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
- 1 litre + 200 ml homogenized milk
- 1 litre + 200 ml whipping cream
- 3 1/4 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 4.5 tsp vanilla
- 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
- 16 oz unsweetened chocolate
- 4 cups homogenized milk
- 8 eggs
- 4 cups sugar
- 4 cups whipping cream
- 4 tsp vanilla
- 4 pinches salt
- 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.
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
- 1 litre regular eggnog + 250 ml
- 1 litre whipping cream + 250 ml
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 4 tsp vanilla
- 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?