and takes little time to assemble; in fact, you can let your guests put their own combinations together! Recipe here.
Dinner is over and it’s time for dessert! In his perfect Mardi Gras Meal series, Chef Ace Champion presents a New Orlean’s Style Bananas Foster topped with a creamy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Recipe here.
Imagine warm Café du Monde-style beignets topped with a mountain of delicate powdered sugar and rich French roast coffee, right in your own home. Now imagine those wonderful flavors paired together in a delicious ice cream sandwich! Recipe here.
Join Carolyn Scott-Hamilton in her Global Kitchen while she makes dairy-free, sugar-free and guilt-free ice cream. With a base of sweet frozen bananas coupled with fresh blueberries and natural vanilla bean flavor, this homemade vegan ice cream is a great dessert alternative and tastes amazing. Recipe here.
There is nothing like homemade ice cream, and perhaps the only thing that can make it better is serving homemade cookies with it! Recipe here.
From Ashley Pettit, this recipe will spice up your dessert offerings with a homemade cinnamon toast ice cream that is safe for those who are lactose intolerant by substituting coconut milk. Recipe here.
The chefs at Rattan Direct are getting back to basics with three variations on this American treat, made with strawberry, banana, and mint chocolate chip. Recipes here.
Even better than you remembered from your childhood, this gourmet malted milkshake adds the rich flavor of specialty dark chocolate and crushed malted milk balls to vanilla bean ice cream for the ultimate malted! Recipe here.
Happy National Ice Cream Day!