I know many of you are really suffering under some intense summer heat. What you need is some ice cream! And if you make it at home, you can make some great memories with your kids, too.
I recall well visiting my father's family in Missouri each summer - where the humidity was intense for this California-raised girl - and making ice cream. All kids like ice cream, but eating ice cream we made ourselves? That was spectacular!
If you don't own an ice cream maker, I encourage you to purchase one. These days, a very decent one can be had for as little as $60 or so - and they make homemade ice cream a snap. Whip up cream, sugar, and flavorings, then pour them into the ice cream maker and let it do the churning. (There's no hand cranking like I had to do as a kid.) Then eat the ice cream "soft serve" style, or transfer the ice cream to a freezer container to harden. It's so much better than store bought and every step is simple enough even a toddler can help.
But you can also also make ice cream in a ziplock bag. Here's how:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup rock salt or coarse salt (table salt works okay, too, but the process will take longer)
2 Ziplock bags (one 1 pt. and one 1 gal. sized)
How to Do It:
1. Pour the sugar, half and half, and vanilla into the pint sized bag. Seal the bag securely.
2. Place enough ice in the gallon sized bag to fill it halfway. Place the salt in the bag.
3. Place the sealed pint sized bag inside the gallon bag. Seal the gallon bag securely.
4. Shake the bags until the ice cream hardens. This takes about 5 minutes and is a perfect job for kids.
5. Remove the pint sized bag from the gallon bag. You may now eat the ice cream, or add items like chopped fruit or broken up cookies to the ice cream before eating. It will be soft, so if you prefer it hardened, pop it in the freezer for a few hours before eating.