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Laura, over at Heavenly Homemakers did an experiment with ice cream a while back.  She took two half-gallons of commercial ice cream and let them melt.  Or attempted to let them melt.  After nearly 4 days, they didn’t – they became concave and sticky, but to actually say they melted isn’t quite accurate.  Alternately, her homemade ice cream melted within 30 minutes of being set out.  That was the straw that broke this proverbial camel’s back.  I had been leaning towards making homemade ice cream for a while and researched all sorts of ice cream makers, but after seeing those results, I swore off commercial ice cream for my family.

I ended up researching and finding really good reviews on the Donvier Ice Cream Freezer – unlike other models that owners said broke or rusted or were high-priced pieces of junk, this one had long-standing good reviews.  People who owned them for 15-18 years said they were still going strong after consistent use.  That was enough for me – I didn’t want an electric motor that could die on me, so this was perfect.  The insert is aluminum (I don’t get weirded out by aluminum, as it’s a natural part of our world and there’s no oxidation in the freezer-component that would make me think we were leaching aluminum in to our food), freezes within 7 hours, and works like a charm.  :)

My first batch of ice cream was made from the Donvier book – I was underwhelmed.  The quantity of ice crystals and the lack of cohesive mouth-feel was bleah.  After that, I borrowed Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book from the library and went to town.  The results were AMAZING.  The ice cream is creamy, the mouth-feel is terrific, and everyone raves over what comes out of the ice cream maker.

I knew I wanted to do a video on making homemade ice cream, but I didn’t want to make it too complicated.  As luck would have it, the strawberry-banana recipe in the book requires overripe bananas (we’re discovering how quickly fruit goes from “unripe” to “overripe” here in Arizona) and frozen strawberries.  I didn’t have the frozen strawberries, but I did have  a small portion of food-storage (freeze-dried) strawberries left over – they sort of clumped together in the heat of the moving truck and I wanted to use them up.  Score!

I highly recommend both the book and the ice cream maker if you have any interest in making your own ice cream.  As most things that are homemade, it’s time-consuming, but it’s entirely worthwhile.  And we find that one quart of homemade ice cream lasts us about a week – we eat less because it’s more filling and tastes so much better than the commercial stuff!  :)

I hope you enjoy the video – happy hand-cranking!  :)

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