The other day at MEC we purchased an ice cream ball. This was sold to us as a fun alternative to an ice cream machine; you fill up a football sized container with ice and ice cream ingredients, and then kick it around for 20 minutes until you have ice cream. I was immediately ready to buy one, but then we had to find a time and opportunity to use it.
The innards of the ice cream ball are a couple of stainless steel compartments; one of which contains all the ice, and the inner one is where the milk, sugar and flavouring go. However, once you’ve filled both of these up you have a ball that weighs several kilos, and is a soft rubber shell around a stainless steel lump. My earlier thoughts of kicking this back and forwards with La Serpiente were clearly mad delusions, unless I wanted to snap one of her legs, break the rest of my toes or get concussed in the quest for home made ice cream.
However, there wasn’t a disaster in the offing. We just had to recalibrate our idea of what playing with the ice cream ball was, from having an inpromptu 20-minute kickabout, to realising that it was much safer for us to roll the ball up and down the driveway until the ice cream was mixed and frozen. This was still pretty tiring (which justifies eating a highly calorific food like ice cream) and made the ball look revoltingly filthy very quickly (gravel is pretty dusty, it turns out). Still, the miracle of thermodynamics meant we had perfectly acceptable ice cream very quickly, and without shelling out a fortune on an ice cream machine that would take up an untenably large portion of our kitchen space.
In the future, I wouldn’t believe the manufacturer’s recommendations about chocolate chips in ice cream though, as they don’t mix very well. Perhaps it was the centrifugal force induced by us rolling the ball around, but all the chips ended up around the edges of the ice cream, rather than being blended more uniformly. La Serpiente didn’t complain. Then again, she wasn’t an active participant in the creation of the ice cream, leaving that all down to her parents. Wasn’t this meant to be a way to exhaust the kids and leave the parents to have something for dessert?