Feature Stories Summer 2011 Issue

Behold the Power of Ice Cream

By Missy Kampling | Photos By Jim Klousia 0

Never in my life have I met a man, woman or child who’s confessed to hating ice cream. In fact, statistically speaking, when you ask, “what’s your favorite food?” ice cream is likely to be one of the top three responses.

Now, regardless of my personal hesitation toward sweet treats, the country’s love of ice cream has become as much of a mystery to me as bees navigating their way back to the hive. At times I’ve even been obsessed by this mystery, wondering what could possibly be consuming us to believe that ice cream is one of the best inventions on this planet? Is it some special ingredient or technique I don’t know about? In order to quench my thirst for knowledge, I years ago embarked on a journey to discover the truth around why ice cream is a popular favorite food.

As I started out on my voyage to ice cream enlightenment, I learned one lesson very quickly: Ice cream is almost always easy to make, especially when you use the best ingredients. On one infamous day, I looked in my fridge for a few staple ingredients and took a liking to a “close to expired” carton of cream; I certainly did not want any of my milk and cream to go to waste. It was only later—after I went through the entire ice cream making process—that I began to regret my decision about the cream. My ice cream did not taste horrible, but it did not taste that great either.

So to comfort my woes, I turned to the blogosphere to better understand what exactly went wrong. The answer was that I was improperly handling and storing my ingredients. More specifically, I wasn’t using the highest quality ingredients. In fact, among a handful of foodie bloggers, it was one of the most common mistakes made, but also one of the easiest to correct. If you accidentally burn the milk while cooking it, use “close to expired” ingredients or spices that are more than a year old, two things could start to happen: your recipe will be less flavorful, or the flavor will be changed altogether (and not in a good way.)

By using the freshest, local, seasonal ingredients, you can easily make a great tasting treat. As quickly as I purchased fresh organic cream, milk and half & half and replaced all my spices with new ones, I ran into my second biggest problem: my ice cream machine. I will admit that during certain stages of my life, I made the mistake of thinking that something is more valuable because of its bargain price rather than its quality. Simply put, I purchased a poorly constructed ice cream maker because it was on sale.

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