Burning Daylight: Vive La Ice Cream! (or, making ice cream with kids)
Isabel sent along the Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball for the kids and I to play with assuming this would give us at least a few hours of burnt daylight. She was right.
I love how the site is called ‘Ice Cream Revolution’ which is by definition accurate (2 a : a sudden, radical, or complete change) but brings to mind the storming of the Bastille or the Boston Tea Party. What do we want?! Ice Cream! When do we want it? In about 20 minutes after shaking this ball around! Not much of a battle cry but passion comes in many forms, many long winded forms.
We made the ice cream for 3 nights in a row, the first night we made cookies and cream. That was the night my husband had the audacity to insist our daughter and son play outside, alone, for 30 minutes before dinner.
Madison appears to be revisiting her toddlerhood and promptly transformed into Linda Blair all but spitting split pea soup at us for suggesting such a horrible thing. We’re working on obedience and consequences so our daughter was not able to make or eat ice cream with us that night after the 1,2,3 warnings didn’t work. Instead she spent that time practicing her two year old impression.
Next we made S’mores ice cream using the recipe with the addition of marshmallows, chocolate and crumbled graham crackers on top.
Finally we made a very tasty frozen yogurt, after lunch instead of after dinner and my kids thought I’d lost my mind.
Here is Madison channeling her inner teenager. Frankly I prefer this over the screaming toddler.
This is Max eating as fast as he can so I don’t change my mind.
We didn’t run into to many problems. The first night we used ice from our freezer which is in these ice molds. These square ice cubes are excellent for creating a cocktail revolution not so excellent for creating your very own ice cream revolution.
We had to hammer the ice cubes before putting them into the container and it takes a lot of ice so that we ran out before the process was done. For our second batch I bought a bag of ice from the liquor store and maybe some liquor but we’re not talking about that right now. Additionally I could not for the life of me find real ‘rock salt’ as the recipe calls for so we had to use coarse sea salt and later coarse kosher salt.
You can find recipes and directions on the revolutionary site, but the process is pretty simple. Fill the bottom chamber with a lot of ice and about 8 tablespoons of salt. Put a pint of half and half, one-third cup plus two tablespoons of sugar and one and a half teaspoons of vanilla in the other chamber. Shake it around for 15-20 minutes and the revolution has been carried out.
We used half and half for all our ice cream, even though Logan thought cream would be even better. I didn’t want to taste the creamier version for the same reason I never wanted to fly first class, once you know how good it is, everything else is sort of not as good. But the site says your ice cream will take less time to freeze and be creamier when using cream.
Our first batch did not come out wonderfully because of all the issues we had with the ice situation, though I suspect it was our daughter who ruined the ice cream with the power of her bitter anger (think: Carrie). It tasted good, excellent even, but didn’t yield a full batch of ice cream.
Our second batch was delicious and not as difficult to make once we had the correct size ice. The only thing I’d do differently is add the mix ins after the fact like they do at Cold Stone Creamery but without the annoying singing. Our chocolate pieces and marshmallows congregated at the top and bottom of the cylinder giving the first serving a pile of marshmallows and the last serving a heaping pile of chocolate, which isn’t a complaint if you got the last serving, but I wasn’t the last serving.
I read someone reviewing the Play and Freeze saying she felt like making the ice cream gave her at least a bit of a work out before her indulgence. I thought to myself, “Oh America! We’re so fat of course it feels like a workout but it can’t be.” But, it sort of is, in fact when the kids and I made the frozen yogurt ourselves my arms got a workout. They “helped’ but I’ll warn you, kids lose interest unless you come up with some way of making a game out of the shaking. We had ‘Football Freak’ my son’s alter ego who helped shake up our ball.
We also did some dancing and tossed the ball to the cat who was a very inefficient shaking helper.
Mostly the shaking task falls on the adults involved, which is pretty much like everything else in life. Just once I’d like to hear, “Mom, I’ve got the electric bill this month.” But it is not meant to be, not even in the Ice Cream Revolution. It’s good to have two adults around for the shaking process, especially one who’s pleasant for you to look at.
Still, it was fun for the kids to make ice cream and it’s something we’ll pull out from time to time, I’m thinking of a sleepover party my daughter is hosting in three weeks. Hopefully the energy expended making the ice cream will help balance out the seven 8-year-old guests from having a total sugar buzz.
I’m also giving it to a friend to take camping in a month or so. I would love to take it along while camping with my own family, only I don’t really want to at all. Camp or take it with me.
Total hours of daylight burned: 5-6 with potential for more!