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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ice Cream Heaven

by Cynthia Light Brown

It’s hot. And even here in normally comfortable Pittsburgh, it’s so humid that my brain can’t think in all this liquid. The gray matter is drowning. I can’t even imagine what it’s like in the middle of the continent. So I’m just putting up an activity from my Kitchen Chemistry book. Mmmm. Ice cream…


  • ¨ Measuring cups and spoons
  • ¨ 2, quart-size zippered plastic bags
  • ¨ 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¨ 1 ½ cups heavy cream, also called whipping cream
  • ¨ 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¨ 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ¨ 1 gallon-size zippered plastic bag (if possible, use a freezer bag)
  • ¨ 3 to 4 cups ice
  • ¨ thermometer (optional)
  • ¨ 1 cup rock salt, or table salt
  • ¨ cloth
  • ¨ sprinkles, fruit, nuts, chocolate sauce, whipped cream (optional)

  1. Pour the milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla into one of the smaller plastic bags and seal. Try not to leave too much air in the bag. Place the bag into the other small bag and seal.
  2. Place one cup of ice into the large bag. If you have a thermometer, take the temperature of the ice, then add ½ cup salt.
  3. Place the small bag in the large bag with the ice. Fill the large bag with the rest of the ice, add the rest of the salt, and seal.
  4. Cover the bag with a cloth to protect your hands from the cold. Gently shake the large bag from side to side for about 15 minutes or until the ice cream is solid.
  5. Open the large bag and if you have a thermometer, take the temperature of the ice/salt/water mixture. Did the temperature change? Wipe off the top of the small bag, open carefully, and…yum! Add any toppings you like. If the ice cream is too soft for your liking, you can put it in the freezer for a few minutes to harden. If you’d like, try this again without the salt. What happens?
Slurp, and enjoy!


  1. I used to own a little Donvier brand ice cream maker, but it required pre-freezing the metal liner (inconvenient for my undersized freezer, and not conducive to spur-of-the-moment treat-making).

    This "formula" is the perfect substitute! Thanks!

  2. YUM!! This sounds absolutely beautiful.


  3. We used to take these ingredients with us on camping trips with other families. It's a great activity to keep kids busy and everyone loved the end results. We would wrap wads of newspaper around the plastic bags and tape it into the shape of a ball -- the kids would toss it back and forth for 20 minutes or so to mix it up. Great fun, thanks for the memory jog!