HOMEMADE ICE CREAM & STAYCATIONS
This has been the week of frozen treats in this house. Summer really started for us on July 1, and we’re hitting it full force! We were doing a major house purge/cleanout/finally give Rye a room, and so our weekends were quite full. Because it feels like it got off to a bit of a late start, we had a true staycation over the 4th. And it was just what we needed.
In the past, a “staycation” for us has just meant being at home, not traveling, and making an extra point to do some fun activities. And they’ve been great! We love being home and in our local area in the summer. But this one was different. I’ve been reading the book Do Less by Kate Northrup (which I LOVE), and also really trying to “practice the opposite” as my good friend Chris always says. While I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, I hit the ground running when my feet hit the floor. And I never really stop all day long. We’re all busy, we all have full days, it’s just I don’t even sit to enjoy a few sips of coffee without doing 4 other things. I’m not proud of this - I’m actively practicing the opposite, and truly slowing down to enjoy the juiciness that summer in New England has to offer.
Most memorable part of this 4 day staycation? One morning we woke up, and Finn and Rye were both asleep. Rather than start a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher, check my email and drink a smoothie - Adam and I went outside, sat in our adirondack chairs, and drank some coffee. We never do this. Ever! Granted life in the mornings is crazy these days, we could make this choice to have a slow morning much more than we do. I should say more than I do, he’s really good at slow mornings. It totally felt like we were on vacation, but instead we were sitting in our own yard, listening to our birds, looking at our garden. And we didn’t have to pack a thing! Honestly it was a big moment for us.
And so, this summer we will pretend like we’re on vacation some weekends! In our own home, yard and town. I will continue to practice the opposite when I can, and I encourage you to as well.
Ok, now onto the good stuff. Homemade ICE CREAM! It could not be easier. I know making ice cream sounds intimidating...but I promise you can’t mess this up! This recipe is very flexible. Whether you add 1.5 cups of fruit, or none at all - it will all be delicious! You just need an ice cream maker. Which, is a totally a worthy investment. Or try to find a used one, I think it’s the kind of thing people think they need and then never use. But you need it, I promise. Homemade ice cream puts a smile on anyone's face. And I’m all about food that puts a smile on the faces of the ones I love.
Homemade Ice Cream
Ice Cream Maker (we have this one and LOVE it!)
1 can of full fat coconut milk (not coconut cream)
¼ cup of raw honey or maple syrup (if using honey, best if it’s liquid and not crystalized)
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 to 1 ½ cups of fruit - optional, see suggestions below
Grab your coconut milk and be sure when you shake it, you can hear the milk mixing all around. If not, it has solidified, so place the can in a bath of warm water for 5-10 minutes and it will become liquid.
Whisk coconut milk, honey and vanilla in a large measuring cup, ideally one with a spout.
Prepare fruit/add-ins. See suggestions below.
Take base out of the freezer. Turn on and pour the coconut milk, honey and vanilla mixture into the base.
Let the ice cream mix for 5-8 minutes, and then pour the fruit or add ins. Take a spoon and mix it all around so it becomes evenly distributed.
Let the ice cream mix for 20-25 minutes, stirring with a spoon one or two more times. We usually turn it on right before dinner and it’s ready by the time we’re done and have cleared the table.
Serve. Top with coconut flakes, cacao nibs, mint - you name it!
Add ins, all of the combos we’ve tried this summer: 1.5 cups of fresh strawberries, 1 cup frozen wild blueberries, 1.5 cups stewed strawberries and rhubarb. ½ cup mini chocolate chips or cacao nibs (these are crunchy, I suggest you try it!).
The coconut milk, honey and vanilla are the base recipe. Feel free to play around with it and add cacao powder to make it chocolate, cold brew coffee to make it coffee flavor...get creative!
For the ice cream maker I recommend above, be sure that the base is in the freezer for 24+ hours, and that you only take it out to use just before you’re ready to make the ice cream!
The ice cream is not as good once it’s been in the freezer. Just after it’s made, it has the consistency of soft serve ice cream, and once it’s frozen it can be hard to scoop. If you do freeze it, take it out of the freezer 10-15 minutes before you want to eat it!