Homemade Ice Cream - A Fourth of July tradition

Friday, July 1, 2016
When I was little I hated the Fourth of July. I dreaded it. Couldn’t wait until July 5 rolled around.  The Fourth of July included a lot of things that weren’t really my style when I was little – loud noises, danger, social settings with wild children, and hot dogs.  I was an only child who enjoyed safe settings and alone time. Firecrackers being set off by loud, mischievous children were not my thing. I plugged my ears, refused to go to the neighborhood block parties, and had nightmares about our house being caught on fire by a rogue bottle rocket. I was a real party animal on the Fourth of July.

My parents accepted this oddity about me and usually let me stay inside to watch the Boston Pops concert on TV. My dad was usually still busy with wheat harvest during the Fourth of July, so it never was a big holiday in our family anyway.

Perhaps Independence Day’s only saving grace for me was when my mother would go to the basement shelf and pull down the homemade ice cream maker. Nothing beats the taste of homemade ice cream – nothing!

Today you can purchase an ice cream maker that whips up homemade ice cream in an hour or so, but back in the day (read: early nineties) ours required patience - mouth-watering patience. We’d load it up with the half & half, heavy whipping cream, sugar and milk and then pile ice on top of it while it churned. As the ice would melt we would sprinkle salt over it to keep it as cold as possible (less time to wait to dig in!). All morning and afternoon, the whine of the ice cream maker sitting in the sink would resonate throughout the house as we went through the process of adding more ice and more salt each hour. I’d check in periodically to see if the creamy mixture had turned into soft, ripples of ice cream yet. It never seemed to be ready quite quick enough. 

But when it was ready, it was so worth waiting for.  Homemade vanilla ice cream is just such a treat. It melts in your mouth and is so cool and creamy. If I have to have any fond Fourth of July memories, I’d say homemade ice cream tops firecrackers any day. God Bless America. 


Delicious, creamy homemade ice cream...is there anything better?

I now have a super efficient Cuisinart ice cream maker that can whip up a batch of homemade ice cream in about 20 minutes. This is my favorite vanilla ice cream recipe to use with it - it's simple and so good. Let me know if you have homemade ice cream for the Fourth, too!
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 1/8 cups granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1 ½ Tablespoons pure vanilla extract

In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine milk and sugar until sugar dissolves. Stir in heavy cream and vanilla extract. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and turn on machine. Let the mixture thicken until it has a soft, creamy texture. (About 20 – 30 minutes depending on your ice cream maker)

Ice cream can be stored in airtight plastic containers in freezer. Remove from freezer about 10 – 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Cuisinart

2 comments on "Homemade Ice Cream - A Fourth of July tradition "
  1. Still have the ice cream maker and plan to retrieve from the basement for Fouth of a July ice cream. I'll make ice cream and the familiar whine will bring back happy memories. Happy 4th!!

  2. July 2, 2016 came so quickly.


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