Friday, April 16, 2010

The Ice Cream Failure

I don't think it's fair that I only write about my domestic pursuits that go well. So, in an effort at transparency and an attempt to learn from my mistakes, I want to share about my latest culinary mis-adventure.

Several years ago I decided that an ice cream freezer was an essential component missing in my life. I purchased one rather cheaply at wal-mart along with some mix and gave home-made ice cream a shot. It went decently well, although I knew my technique could stand to be improved.

Fast forward to now - As we were packing up the food-stuffs that we wanted to bring to the lake, I grabbed a leftover pack of ice cream mix and put an extra gallon of milk on the grocery list. We decided our second evening would be the perfect chance to make ice cream. So we got out everything, mixed the powdered mix and milk, and put the whole contraption in the sink to do its thing while we finished preparing dinner. The joy of the electric freezers is that they will simply shut themselves off when they are finished doing what they need to do. Well, it had been a while since I made homemade ice cream and I forgot exactly how long it took, but I was thinking about 45 minutes.

The one thing I did remember was that, as the ice around the metal canister melts, you have to add more so that everything will keep freezing. Well, about 20 minutes in (what we figured was about halfway), Jeff added some more ice. Almost as soon as he did this, the motor quit running. Well, this was not at all what we were expecting. We took it out and looked at it but it was still soupy. We stirred it up to make sure nothing was stuck anywhere inside and didn't find anything. We checked the motor without hooking it up to anything and it spun like a top so we knew it still worked. Something was just not right.

We stuck the "ice cream" into the freezer and ate our dinner, hoping it would harden a little bit and still be edible since it was pretty well mixed by this point. Still no luck. After about an hour of letting it chill, Jeff decided to make himself a mug since it was more like a milkshake than ice cream. I decided to pass. Before bed he had gotten sick. I don't know if it was the sinus/allergy stuff he had been battling or the ice cream, but whatever it was, it wasn't pretty.

My only guess is that something is wrong with the freezer (which is possible) and/or the mix was old. I have a few recipes for homemade ice cream that I may try just to test the freezer theory. I still have to check the final packet of mix for an expiration date and see if that had anything to do with it.

One of these days I would like to get the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid. Hopefully that will solve all my ice cream troubles once and for all!

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