Monday, January 24, 2011

Hokey pokey, penny a lump

Ice cream vendors, most of them Italian immigrants, would travel up and down the street shouting ecco un poco! or O che poco!; meaning "here is a little".  The phrase meant that the ice cream was cheap not that you would only get a little.   These purveyors of frozen delights got the nick name Hokey Pokey Men . . .  a corruption of the Italian ecco un poco

Even though Italy claims to be the birthplace of ice cream, it became so synonomous with American culture that Mussolini banned the sale of it in his country.  The dictator was said to call his country-men "mediocre race of good-for-nothings only capable of singing and eating ice cream."  It’s no wonder the Italians were not motivated to fight for the man.


Ice cream was utilized during World War II as a special treat to boost the morale of American service men.  In fact, the Navy commissioned a concrete barge that its sole purpose was to produce ice cream.  This million dollar “floating ice cream parlor" was capable of producing ten gallons of ice cream every seven seconds. That’s nearly 1,500 gallons every hour!

After the war was over two veterans, one of which actually worked on the Navy’s ice cream barge, opened a franchise of ice cream stores.   You may recognize the name of this little chain of shops . . . Baskin Robbins!

How cool is that??


Play and Freeze Mega Ice Cream Maker,Quart,Red

In a previous post I demonstrated how to make sherbet (or ice cream) using nothing more than two zip top freezer bags.  For this recipe I am demonstrating using an ice cream ball . . . formally known as the Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker.

My husband and I love to camp.  We tent camp but we don’t rough it, by any means.  We got our ice cream ball to use on camping trips.  I remember a particular hot and steamy campout where the ice cream on a sweltering hot day was a life saver.  It was pretty darn awesome to be eating camp pie ala  mode!

With the unique Play & Freeze™ Ice Cream Maker, you can make ice cream anywhere! You don’t need electricity, just add ice and rock salt in one end and ice cream mix in the other end–then have a ball as you shake it, pass it or roll it! The ice cream mix can be as simple as cream, sugar and vanilla. Try flavors from our recipe list included or make up your own. Made of durable materials, it’s lightweight, portable and easy to clean. It’s ideal for Camping, Boating, Picnics, Parties, Travel...anywhere!

Mint Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

4 Cups ½ And ½ Milk
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract
1 Cup Chopped Dark Chocolate Bar

In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until the sugar has dissolved.

Fill the ice end with as much ice as possible, then add 1/2 cup of rock salt.  (MEGA: Add 3/4 cup of rock salt). The lid should be hand tightened - do not use the wrench!

Pour your ice cream mixture into the end with the metal cylinder, leaving about an inch for expansion at the top. Hand tighten the lid.

Have a ball! Shake, roll and pass it around as you mix and freeze the ingredients. Its not necessary to shake the ball...just motion will do it!       

After about 10 minutes (15 for the MEGA ball) open the ice cream end using the included plastic wrench.  Scrape the sides of the cylinder to mix up the ice cream using a plastic or wooden spoon (don’t use a metal spoon as it will scratch the cylinder). Then check the ice end. Pour out the excess water and add more ice and up to 1/3 cup more rock salt to enhance the freezing ability. Close the lids securely and continue having a ball for approximately 5–10 more minutes. (15 for MEGA)

You now have about a pint (or quart for the MEGA ball) of delicious soft-serve ice cream. The consistency will vary based on the ice, your mix, the outside temperature, shaking frequency, etc. Once the ice cream is to the consistency of your liking, gently scoop it out and Enjoy!

Or . . . pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

After about 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate chips. After the ice cream has thickened, about 30 minutes later, spoon into a container, and freeze for 2 hours.

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