White Gold

Between getting ready for my son’s 19th birthday this past weekend and the holidays coming up all reminded me of some of the Christmas traditions we have carried on with our kids . These traditions include getting a live Christmas tree, putting out the Nativity set, going to Christmas Eve service at church,  reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve with family, opening 1 present on Christmas Eve, and eating breakfast before we open gifts on Christmas morning . The best tradition we love is making “White Gold” aka homemade ice cream!

This tradition started with my Grampie Earl Killam back when he came up with a way to turn his manual ice cream maker into an electrical one.  We love this picture of him in his basement on Salisbury Road with his friend Merle Carter around 1962 – Earl is on the right. I remember my Dad also using these burlap sacks to crush up his homemade ice. He didn’t like just a small bowl either to serve his ice cream , he used a cereal bowl! The sign that you are a true Killam is a love for ice cream. All of his 4 kids continued the tradition of making ice cream. A few of his grandkids have also continued to make it. We hope the tradition lives on for a long time!

There are many ways to make ice cream and we have made it a few of those ways over the years. As a kid, I’ve experienced the manual work needed to make this delectable dessert via a manual ice cream maker. Here we are having fun before the true hard work began and Dad had to take over the cranking!

 

My Dad has mostly used an electric machine so that is where I have the most experience with making it.  Getting your ice cream mixture blended right is 1 key to having good ice cream. But the biggest key is getting the right mix of ice and salt for getting the ice cream to freeze correctly and have a great texture. Salt lowers the melting point of the ice to 27 degrees Fahrenheit ( or – 3 degrees Celsius)  or lower as that is when ice cream will start to freeze.  If it gets too cold or freezes too quickly, the mixture will freeze on the outside of the container instead of all the way through and makes for a coarse texture. If it’s not cold enough, it will take forever to make and will give it a spongy, buttery texture. It should take 20-25 minutes to freeze if all conditions as right. Here is a picture of 3 generations making White Gold- my Dad, youngest brother Rodney and his firstborn Rory- they all have the initials RGK. ( Notice Rodney still has the job of pushing the ice down around the sides of the canister as it melts.) My nephew Rory is trying his hardest to beat his Dad to have the record for the most ice cream eaten at one time. You make us proud Rory 🙂 !

We bought our own ice cream maker a few years ago from the White Mountain Ice Cream Maker Company. 

It has served us well. We did have to replace the motor once but overall these machines are well rated- you can get a manual or electric one, 4 qt or 6 qt.I haven’t done research on all the other brands out there but one look on Amazon and there are tons on there from $40 to several hundred dollars. Here are a few shots of our kids enjoying a lick off the ladle as soon as it is made.   I personally like getting the rest of the ice cream off the bottom of the canister that didn’t get in the container to go to the freezer! I may or may not leave a little extra in there just so I can eat it!  Some people will eat it as soon as it is done but it is best to let it chill for a few hours or overnight to harden.  When you do scoop out a bowl, the key is to let it “bouquet” a few minutes in the bowl to have the flavour truly blossom before you eat it. Sometimes it is hard to wait but it is worth it!

 

This is the original recipe for my Grampie’s Vanilla recipe. Using pure vanilla gives it a true vanilla taste!

Grampie Earl's Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time24 mins
Total Time34 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: ice cream, vanilla
Author: Earl Killam

Ingredients

  • 1 litre + 200 ml homogenized milk
  • 1 litre + 200 ml whipping cream
  • 3 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 4.5 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Mix sugar and eggs in big bowl with hand mixer. Then add about 500 ml cream to get sugar to dissolve for 1 minute. Add the rest of the cream and continue mixing 1-2 minutes until sugar is all dissolved. Add milk and vanilla.  Whip for another  minute. Put in canister or container and chill for a few hours before putting in your machine. 

We have wanted to try different flavours over the years but were so disappointed once with a pumpkin flavour we made that we didn’t try too many other kinds . I have even collected a few ice cream recipe books that looked promising but now I just like looking at the pictures. For now our favourites are vanilla, chocolate and eggnog. You will notice most traditional ice cream recipes call for ” cooking” the mixture prior to freezing but our recipes don’t need cooking. I guess that’s why we keep going back to them , for ease of preparation.  I found a chocolate recipe that we keep going back to- it is dark and smooth. I found it on a forum that shared “ Ben and Jerry” ice cream recipes.

Ben and Jerry Chocolate Ice Cream

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: chocolate, ice cream
Author: Sheila

Ingredients

  • 16 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 cups homogenized milk
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 4 pinches salt

Instructions

  • Melt chocolate in double boiler over hot (not boiling) water.
    Gradually whisk in milk, stir until smooth. Remove from heat; let cool.
    Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
    Gradually whisk in sugar, then continue whisking 1 minute longer until completely blended.
    Add cream, vanilla, and salt; whisk.
    Add the chocolate mixture; blend well.
    Cover, chill, and freeze according to ice cream maker's directions. 

Notes

This is the original recipe quadrupled for our machine which should equal about 4 quarts.
When I first made it, I didn't have unsweetened chocolate so I substituted cocoa and oil . The result gave such a smooth texture that I've used it every time.  1 oz of unsweetened chocolate = 3 Tbsp cocoa + 1 Tbsp oil. 

As mentioned the last one we have tried recently is an Egg Nog based recipe. My son and I love Egg Nog. I knew my Uncle Tom always made it when I was a kid so his wife kindly shared their recipe for us to try this year for my son’s birthday. It made a bit too much for our ice cream freezer so I would probably scale back the liquid parts a bit next time. Overall it also had a great texture and mild Egg Nog flavour.

The machine in action!

 

A very full canister!!

Uncle Tom's Eggnog Ice Cream

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: egg nog, ice cream
Author: Tom and Karen Killam

Ingredients

  • 1 litre regular eggnog + 250 ml
  • 1 litre whipping cream + 250 ml
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Mix sugar, eggs and a little cream with electric beater until sugar is dissolved. Then add remainder of cream and eggnog and stir making sugar is completely dissolved then add vanilla .

If all else fails, you can always try the shaker method to make ice cream. Remember these  ice cream balls that were advertised a few years ago? They have updated to a different style of ball than this one but it still gives you about a pint of ice cream. We have  tried this method and it does work.  You can do it too if you want to burn some calories before you eat your ice cream!

Do you like ice cream? What are your favourite brands and/or flavours?

 

 

Down Memory Lane Part 2

The last time I shared some memories of the Fundy area we ended at my teenage years. When I was getting ready to graduate from high school, I had a moment of feeling depressed because I was sad about all my activities ending and that I felt my life would be changing forever. The summer I graduated was when I met Mark and well, I was no longer depressed after that 🙂 .  A lot of our dates  were spent in Fundy park and the Fundy area.  I was even able to work as a lifeguard at the Fundy pool for a couple summers in university which was fine with us, more time in Fundy! The Fundy region is special to us because of the memories we’ve had at different times in our lives and this time was extra special.

Mark wanted to share his love of photography with his new girlfriend and I have such nice memories of this day on the Maple Grove trail in Fundy Park the 1st Fall season we were dating. I felt a little uncomfortable posing but was happy to be by his side in this beautiful place. I soon got used to posing as you’ll see in the following photos of our dating years and early married years before kids! Who are these young kids?!

These photos and memories also remind me of how active we were back then and how much we loved getting outside. I still love doing these activities but the last few years since building the cottage we haven’t spent as much time getting out and being active. It is also harder to get teenagers to want to go out. I hope Mark and I can resume some of these things and get a little more fit!

 

How do you like our fancy gear, and trendy outdoor clothing? I think we need to get to Outdoor Elements for some new gear before we attempt this again. It has been years since we skied but I really enjoyed it. It’s a great workout!

Here is the link on Fundy’s site for winter related activities: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/nb/fundy/activ/hiver-winter/ski

There is skiing, snowshoeing, winter camping, fat biking and sliding at the Bowl!

 

Does anyone know this trail?  If you do, you were one of the lucky ones who used to be able to hike on Devil’s Half Acre. It had lovely views and neat boardwalks that crossed ravines ( where the devil was hiding? 🙂 ) I remember as a kid doing arts and crafts up in the area where the trail started. I found an article on the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design that the original summer school for the College was the New Brunswick School of Arts and Crafts and was housed at Fundy Park.  I’m pretty sure those buildings I remember at Devil’s Half Acre were part of that school.

 

Here are more views from around the park from hikes to places to just chill and enjoy the view – favourite places for chilling are at Cannontown Beach, Herring Cove Beach and from Matthew’s Head.  We are sad we can’t get to some of these places anymore like on the Caribou Trail. Even the Coppermine trail has changed recently  which is the trail we are on in the photo below.

 

We were once pretty adventurous and did some of the overnight backpacking trails and camped at the back country sites. We ventured out to Tracey Lake, Chambers Lake and the last couple are from the Goose River Trail- one of the hardest we did! Mark taught me lots about what you need and don’t need to survive out in the woods. After carrying a backpack a couple times, I learned to keep what I needed to a minimum. I don’t know how I would do now out there overnight but I like to think I am still game for a little adventure. Just couldn’t go more than 1 night without a shower and running water!

 

Here we were in 1993 after Mark had come back from a term at Oxford University with ABU down at our favourite place to be, Waterside. Who would have known we would have had a dream fulfilled just 20 years later and looking forward to dreaming of more time spent here in the future. We are so blessed. Thank you Lord!

Tell us what some of your favourite memories were in Fundy park?

 

 

 

 

Blogging reflections

 

I attended my first blogging conference this past weekend called Blog Jam Atlantic. It was the 4th year for the event and I took the opportunity to go since it was in Moncton this year. Since I am new to blogging I figured the $100 wasn’t too much to find out more about the blogging community and if it is really something I want to continue. I was ready to quit last week after having technology challenges with Facebook and feeling very inadequate in the technology arena. Even though I have a husband in IT and very smart in all thinks tech related and I have a son doing a Computer Science degree I still feel overwhelmed at everything one can do with their blog. I do have a vision for how I want the blog to look and am looking at what opportunities I can do with it and the community in the future but getting there sometimes feels very daunting.

This weekend’s speakers really encouraged us to be ourselves, to be vulnerable, to tell our stories in our own ways and to engage with our audience authentically. There was also a lot about technology but I focused on hearing other people’s stories this year.

I was excited to meet some bloggers that I have been following for a while and that have inspired me. I feel connected to them because they are authentic, live in rural areas and are successful at blogging.

Jennifer Naugler of Simple Local Life did a presentation on how she turned her blog into a career in just a few years down in Bridgewater,NS. She works with local businesses in her area with a fresh , real connection in her pieces. She gave us some great ideas that I hope to use in the future.

Lori Byrne of Farm Fresh Style was another blogger I got to meet in person after conversing with her for the past couple years. She’s from the North Shore of NS.  She’s the one that helped my daughter and I coordinate our 1st trip to the Lavender farm a couple years. I love getting a peek into her designer life and her family farm life on her blog. She likes to have fun! You should see how she got the flower wall home in the picture above from Paper and Peony!

Here we are together 🙂

The other blogger I was interested in hearing was Ruth Ann of Everything Unscripted from right here in Moncton. She encourages people on her blog about life struggles, family, travel and frugal living. She encouraged us to look at how we label ourselves and what we struggle with to identify what is holding us back from feeling successful or connecting with our audience. She wanted to  help us be more authentic with our audience and find ways to identify with our audience so they know who we are.

Lastly I really liked hearing from Rebecca of A Little Bit of Momsense who is based in Ottawa and has been blogging since 2009.  She was new to me but really loved what she had to say and loved her fresh, approachable style. She is one to follow for sure!

All of these wonderful ladies and the other speakers at Blog Jam have all got me thinking and dreaming of what I can offer to you and to my community especially to Albert County as Waterside and the Albert County area was my inspiration for this blog in the first place. I would love to know how I can educate, inform, entertain or inspire you in the future. Feel free to leave a comment and sign up for an occasional e-mail where I will keep you up to date on blog related activities and information.

Thank you!!