We all know that the beginning of July heralds fireworks, BBQ’s and a ton of reasons to get outside, but a less celebrated holiday is National Ice Cream Month. In our opinion, this celebration is deserving of its very own blog post! Not only is ice cream the very best food (in our opinion), but the hot temperatures give us a built-in excuse to enjoy this delicious treat and cool down.
Before we dive into ice-cream it’s worth noting that specific days of this month celebrate specific flavors of ice-cream: July 16th is Ice Cream Day, July 17th is Peach Ice Cream Day, July 23rd Vanilla Ice-cream Day, while July 7th celebrates the strawberry sundae. We have our own favorites, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Ice cream dates back as far as 200 B.C. when the folks in China mixed rice and milk and froze it by packing it in snow. In Rome, Caesar frequently sent runners to the mountains to collect snow, which would then be infused with fruits and juices. Historians believe that Marco Polo brought a sherbet recipe back with him from the far east that evolved into what we know today as ice cream, but in the 17th century was known as “Cream Ice”.
Initially ice cream was for the wealthy, but as time progressed the machinery needed to create it became more affordable and now we can purchase small ice cream makers inexpensively. Not only that, but you can make it without any fancy equipment at all!
One of our favorite methods comes from Bigger Bolder Baking, where Gemma whips up an ice cream base with only two ingredients. You can watch her video and see the recipe here. Once you have your base, your imagination is your only limit! Our youngest Joe recommends cotton candy and gummy bears, while our oldest prefers chocolate, chocolate and peanut butter (and extra chocolate).
Another option for making ice cream without the equipment is the “bag method”. Having tried this I can only tell you that it can get quite messy! Pop your ice cream mix into a small bag and seal. Fill a larger bag with salt and ice and your small bag, and shake. Hopefully, the contents of both bags will remain in place and in no time at all you will have ice cream.
Whether you make your ice-cream with the equipment or not, your options for flavors are limitless. Zagat has circled the globe to create a list of crazy ice-cream flavors around the world, including sweetcorn, Hawaiian pizza, vegetable and fish sauce caramel. You can taste just about any flavor of ice cream at the Austin ice cream festival next month, so if you needed an excuse for a road trip here it is!
No matter how you take your ice-cream, or what method you use to make it, there is nothing better than sitting out on a hot day with a cold ice cream to remind you that it is the little things that matter. And speaking of little things that make a big difference, give us a call before you head outside so we can get rid of those pesky mosquitoes and make sure that the only thing enjoying your outside space is you and your family!