Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mi Mi’s Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

This recipe is for a 1 gallon freezer can.


5 Eggs

3 Egg yolks

1 Large 13 oz. Can of Evaporated Milk

1 Can Water

1 TBS Flour

1 Cup Sugar

Combine custard ingredients and cook, stirring until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. You may want to use a double boiler for this. Strain and cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Next, in freezer can combine the custard mixture with the following:

1 16 oz. Carton of Whipping Cream

1-2 TBS Vanilla Extract

1 13 oz. Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Enough Whole or 2 % milk to fill to line

Place lid on freezer can and hold can in place while filling the freezer alternately with ice and rock salt. Put crank on and begin cranking or plug in to outlet. Operate freezer according to directions for your machine. Add more salt and ice as needed. The freezer may stop from time to time when ice gets in the way. So, readjust ice by turning off the machine and picking ice with wooden spoon and turn it back on. When ice cream maker stops completely, remove the can and enjoy the ice cream or place in deep freeze until it has reached desired firmness.

My mom makes the best homemade vanilla ice cream. My first memory of making ice cream was on the ranch where I grew up outside a small East Texas town named Rusk, in an even smaller community named Atoy. Making homemade ice cream was an all-day event and everyone had a job. First of all, my dad believed that the best ice cream was made from a fresh block of ice that you bought, brought home and chipped up yourself. So, while my mom got all the ingredients together to cook the custard. My brother, sister and I would ride with dad 20 minutes to Rusk in his1963 green Chevy pickup to get the block of ice from the ice house, where we could watch the ice slide out of the freezer down a conveyor belt. We would wrap the block in a blanket and set it on the back of the truck. Then we would dare each other to sit on the covered block and count to ten. Boy, that was cold! When we got home, dad would painstakingly chip up the ice with a pick, and mom would pour the now cooled custard in the can, carefully filling the rest of the can with that rich custard mixture and whole milk. In went the ice and the salt, on went the top of the freezer. Then, it was our turn. My brother, sister and I would sit on the wooden steps of our carport and crank the ice cream by hand. Sometimes, we had watermelon or blackberries on the side. Sometimes, we had company and other times we had the ice cream to ourselves. Even when the ice houses closed down in Rusk, we still drove to the neighboring town of New Summerfield to buy ice.

My father has been gone now for many years; I live in a big city now and have kids of my own. However, my mom is here this week visiting and guess what? Yep, we are making ice cream using her recipe. It still tastes great! Although we used ice from our refrigerator, it brought back memories of truck rides into town, laughing with my brother and sister, and how a family working together can reap sweet rewards and even sweeter memories.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

As I was driving to work recently, I saw a young cardinal hopping along the grass on the side of the road as I stopped at a stoplight. The image that comes to mind when you hear the word cardinal is probably of a tall majestic beautiful red crested bird with a black mask around its strong triangular beak designed for cracking seeds, but this is not what I saw. This cardinal was caught in a phase just after the fuzzy cute baby bird stage but before the poor creature developed its beautiful red flight feathers. It wasn’t chubby and cute anymore but it wasn’t the sleek flying creature it was meant to be one day either. Many things in our life go through stages that aren’t so pretty.

Barbara Sher, a world renowned career coach and best-selling author, says that ideas start out like babies animals. Human beings give birth to ideas and at first, we love them. We imagine how they will turn out with incredible pride and romantic optimism. When it comes to working out the logistics, budgeting time or money or both, for this new vision, the wonderful idea can molt away some of its attractive newness. As this idea develops you may find a need to further plan, to polish, to gather support of others and overcome obstacles. At some point it may be hard to share this vulnerable, not quite developed idea, at this ugly stage. However, this is a time that not only the idea needs support, but also the person who gave birth to the idea may need support. I encouraged a group of friends recently to set a goal, and some of these friends might be at an ugly stage of reaching this goal, just as you may also.

Some common goals are related to health, like starting a new exercise program; others wanted to reconnect to art they had put aside years ago. I had set a goal to complete two art works this month, and really had some great ideas that I wanted to bring to fruition. One of the ideas was a collage on canvas in tribute to Frida Kahlo, a well known Mexican artist. However, this idea did not come together on the canvas the way I had wished. So, I could stop, give up on this project at this ugly stage, but instead I have decided to work at it some more, ask for support and ideas. I may change my tactics, redo some of the piece, allow myself to struggle with the details, step back and look at the big picture. I am hoping that in sharing this photo of my work at this ugly stage that it might encourage anyone who reads my blog to do the same with their life, their ideas, and their relationships. So, here it is, and here are some of the steps that I am willing to do to make it a better piece of art. I am leaving some of the steps blank you, as you will notice, for you to fill in because I know that there is no way that I could have all the answers. No one really does. How are goals going for you?

1. Make a goal.

2. Plan some small steps.

3. Take action.

4. Assess the progress, from the detailed perspective and the big picture view.

5. Adjust as needed.

6. Share your goal.

7. Ask for help, or support.

8. Be willing to make changes, or redo’s.

9. __________________

10. ____________________