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Tag Archive: Thornton Wilder

Jul 14

Ice cream happiness

“My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate. That’s my philosophy.” – Thornton Wilder

In the blistering heat of summer, there’s nothing wrong with me that a little homemade ice cream won’t fix, but that is not as easy as it sounds.

You see, last summer I inadvertently ran over our ice cream maker in our driveway.

I left the container there after making some homemade vanilla and forgot about it. Backed out of the garage in a hurried run to the grocery store, and whammo!

Holy smashed ice cream maker, Batman.

The only thing salvaged was the ice cream itself, certainly not my pride.

Fast forward to this summer when everyone in our household is beginning to hanker for homemade ice cream. There is one little problem, however. I neglected to mention to them the fact that we no longer have an ice cream maker.

Let us say I covered up the crime.

What to do?

Rather than go on a shopping expedition in the 100-degree heat of mid-afternoon, I decided to make homemade ice cream the quick and easy way using ingredients one already has in the house. Best of all, no ice cream maker is needed, just plastic bags.

It’s a crazy recipe, this ice cream in a bag.

The downside is that the recipe makes only small batches, one or two scoops at a time. I figured I could make some of several varieties, such as vanilla bean, peach, strawberry, chocolate, and something fun like pineapple or banana ice cream.

Serve two or three scoops of different flavors in a bowl, add some fresh fruit and voila, homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker.

Here are the simple steps to follow if you want to try ‘Ice Cream in a Bag’:

For each scoop, simply use one-half cup milk, 1-tablespoon sugar, and one-half teaspoon vanilla. Put into a quart-size, sealable plastic bag. Double bag it with another one so the first bag won’t break easily.

Put 4 cups of crushed or cubed ice and six tablespoons table or canning salt into a gallon-size sealable plastic bag. Add the sealed quart bag to the gallon bag with the ice and salt. Seal the gallon bag after getting rid of as much air as possible.

Wrap the bag in a towel and shake for 8 minutes. Remove the small bag, wipe off salt on the outside and scoop out the ice cream. Add fruit or syrup.

Who needs an ice cream maker anyway?

Sweet, delicious, creamy, and exceptionally cold ice cream in a bag. “Happiness condensed,” as writer Jessi Lane Adams says of ice cream.

If anyone gets suspicious and questions where the ice cream maker is, I will be too busy to answer. “I’ll have to get back to you on that,” I’ll say.

A writer named Uniek Swain came up with the perfect quip for this little pickle I’m in, and I’m using it:

“Unless your name ends in Baskin or Robbins, I really can’t fit you into my schedule right now.”

Reader’s note: if you love ice cream and want to see a funny video about it, then search on YouTube for “Ira and Barry in “City Slickers (1991) – The Challenge”. The sketch poses the question: what would be the perfect flavor of ice cream with this meal? Answer: Rum Raisin, of course.

Jul 09

We all scream for ice cream, in more ways than one

“We dare not trust our wit or making our house pleasant to our friends, so we buy ice cream.” –-Ralph Waldo Emerson, author, poet, philosopher

Serve ice cream if you want to have the perfect picnic, garden party, church social, craft day for kids, or any neighborhood barbecue or get-together. Your event will be a hit, and this luscious treat will send everyone home happy; it is guaranteed.

The upside: you will be considered the perfect host or hostess, a genius at event planning, because nothing soothes the soul and cools the palate quite like ice cream.

The downside: two of life’s worst ills may occur—brain freeze, and well, I probably should not mention the other in polite company.

Yes, one serious downside of ice cream consumption is indeed brain freeze, the dreaded painful nerve condition that is created by eating ice cream too fast.

Our grandmothers likely told us when we were kids to quit gulping it. “Slow down and savor ice cream,” they would say. “Eat it lovingly with purpose and care, or it will bite you back. It will make you scream!”

I can still hear the warning, which I never heeded, “Take small bites and move the ice cream around in your mouth with your tongue; keep it away from the roof of your mouth before you swallow it.”

That didn’t work when I was 8, and it does not work now.

Besides, most baby boomers cannot allow cold ice cream to linger in our chops more than a few seconds anyway due to an accumulation of crowns and root canals acquired over the years. I, for one, try to swallow even a particularly yummy flavor of ice cream quickly; otherwise, it will send shooting knives of pain through what is left of the nerves in my teeth.

I’d rather have brain freeze.

Eating ice cream fast is the best I can do no matter how much I would love to eat ice cream as tenderly and lovingly as it is meant to be eaten.

The second downside of eating ice cream that really should not be mentioned, as I said earlier but will anyway, is adult-onset lactose intolerance. This malady can turn the joy of eating sweet, innocent ice cream into a close encounter with a gastric-intestinal devil of another kind.

Case in point. Overhead in our household generally around 9 p.m on more than one lovely summer evening, and I won’t say by whom, “If I go to the Dairy Queen for a hot fudge sundae or raid the fridge for some ice cream, somebody stop me, hog tie me. I don’t care what you have to do, just stop me. My stomach will pay for it later. So don’t let me do it!”

Since eating ice cream is nothing short-of-heaven, not much can be done to stop someone when an ice cream craving takes hold. We acknowledge and assume that fact in our household, and therefore, any confection lover gets his or her own way, despite the gastric consequences.

As Thornton Wilder, author and humorist once quipped, “My advice to you is not to inquire why or whether, but just to enjoy your ice cream while it is on your plate –that’s my philosophy.”

Sort of an “eat-now-pay-later-but-it-is-worth-it” philosophy, I guess one would say.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Butter Pecan, Strawberry, Rocky Road anyone? Yum.