I ask Santa for an ice cream maker every year—and every year, I don’t get an ice cream maker.
(And may I ask why not, Mr. Klaus? I’m [mostly] good!)
Of course, I could just buy one; but I know myself too well. After opening the package, I would feel guilty and wonder if I should, instead, have bought stock in Disney or gotten my grays colored or saved for the next child’s round of braces.
Such is the way of things for an indecisive person, and the reason why I need someone—like Santa Klaus—to emphatically give me the ice cream maker.
Because hazy, balmy summer days demand ice cream. Even pseudo summer days—the kind that start and end on a brisk note, with smoky, dry afternoons—occasion ice cream.
Not the cheap, square-shaped kind; for the ultimate ice cream experience, one must be willing to spend a small fortune on the tiniest pint of premium ice cream or gelato. Which should be stored in the most obscure corner of the freezer, behind a barricade of frozen veggies, lest it be discovered and devoured by someone other than yourself.
Soon after (nearly) relinquishing any home-made ice cream hopes and dreams, I noticed something on the internet. People were making ice cream without ice cream makers, using a method denoted as “no-churn.”
It was a happy discovery, especially when it was apparent that the recipe for the base is almost unbearably simple: heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk. The end.
Unless you would like to add a flavor—which is highly recommended.
Therein lies the beauty of homemade ice cream, especially one this simple. The sweetened condensed milk ensures an authentic creamy texture, leaving the rest up to creative muse. With the investment of so little time (a minute to whip up and an afternoon in the freezer) and the commitment of so few ingredients, why not try anything and everything you’ve ever wondered might be an inspirational ice cream component?
For me, inspiration was all about making summer linger with fragrant garden scents and flavors.
Yes, I know Fall is standing on a chair in the corner, waving its hands and hollering.
What about apples and pumpkins and squash, oh my?
Well. I do love all those things, too—and I can’t wait to make my kitchen warm and autumnal again.
But there are a few weeks of summer yet; the air is warm, with a gentle, cooling undertone. The garden is still a place for lingering and for seeking solace beneath a shade tree. For slowly savoring fresh-scented ice cream while observing the frenzy of the bees as they, too, try to capture all they can of a fleeting summer.