Or, "I can't believe what you people are charging for this, ice-cream-selling restaurants!" I've been wanting to try a do-it-yourself, single-serving, kid-friendly ice cream project for a couple of weeks now, because it has been SOOOO hot outside, and besides, Bella loves to do things ALL BY HERSELF. Wanna try it? SO easy. We used half & half, but you could use anything from soy milk to skim milk to full cream. Ditto flavorings. We had some Heath chips, so went with that, and tomorrow we'll probably try some crushed pineapple. Next I'd predict pistachio, peach, blueberry, strawberry, Dutch chocolate...really, you just toss whatever you want into the bag before you start freezing it. It's incredibly personal. So, here's your extremely simple pictorial:
Gather your ingredients. For one serving of ice cream, you need 1/2 cup half & half, 1 Tablespoon of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, plus any "extras" you might desire. To freeze it, you need one qart-size baggie, one gallon-size baggie, about a half-bag of ice, and a couple handfuls of rock-salt. Also essential to the operation is one enthusiastic child.
Dump ice and rock salt in larger bag.
Combine ice cream ingredients in smaller bag.
Drop smaller bag into larger bag, and give enthusiastic child the go-ahead to start burning all that energy she's been driving you crazy with all day. The bag can be shaken, turned over repeatedly, rolled on the counter, whatever, as long as it's moving.
The longer the ice cream is agitated, the harder it sets up. So if you have a preschooler freezing the ice cream she's going to be eating HERSELF, it's probably not going to be frozen rock-hard. After less than 5 minutes of shaking the bag, Bella's ice cream was exactly the consistency of every bowl of homemade ice cream I ever had as a child--soft, but well-frozen. Now nothing's left but to get it out of the bag and into a bowl (I just snipped a lower corner off the bag and squoze out the frozen goodness like I was piping frosting)...and, of course, the all-important taste-test. This batch was pronounced "just right" by the only critic that mattered.