Spring arrived early here in the South. Actually, some days already feel like summer. Temperatures are in the mid-80′s which means flip-flop season had begun. Or should I say sandal season? Either way it is toes out time. The warm weather also gave me a craving for ice cream. I want something to cool down after mowing the lawn or tending to the garden. A few spoonfuls of a frozen treat sure does the trick.
Ice cream has always meant summer to me. My parents would make it for dessert at our family summer dinners. My father, uncle, brother, and everyone would take turns churning it. It was one of the ice cream makers with a hand crank. I also remember my parents getting an electric model as soon as one was available. It was a whole lot easier only having to add ice and rock salt while sitting and watching it churn all by itself.
My first ice cream maker was one like my parents. It served me well for a long time but was later replaced. I now have one with a bowl you freeze. I keep it in the freezer all the time so it is ready to use whenever. It is awful handy. Plus it eliminates the possibility of getting salt water in your ice cream. Have you ever had that happen? I have and it was awful.
Vanilla bean ice cream is the first batch for this season. The caramel sauce in my fridge was begging to be put on something. It would also be fantastic with my apple dumplings. The recipe is a result of combining about four different ones and years of making ice cream. It has the right texture and does not become rock hard once it is stored in the freezer.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor? I would like your ideas and suggestions for new ones to make. The season has just begun and I am ready to fill it with all kinds of tasty ice cream.