The Ice Cream Machine Saga

My friend refers to those times in life where things just don’t go as planned as “plot twists”. Life just takes an upper hand and in my experience, it’s usually for the best. Being flexible and able to turn on a dime is the way to handle these uncomfortable moments with grace. Go with the flow.

I was looking forward to making ice cream in two flavors, Oreo and peppermint candy. The machine we have is the old-fashioned kind that uses electricity, salt and ice and it sits outside on the back porch. When the ice cream has frozen, the machine automatically turns off.

I opened the freezer only to see that the bag of ice that I needed was half gone. Well ok. Maybe I can use ice cubes from the trays to supplement. After I poured the creamy mixture into the metal insert and packed ice and salt around it, I could not for the life of me get the lid to fit in place. When I finally did get the lid to shut, the machine made a growling noise because the mixing blade inside was stuck. I fiddled with it and finally the blade started to turn. The machine usually takes about twenty minutes to finish, so I left. When I returned, the machine was still vigorously running. What’s wrong!!? It should be done by now. The ice had melted so the mixture was not frozen. To the store I go to get a bag of ice and when I got back, I started over.

Twenty minutes later I return to the porch. The machine sounded like it was in labor; it’s stuck again. I lifted the lid in order to properly diagnose the problem and saw that an inch and a half of ice cream had frozen hard like ice on the sides but the middle was still liquid. By now I wonder why I did not just buy &*# $%@ ice cream while I was at the store?

I pondered. What are my options? Make it into eggnog or vanilla custard? Hmmm. I chiseled the mixture off the sides, let it thaw and put it into Pyrex dishes then into the freezer for the night. The next morning, I pulled the containers out only to see that they were solid like a block of ice.  Now what? I let it soften for about twenty minutes and the consistency was beyond perfect. Rich and creamy and packed with little tiny crunchy ice crystals, it felt like I was eating sparkles!

How wonderful to discover that I did not need an ice cream maker to make fabulous ice cream. What a happy accident.