For Christmas 2011, my mother-in-law gave me a Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment for our mixer (http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KICA0WH-Cream-Maker-Attachment/dp/B0002IES80/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356897228&sr=8-1&keywords=kitchen+aid+ice+cream). It was something that I had asked for on a whim, never expecting to get one, but there it was, sitting there amid the pile of torn wrapping paper, staring at me.
This was actually my second ice cream maker. A while ago I had gotten one of the old bucket type ones, where you supply the ice and rock salt which freeze the ice cream. It even had an old-fashioned hand crank. The couple of times I tried making ice cream in it, however, neither turned out very good at all.
I had a vague desire to make unusual ice creams, but it wasn’t a burning need. So the new contraption sat in the box for a few months in the pantry. I would spot it every once in a while, feel guilty, and tell myself that I need to make some ice cream.
Around late spring, I bit the bullet and made my first batch. I scoured the internet looking for recipes, and finally decided on a lemon ice cream. Honesty, it was horrible. I like tart things, but this was too much even for me. It was icy, bitter, and just all around unpleasant. Not a great start.
My father’s birthday was a coming up soon, and I decided that I wanted to try again. This time fresh peach was on the menu. Here’s a tip for all of you would-be ice cream artisans…you have to churn it for more than five minutes, and it needs to actually freeze to be considered ice cream. On the plus side, this batch tasted pretty good, although it was more like a chilled soup than a tasty frozen treat.
Now a little bit about me, so you understand my position. I am not overly competitive. I like to win as much as the next guy, but it isn’t a driving force in my life. However, I hate being a failure at anything. I don’t have to be the best, but just not a failure, and there I was with two failed ice creams under my belt. I would have to keep trying.
A couple of weeks later, at the end of June, the temperature was climbing, and some of our best friends were having a Hawaiian themed birthday party. (They had just gotten back from the islands, and wanted to rub it in share the experience with everyone.) I decided to try to make a pineapple ice cream. Specifically, I wanted to make pineapple floats (a scoop of pineapple soft serve ice cream floating in glass of pineapple juice. Perfect on a hot summer night!)
This time, success!The ice cream was smooth, tangy, and just about perfect. It was the hit of the party, which is saying something, considering my lovely wife Tara (http://teaberrycreative.com/), who is a spectacular cook, had also made something almost equally tasty for the party.
Since then, I have made a different ice cream each month, for various occasions. Some have been more successful than others, but I have learned something from each batch. Tara and I decided that it would be a good thing to share the experiences, so that’s why I’m writing this now. I figure ice cream can fall under the “And More” portion of my blog’s tagline. So keep a look out for new experiments and recipes.