All Scream for Ice Cream!
Kids that don’t like ice cream — you’ll be hard pressed to find one of them! It’s just one of those desserts that kids all over the world seem to love, and nothing tastes quite like ice cream you make yourself. The best part of an ice-cream-making project is how flexible it is. The measurements don’t have to be bang on the button, and you have all kinds of options open to you ingredients wise. Then you can store it with all the icy treats in your chest freezer, ready to eat on the next scorching hot summer day!
Adding ice to salt lowers the temperature it freezes at, so you can freeze milk quickly and without any mess (of course, the kids will soon change all that when they get to work!). Any type of ice will do, but the coarser the salt, the better. Use kosher salt or coarse sea salt if you can. Failing that, table salt will also work.
You’ll need plastic zipper bags sized so that one fits easily inside the other with plenty of room for the salted ice. For example, use pint bags and gallon bags or snack bags and quart bags. You can also use coffee cans with lids as long as one fits inside the other without any problems.
Mix together milk or half-and-half, sugar and a bit of vanilla for basic ice cream. Place the liquid into the smaller container and seal it tightly. If you’re using plastic zipper bags, squeeze out all of the air. Then layer the bottom of the larger container with salt and ice. Use a double layer of plastic zipper bags to keep the ice and salt contained.
Place the bag of flavored liquid into the larger container and surround it with layers of ice and salt. Seal the larger container tightly and wrap it with a clean towel. Remember to make the kids wear gloves to stop their hands from getting cold as they massage the liquid, occasionally shaking the bags, until the liquid solidifies into ice cream. If you’re using coffee cans, the kids can roll them back and forth on beach towels to contain the condensation drips.
This should take no more than about 20 minutes. Stir the ice cream in your chest freezer for 10 minutes, if necessary, to help it set.
Flavors with Flare
You can’t beat the classics for great flavors! Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry are always fine (and tasty!) places to start, but don’t be afraid to experiment. You can mix almost anything edible into ice cream, from chopped almonds to crumbled zucchini bread. Mash a ripe avocado with honey or agave nectar for a surprisingly sweet treat, or add candied pepper bacon, or ribbons of salted caramel and chocolate syrup. Roasted garlic is mild, sweet and delicious when paired with candied almonds and dried cranberries, or add cream cheese and bits of Nova Scotia lox for more adventurous kids.
Better yet, let them come up with their own wild flavors! Who knows, you may just have a mini culinary master waiting to be discovered.
Macy Rhodes is a dessert lover and mom of four. For her, the banana split is the finest ever dessert ever invented.