My week has been uneventful so far as going places and doing things! They have been working on my kitchen, and, as I may have said in another column, the ice storm caused a hot water pipe in my attic to burst and I had a lot of damage, mostly to my kitchen, but some other damage also, including the small bathroom at the back of the house. The entire ceiling had to be torn out and damaged walls replaced. And, in the kitchen, the ceiling and insulation all had to go, the cabinets didn’t have to be totally torn out, for which I am truly thankful. The ceiling and insulation have been replaced and now the cabinets have been sanded and the painter is working away, and it is looking very nice.
They have been working here for the past three weeks and I know when it is all over, I will be happy to have a “new” kitchen, but getting there is the pits. My “pantry” for the past three or four weeks has been my dining room table…handy, yes, but I’m at the point where the clutter is beginning to bother me. However, as I told my daughter, I am beginning to see a tiny flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.
There was so much damage to so many homes in our area that you just basically found someone who would tackle such a small (to them) job and got your name on a list. I was lucky to find someone, and agreed to allow him to work me into his schedule, because by putting up with a little inconvenience, I was able to get it done now and if I would have waited, it could have been well into fall before they got to me.
Monday, June 21st was officially the first day of summer! With the heat we have been having this whole month, it has seemed like summer the entire time. 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, maybe it is 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, but we all love it. When the grandchildren were small, Papaw was always ready to give them a bowl of ice cream or take them to the DQ for a banana split, even for lunch, if he was keeping them!
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)!
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.
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
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
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 or as an activity at VBS. 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.