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Making our own ice cream

Our family can be a little bit different so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that our favourite time of year to make homemade ice cream is January/February when the weather is the coldest. Over the years we have found that our machine makes the very best, creamiest of creamy ice cream when it is at least -30 C and we can leave the freezer compartment outside overnight to get a really good chill on it.

We were starting to think the weather would be too warm this year but thankfully we had a cold snap. Doubly exciting was that we had young children to help with the project, which always makes things like ice cream making more fun.

Our machine, a Donviers, ( requires no ice or salt, and we’ve found better results when the mixture has been chilled for at least 12 hours before pouring it into the freezer canister. Since it has been a few years since my children were four and five, I asked our young visitors if they would like to make ice cream the night before they would be able to eat it. These children are used to going to the store and getting a treat so waiting a whole day for it was hard. It certainly took us all back a few years when we were mixing the ice-cream mixture and the children were getting extremely excited. When they found out they had to wait all the way till suppertime the next evening to be able to make the ice cream, then finally eat it, they weren’t sure they would be able to wait that long, but we assured them it would be worth the wait.

A visit to the farm is busy though for young folks. It snowed so we were able to clear snow and play in it. Then we recruited the extra workforce to spread straw in the soon-to-be maternity pen for the goats. That gave our youngest, Keith, lots more exercise than he had planned on. The children decided the best way to spread straw was for them to be lifted onto the round bale, lying on its side, and try log rolling. Then after Keith forked a pile of the moving bale for them, they would jump off and run through it. Their methods were unconventional but eventually we got the straw spread, then it was time for chores again.

Since we grow a lot of our own food they were also able to help find ingredients that we needed for our ice cream. It is always an eye-opening experience for a child to go in the henhouse and find a nice warm, freshly laid egg. All the while the promise of ice cream kept them fuelled on.

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

2 eggs

2/3 c. sugar

1-3/4 c. whole milk

2 c. cream

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. chocolate chips

Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and cream coloured. Add milk, cream and vanilla. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours before making it. Add chocolate chips when mixture is slushy. To make ice cream follow manufacturers instructions for your particular ice-cream machine.

The final product met rave reviews and will be a permanent part of these little guys’ visits to the farm. Apparently this was the very best ice cream they have ever had, which made us very happy too. We were only too happy to oblige them in learning more about how good food can be when it is fresh! †

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