Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
I made ice cream this morning so we could have it after dinner tonight. I’ve made it before, and I like it. It’s tasty, of course, but also easy. We cheat and use an electric ice cream machine (instead of a hand crank, though you can use that as well). The thing is loud, though.
I measured out the cream and milk, then the sugar. The only other ingredient: vanilla. I poured out one teaspoon of vanilla extract. It stood there, pungent-smelling, black in the teaspoon measure. Then I dumped it into the bowl.
I whisked it together—the sugar made a scraping, grating sound against the bottom. It had all settled, and resisted the trembling wire whisk. Then I set the ice cream bowl in its base, plugged it in, and poured in the soon-to-be ice cream. The sugar was in a thick sludgy layer at the bottom of the bowl and had to be scraped at with a spatula. I put in the dasher, covered the top, turned the ice cream maker on, and set the oven timer for 20 minutes, when I would check on it.
Then, since I’m a homeschooled 11-year-old, I went into the other room to do my algebra homework.
Mommy homeschools me, in a nutshell, because, as she says, “I’ve seen the Village…and I don’t want it raising my children.” We don’t live like many typical American families. I garden, keep worms, and bake bread, and Mommy is teaching me how to cook. I’ve taken care of chickens and hope to get some myself soon. Mommy knits, and we’ve joined a CSA this fall. We’re trying to live as simply as possible, reduce our energy footprint, know where our food comes from and who produced it, and make our own household staples (like ice cream).
Do you eat ice cream on a regular basis? (It’s all right…don’t be ashamed.) Well then! Would you like to eat good ice cream? After all, you might as well.
Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream (we get our milk products from a local grass-fed dairy)
1 cup whole milk
¾ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or the seeds of half a vanilla bean)
Stir all ingredients together, then follow the directions your ice cream maker gives for making ice cream.
You can also make ice cream without a machine, though to do so you have to halve the recipe. Mix the ingredients, pour them into a quart-sized freezer bag, and seal it tightly. Fill a gallon freezer bag with ice and salt, and put the smaller bag inside. Seal that tightly. Then toss it around with a friend for 20 to 25 minutes. Voila! Instant ice cream.