July is National Ice Cream Month
President Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer. President George H.W. Bush couldn’t stand broccoli. President Bill Clinton sure liked his junk food. But President Ronald Reagan? He takes the cake… and ice cream!
Way-back-when (in 1984), President Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and proclaimed that all people of the US should observe the event (along with the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day) with "appropriate ceremonies and activities." Talk about good politics!
Do your part to help celebrate and enjoy some ice cream this month (like you really need an excuse)! Whether you're a plain-Jane vanilla lover or you're a maniac with the mix-ins, it's easy to find something to enjoy either made at home or while you're out and about.
Get the scoop on makers
Ice cream makers don't have to be expensive (unless you want the cream of the crop variety), and they crank out the ice cream pretty easily. All you have to do is find some shelf space in your kitchen and a model you like. Check out the following:
- Ice Cream Ball Mega Size Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker for about $35 at Target.com.
- Hamilton Beach 4-quart Bucket Ice Cream Maker for under $40 at Sears.com
- Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream Maker, Frozen Yogurt & Sorbet typically about $90 --on sale for about $50 at Macys.com
Shake things up
If you'd prefer not to add one more kitchen gadget to your coveted cabinet space, try this option to make ice cream, no (serious) equipment required:
Ice cream made in a bag
This method is about as easy as it gets. Clean up is a cinch, too! The result is a soft ice cream variety with a vanilla-flavored base (for a chocolate base, use 4 tablespoons sugar and 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder mixed together first). Personalize your treat -- add your favorite mix-ins like chocolate chips or crushed up candy bars, berries, granola or bananas.
This recipe makes one serving, so get the group in on things (and make it easier on yourself) by giving everyone his or her own supplies for their own serving of frozen goodness.
- 1 pint-sized zippered plastic bag
- 1 gallon-sized zippered plastic bag
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup salt (use large-granule salt like kosher or rock salt for best results)
- Enough ice cubes to fill each gallon-sized bag about half full
- To the pint-sized bag add the sugar, half and half and vanilla. Seal the bag.
- Add the salt and ice to the gallon-sized bag, then add the pint-sized bag to it. Seal the larger bag.
- Shake the bags until the mixture becomes firm (about 5 minutes or so).
- Remove the smaller bag with the ice cream, turn it inside out into a bowl and add your favorite mix-ins.
Do your civic duty this July and enjoy a frozen treat for National Ice Cream Month!