Summer time? Hmmmm!

Father’s Day was a beautiful day; in fact the whole weekend was beautiful. One of my neighbors passed away, so I attended the funeral on Saturday and helped out with the meal a little bit. We were at the little church out in the country, so there was air conditioning in the church, but not in the pavilion where the food was served, however, the wind was blowing and with all the doors open, it wasn’t too bad.
That evening, I had been invited to a friends’ home for dinner. She goes all out when she has one of these little parties. This time, her theme was peacocks and she had purchased a metal peacock that stood about two feet tall, for her centerpiece and then she decorated around it, using fabric, artificial flowers and the ‘eye’ portion of peacock feathers in small vases. It was really pretty. It is pretty much ‘pot luck’ and the menu was salads, so, we had about six or seven different salads. I took pea salad and broccoli salad and everyone enjoyed it.
Sunday, my sister invited me to her home to have Father’s Day with her family. There were eight of us comfortable seated around her dining table, and as always the food was fantastic, with both roast and ham on the menu, and, yes, I took my leftover salad. I came home with a couple of cups of the pea salad and about a half cup of the broccoli salad and I am totally happy. We also had Chocolate Sheet Cake and homemade peach pie…totally delicious!
Friday, June 21st will officially be the first day of summer! With the heat we have been having this whole month, it has seemed like summer all along. It is also the longest day of the year. If you will look at an almanac or one of the calendars that has the time of sunrise and sunset, you will notice that several seconds drop off of each day. The first day of winter, usually December 21st, is the shortest day of the year, and just when the children think it is time for Christmas, the days start getting longer, even though it is only by seconds!
Now that it’s officially summer, is it maybe time to start thinking about homemade ice cream? Everyone knows the old saying, “You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream”! My whole family loves ice cream. Some of us try not to eat too much due to weight problems.
Americans love ice cream and according to the information I have found, we lead the world in ice cream consumption, with each American averaging over 23.2 quarts of ice cream and other frozen treats annually.
Ice cream made its first appearance in America during the early 1700s and when the ice cream cone was invented in 1896 by Italo Marchiony, who sold ice cream from a cart on the streets of New York. (I thought it was invented at the World’s Fair, in the early 1900s). In those early years, before refrigeration, ice cream and frozen novelties were mainly treats for the privileged and wealthy because ice was rare and valuable and difficult to acquire.
Today 98 percent of all U.S. households purchase ice cream.
The five most popular ice cream flavors are vanilla, chocolate, butter pecan, strawberry and Neapolitan. (Note – J. – Neapolitan is for people who can’t make up their minds if they want vanilla, chocolate or strawberry)!
More ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week.
It takes an average of 50 licks to polish off a single-scoop ice cream cone.
There are over 1 billion Popsicles eaten in the U.S. every year. Orange, cherry and grape are the most popular flavors.
When ice cream is on your shopping list, visit that isle last. Either have the store double bag your ice cream to keep it cold, or purchase one of the bags near the frozen food section and place the ice cream or treats in this bag. I have several of these bags and keep them in the car at all times, and have used them not only to keep food cold on the way home from the store, but also to keep food cold or frozen on my way to Devine. (These bags will also keep food hot, if you need to carry heated casseroles or something of that type from your home to another location. However, I line mine with a folded terry cloth cup towel so as not to damage the bag).
Once you get the ice cream home, store it in the main part of the freezer, not on the door, where it will be subjected to more fluctuating temperatures.
A favorite ice cream treat to enjoy: the old-fashioned Root Beer Float.
Root Beer Float
1½ cups vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
1½ cups cold root beer
Put two scoops of ice cream in a tall fountain glass and pour in enough cold root beer to cover. Add two more scoops and top again with root beer. Serve with a spoon and straw.
Do you remember the days of going to A&W drive in on Nogalitos St. in San Antonio, and having root beer floats served in frosted mugs? How about the Black Cow on Broadway near Pearl Brewery? Their root beer float was called “Black Cow”, and was also served in a frosted mug. Weren’t those days fun? You can make a Big Read Float this same way, using red soda in place of the root beer! It is delicious.
Big Red Ice Cream
4 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can (large) evaporated milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 small box (cook type) vanilla pudding mix
1 bottle (2-liter) Big Red soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Mix together eggs, condensed milk and evaporated milk. Stir in sugar and pudding mix and mix well. Add Big Red soda and stir just until mixed. Pour into freezer container and churn until frozen.
Cooked custard Ice Cream
2 cups sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
4 cups milk
4 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla
4 cups light cream (half and half or evaporated milk)
Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in top of double boiler. Gradually add milk, stirring occasionally until thick, about 12 to 15 minutes. While this is cooking, beat the eggs until thick. Gradually stir about ½ cup of the hot mixture into the eggs, then stir eggs into milk mixture; continue cooking, stirring constantly, 4 to 5 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla and cream and pour into freezer can. Freeze according to directions with your ice cream maker.
The following recipe is a sure fire hit with the kiddos. It does take some adult supervision but is a real fun thing and would work well at a birthday party. They’ll make their own ice cream and then have the fun of eating it!
Tin Can Ice Cream
1 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chopped fresh fruit if desired
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into a 1-pound coffee can with a tight fitting plastic lid. Put lid on can and seal with masking tape or duct tape. Set this can inside a 3-pound coffee can with a lid. Pack larger can with crushed ice and ¾ cup rock salt around smaller can. Place lid on large can, seal well with tape, just as you did the small can, and roll back and forth on a table or cement slab for 10 minutes. (It can be rolled back and forth between several children, so each one gets to help).
Open outer can and remove inner can. Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture, scraping the sides of the can. Replace the lid, reseal the can, drain off excel liquid from the larger can and replace small can. Repack with ice and salt and roll back and forth 5 to 10 more minutes. Makes 3 cups ice cream.
Happy summertime! Hope you enjoy these recipes.