Friday, August 8, 2008

Screaming for Ice Cream: Summertime Creativity Tastes so Good

from the August edition of Wonderwise:

Screaming for Ice Cream: Summertime Creativity Tastes so Good

It’s that lovely time of year again, and the heat is on. What better way to cool down and give your kids a creative boost than with a few yummy frozen treats? Fortunately, there are lots of ways for children to get creative when ice cream is the medium. Here are a few ideas to get you going on your frozen adventures:

Ice Cream in a Can
There’s nothing quite like homemade ice cream. Crafting a batch of your own can really get your kids rolling in creative fun. To get started, you will need two clean metal cans (one smaller than the other) with lids. To the smaller can, add one cup of milk (and milk will do: coconut, whipping cream, or try soy creamer for a real treat), sugar (to taste- I prefer mine less sweet) and one tablespoon of vanilla. Place the smaller can inside the larger one and surround with ice and rock salt. Make sure the lids to your cans are sealed tightly and roll the can back and forth on the ground for about a half an hour. This is also a great time to get some pre-eating energy out and play “kick the can”. Pure yummy fun!

Ice Cream in a Bag
Don’t have the half hour it takes for the canned version of homemade ice cream? Try shaking up some summertime delight with ice cream-in-a-bag, which only takes about five minutes. Similar to making it in a can, you will need two plastic sealable bags (one pint sized and one gallon sized). In the small bag, put one cup of milk or half & half, two tablespoon of sugar, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla. Seal the bag tightly. Fill the larger bag half full of ice and add 6-7 tablespoons of rock salt. Place the smaller bag inside the larger one and seal carefully. Shake until the mixture becomes ice cream, about five minutes.

Juicer-style Ice Cream
Looking for an ice cream made from whole foods? Run your frozen fruits through your juicer to make a wonderfully healthy ice cream your kids will scream for. Frozen bananas make an incredible soft serve treat; you won’t believe it is only banana. We especially like using frozen mango pieces for a tropical sorbet. Top with some freshly picked berries and a spring of fresh mint, and ooh-la-la!

Sandwiches Your Way
Once you have your ice cream made, the possibilities open up for some more creation fun. Use your favorite pre- or homemade cookies to serve up some ice cream sandwiches. Our favorite way to make ice cream sandwiches is to make a pan of thin gingerbread. After baking, cut into squares or use cookie cutters to give your sandwiches even more personality. If you have large batches of cookies and ice cream, stock your freezer with sandwiches to last the rest of the summer.

Ice Cream Social Forays
Step back in time to the simple pleasures of a hot, summer afternoon. You and your children can have a great time, learn a lot, and make all your friends and neighbors very happy by creating your very own neighborhood ice cream truck.
Load up a wagon, wheel barrel, cart, or whatever you can find with your frozen yummy treats. Include ice cream, frozen banana slices (we dip ours in chocolate!), homemade popsicles (made from different fruit juices and poured into an ice tray or other small shape with a stick), and fruit smoothies. Don't forgot a cooler, ice, a sign with your options and prices, a box for collecting money that includes change, a towel, cups, bowls, cones, spoons, napkins and other necessities. Offer music as you travel through the neighborhood, letting everyone know the ice cream truck is in business!

Scoop up the last bit of summer with some treats that will have everybody smiling. You’ll be dripping with enough sticky creativity to last you through even the hottest days. Enjoy!

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