Beat the heat with cool summer treats
Pick your favorite ice cream, ice cream place, or make your own. However you decide to have America’s favorite dessert, there are lots of choices in The 570. According to the Yellowbook listings there are approximately 68 ice cream stands in our area including the local farm dairies that provide delicious high quality home grown treats. So, where to go and what to choose …
The proverbial vanilla swirl, chocolate fudge, banana split, soft serve, gelato, sorbet, sorbetto, sherbet. It’s all up in the air, because it is all about the air. How much or how little of it (air that is) is incorporated into the ice cream determines if it is in fact ice cream, or its anemic cousin, ice milk. This is dictated by the USDA requirement that “ice cream” contains not less than 10% milk fat and 20% milk solids and no more than 50% air. The best ice cream will be 20 to 50% air. How do you know? Simple. Weigh your carton of ice cream; those with 25% air will weigh about 18 ounces per pint. We must have some air or it would be so hard you couldn’t scoop it out of the carton, but the lower percentage will give you a much smoother, tastier ice cream. Or just go for gelato, which is Italian for ice cream; it doesn’t contain as much air as American ice cream and has a denser, richer texture (this is our favorite). We hope we haven’t shared more than you want to know about this summertime favorite, but the next time you find yourself standing in the supermarket perusing the two for $5 sale and not sure if it’s worth it, buy it and test it out.
Now for the “foodies” among you — you know who you are — who can’t resist the urge for perfection, you can make your own. Ice cream makers can be purchased at your local “mart” stores and cost from $25 to almost $1,000. We found a dandy gizmo purchased for $25 that includes recipes for frozen yogurt, sorbets and every kind of flavor you can imagine.
Here’s a recipe from our Grandma’s collection (for those who don’t want to purchase an ice cream maker) that we think is great. Let’s go for it!
Homemade Ice Cream
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
Combine marshmallows and milk in saucepan. Heat over low flame, folding over and over with spoon, until almost melted. Remove from heat and continue folding until smooth. Add vanilla. Cool until beginning to thicken. Put cream into small mixer bowl and beat on medium high speed until stiff, about 1 minute. Add marshmallow mixture. Blend in quickly on low speed. Pout into and shallow (3” tray or pan) and freeze until firm. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
P.S. If you have left over marshmallows there’s always room for s’mores. Sorry about the pun we just couldn’t resist.
— julie imel (with special thanks to diane davis (aka mom!) for contributing to this story)m>
We asked staff members of electric city and diamond city how they like to eat their ice cream. As you can imagine, the answers are as varied as our team is:
“There is nothing like three whopping mounds of Turkey Hill Phillies Graham Slam Ice Cream (Graham flavored Ice Cream with scoops of choco marshmallow cups and a graham swirl) lying over a warm apple dumpling served in a big ol’ bowl. Some evil geniuses out there are exploiting two of my weaknesses; ice cream riddled with chunks of magic and all things Phillie Phanatic.”
— tom graham
“I love vanilla bean ice cream with rainbow sprinkles in a cone.”
— kristie vazquez
“I wanted ice cream as much as any kid growing up. My sister and I would sit and hold our breath on the rides home from the lake where we spent weekends in the summer, afraid that the slightest misbehavior might lessen the odds of Mom deciding to stop at one of the many ice cream stands dotting the route. We knew where each stand was and whether they just had soft ice cream or if they had hard ice cream too, and what flavors and what kinds of sundaes (butterscotch!) were on the menu.
In college, alcohol was more popular than cake and ice cream at parties. And being forced to drink milk during two pregnancies, turned me off dairy for good. Now I’m so lactose sensitive, ice cream isn’t an option. That’s fine most days because honestly, I’d rather have a cocktail for dessert. But every once in a while, the urge to indulge, if only for sentimental reasosn, is overwhelming. Last summer I discovered a lactose-free, real fruit-based strawberry ice cream at Sprinkles & Shakes Ice Cream at 127 N. Main Street in Pittston that made ice cream fun again. Yum!”
— alicia grega
“Black raspberry in a sugar cone with peanuts. It’s my default. How do I eat ice cream? Quickly, very quickly. If you want to get fancy, I like that Apple Pie concoction at Coldstone Creamery. I don’t know what’s in it other than vanilla, apple slices and graham cracker crumbles… Sooo good!”
— tom bonomo
“I am a sucker for Mint Chocolate Chip. I occasionally deviate into Cookies ’n Cream, Chocolate Coffee/Toffee, or other exotic flavors, but at the end of the day, I’m more likely to pick Mint Chocolate Chip than any other. Sometimes there’s nothing like a nice scoop of vanilla (think Andre the Giant ) after a meal, though.”
— tucker hottes