This summer, our hill at the lake will be used in yet another ingenious way: to make ice cream for our root beer floats. I was tempted to buy the traditional ice cream maker, but there are so many choices; I quickly became overwhelmed looking at all the bells and whistles. And besides, I have all that boy power just dying to get put to use. Plus, the process of making ice cream by hand… literally…. in the can… is is a great way to introduce some lessons in science. There is the ice cream in a bag method; my boys would surely break the bag in the mixing process. So, I’ve decided to go with the ice cream in a can method.
- The first challenge is finding the can. Many recipes suggest using a coffee can, but who buys coffee in a can anymore? A better idea is to ask for an empty paint can from the paint store. You’ll need two: A quart, and a gallon.
- Ask your kids to tell you the freezing point of water — or teach them — 32 degrees F, or 0 Celcius. Then, ask them what happens when we put salt on icy sidewalks. Ask them to start thinking about why we need salt to make ice cream.
- In the small, clean can, add one cup of milk or half and half, one cup of sugar, and one teaspoon of vanilla.
- Optional: add one tablespoon of chocolate syrup — or frozen strawberries.
- Use a hammer to seal the lid tightly.
- In the larger can, combine the ice and rock salt. Use a thermometer to record the temperature of the rock and salt mixture.
- Use hammer again to seal the lid tightly.
- Take turns rolling the can down the hill, for about five minutes. This will “solidify” the ice cream.
- Explain what’s happening: the ice melts and combines with the salt. This “brine” has a lower freezing point — lower than 32 degrees.
- After five minutes of rolling, open the large can, and take the temperature of the ice. It will be colder than it was the first time.
- Open the smaller can. The colder brine was able to get the milk mixture cold enough to freeze to a solid, to create ice cream.
- You know you’re going to have to whip up another batch right now; the fun was really rolling the can down the hill.
- An instant way to eliminate the ice cream headache is to put your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Teaching a toddler how to do this is something you won’t soon forget.
Pictures to come…
Did you say root beer floats…and HOMEMADE ice cream. Count me in!!! Maybe even for seconds too.
My 13 is just now posted.
Wow! That’s so cool! I can’t wait to store this away to do with my son when he is old enough. I LOVE homemade ice cream and this has to be the most fun way to do it!
Thanks so much for sharing.
That’s a good list. #13 is quite interesting. Is it possible?
The Pink Flamingo
You are an amazingly industrious woman. I look forward to coming here because I never know what’s going to be here. And it’s always helpful. (Although we’re off dairy for a while… long story!)
Well, I just never have heard of that method. How smart you are–and what a great lesson for children!
That is brilliant. I never thought of using new paint cans! Now I really want a root beer float.
Crap. I need a good hill!
(and I live in the foothills of a major mountain chain. You’d think one would be handy when I need it!)
This is a great idea. It offers exercise, too! We’ve busted through the bag, and it’s no fun!
I need to teach #13 to my son. He is the king of the brain freeze. LOL.
And that seriously works? I bet the kids think that’s a blast!
What a cool idea. You sure are creative:) Happy TT.
I love making ice cream but never could get my family motivated enough to do it more than once. Maybe if I had started it off when they were the age of your boys it would be a family tradition by now. It still sounds like great fun to me.
Discovering your blog for the first time thanks to Susan Helene Gottfried who left me a comment about your post. This is a great post and I would love to have you participate in my Ice Cream Recipe Round Up in July. Come by to see all the details. This week’s Thursday 13 is also pictures of ice cream sundaes.
Love your blog. I’ll be back. 🙂
What a fun family project. I will have to pass on your email address to my sisters and sister in law.
I’ve done this before…it’s fabulous!! It’s delicious and easy and fun…for adults as well as kids. 🙂
Ohhh…ice cream! Yum!
Oh, I want to try this! Thanks.
AWESOME!! Fun tips!
Great idea, sounds like fun. Happy TT
I love how you can make any recipe into exactly 13 steps to fit your TT! You were reading my mind with the paint can idea, and I bet kids think it’s great fun to use the hammer. (Thanks for visiting my TT)
We have an ice cream maker so my kids never learned the salt bit. I think I’ll tell them about that time at the lake (we used to spend every 4th of July at friends’ lake house) where the canister had a hole in it and all that wonderful strawberry ice cream came out salty!
This sounds like a fun birthday party activity! Definitely one the kids won’t forget!
I love to make homemade ice cream! We use the Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker; I ordered it from Steve Spangler Science and it’s fantastic.
I have a small strawberry patch and when you unscrew the lid to the can and drop in a few handfuls of strawberries and then finished shaking it up, it’s so good. . . . well, now I have to go make some! I made myself drool!
I got my ice cream maker here: http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/product/1780
i’d never heard of this method. and it takes only five minutes?
when we were kids we made it one with a hand crank and us kids took turns cranking. it took over 30. but we were making a gallon. maybe that is the difference?
I have three boys for boy power and a long hot summer ahead of us. This will be a lot of fun.
I never could completely understand why ice needed to be combined with SALT. Now, it’s clear from your explanation of a lower freeing point. Thanks for an interesting TT! Have a good time by the lake, too.
Great ideas and info…Happy TT:)
Thanks for the information. Science was never my best subject, but now I wish it had been because it is so fascinating. Happy TT.
I had no idea that it was that easy. I’m going to print this and do it with my boys. How fun. Happy TT
That does sound like fun!
I have a friend who could really get into that one!
The Pink Flamingo
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This is such a fantastic idea. Your website was passed onto me from a friend so I hope you don’t mind that I added a link to this post on my ice-cream party blog post.
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I was wondering if there was a specific amount of rock salt that should be added to the ice and also if you think milk or the half and half tastes/works better? Thank you!