Janet's Notebook
Summer Means Getting Social with Ice Cream

Staying Cool Never Tasted So Good!

Thinking back to my memories of Fourth of July, I recall the bicycles decorated with streamers, the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers sizzling on the grill, the blankets laid out on the lawn mid-morning for fireworks that wouldn't start until dusk. But strangely, one of my clearest memories of all is of the curious little cups of ice cream that only seemed to be served on this day of independence. Your only choice was between chocolate or vanilla, and each cup was handed out with its very own wooden paddle that we kids would use to scoop out every last bit of creamy goodness. Somehow, ice cream just tasted sweeter on that one day of the year... sitting on a blanket, in the heat of the sun, giddy with anticipation of the night's fireworks.

For that reason - and a million other delicious ones - ice cream is my all-American all-star dessert. While it may not have its roots here in the U.S., we Americans sure have raised it to an art form. We can make it - and eat it - like no other! In fact, did you know that the very first patent for a hand-cranked ice cream churn was filed right here in the U.S.A. by one Nancy Johnson way back in 1843? Now THAT is some good ol' fashioned girl power!

Member Kara Barnes likes to churn things up as well. In fact, she gets others in on the fun of making her Homemade Peach Ice Cream. She combines simple, easily accessible ingredients to create a summertime classic.

"Get the whole family involved and make a batch for your next special occasion or for no reason at all," encourages Kara.

Kristy Knipple of Sturtevant, WI loves to celebrate her special occasions with a bowl of the cold stuff too. Her Chocolate Raspberry Toasted Hazelnut Ice Cream combines several of my favorite ingredients into one creamy, delicious concoction that's loaded with character. There are numerous steps involved in getting this one just right, but don't let that deter you.

"It's worth every bit of effort," says Kristy. "You won't find anything like this at the grocery store."

And isn't that what homemade food is all about - creating something unique and packed with "Just A Pinch" of homegrown TLC?

Like music, food sure can send your mind back to a certain place and time. Each year, I think of those little ice cream cups and delightful wooden paddles from my childhood, and wonder what my grandson's memories will be of his early summers. My hope is that his, too, will be filled with the sights and sounds and smells of his family sharing a good meal in the warmth of the sun... with an overwhelming anticipation of the great things to come. Happy Fourth of July everyone!

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Martine Bykowski - Jun 27, 2011
Here I am looking for ice cream recipes. Sure I have our standard, favorites, but was curious what all was out there! I am currently making a batch of butter pecan just to see if the ice cream maker still works before this July 4th weekend. Family tradition has us getting together around 7 to share each other's home make ice cream and cookies, then watch the fireworks! Not sure about the fireworks this year because of the drought here in central texas, but i'm keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed!! :D
margaret patton-miller - Jul 4, 2010
Wow the memories are really flowing. Family food and fun, what could be better!!!!!
Rose O'Connell - Jun 30, 2010
I love ice cream recipes. My husband's favorite is butter pecan.
NADINE REID - Jun 30, 2010
Haven't thought about those picnic handouts for quite awhile. There will be "Dixie Cups" of ice cream at our cookout this weeked!