Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Gift Mis-Adventure

I tend to get hare-brained ideas for "fun" gifts come Christmas time.  Usually they work out.  Okay, they've always worked out, but some years go smoother than others.  I can't really remember the last time one went as awry as this one.

Somehow I got it stuck in my mind that it would be fun to make ice cream for everyone. The ice cream that Jay made for my book release party was a huge hit, so I thought, "why not?".  We have two ice cream makers, so of course I thought it would be a breeze.  Our Cuisinart is amazing, and while I had never used the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment, I assumed it would be amazing as well. 

Once I settled on gourmet ice cream for everyone for Christmas, I started looking for containers to put them in.  Sweet Bliss Containers had what I was looking for and more! I happened to run across a sorbet recipe that I *had* to make.  So instead of one gourmet flavor, we were now up to two that we were going to make for everyone.  I made the list of people who were going to receive the ice cream and came up with ten families/couples.  Not bad.  Essentially twenty quarts of ice cream that Jay and I were going to have to crank out.

No problem.

However, we're procrastinators who were really enjoying being off of work and we didn't get around to starting the ice cream until Monday evening about six o'clock.  No problem.  We had twenty-three, well, make that twenty-two hours before we actually needed the ice cream.  We were ahead of the game.  Right?  It only takes twenty minutes in the Cuisinart to make a batch of ice cream, so I assumed the KitchenAid would be about the same.

We started with our bases.  We thought we could made a base, set it to cool, start a second base, then put the first batch in the ice cream makers while the second batch cooled, and start our third batch.  It worked out perfectly.  In my mind.  In reality, it didn't work at all.

Cream cheese vanilla ice cream and Chocolate Aztec sorbet base

First batch in my beloved KitchenAid.  I was very, very disappointed to say the least.  The KitchenAid ice cream maker sucks.  I'd be really pissed about it if I'd spent any money on it, but it came as part of our rebate when we bought our mixer (which I love and can't believe I lived without it for so long).  If all we had was the KitchenAid one and I had never used the Cuisinart, I might like it.  But we have the Cuisinart and it's worth every penny.

Save your money.  Buy a Cuisinart instead.

Jay's batch went into the Cuisinart, which worked like a champ.  For the first batch.  After that, we were just asking too much from it.

I love this ice cream maker.
Once we realized that the bases weren't cooling fast enough to go into the makers, we tried to cool them faster.  It was 19*F outside and we still had some snow left, so out the bowls went.  We were hoping to cool both the bowls and the bases.  After an hour, we brought in the bowls and started them up again. It was a nice thought, but didn't work.

Our outdoor cooling area.

After spending hours trying to get our first batch cooled and packed, we gave up and spooned all of the base into the ice cream containers.  After all, the machine is not necessary for making ice cream; it just helps to cool everything to the right consistency.  With the decision made to not use the ice cream makers, we cranked out the rest of our bases and put them in the containers, then packed them into the freezer and crossed our fingers.

The worst part of my "let's make cool stuff for Christmas" ideas, by far, are the dishes.  Gah!  I hate doing dishes.

Man, I hate doing dishes.
We finally fell into bed about one a.m. and hoped that our freezer would be up to the job of hard-freezing twenty quarts of ice cream.  When we rolled out of bed the next morning, we had chilled soup.  We stirred the soup, recapped the containers, and crossed our fingers again.  We consulted the gift list and realized we only absolutely had to have four sets of ice cream for Christmas Eve.  Everyone else we would see on Christmas Day, so that bought us almost twenty-four additional hours of freezer time.


We got lucky and managed to eek out our first four sets just in time for Christmas Eve.



Finding Pam said...

How wonderful to make home made ice cream, except for all of the dishes. It was great to hear from you.

Allenspark Lodge said...

It was worth you effort. A bite of the Aztec chocolate, followed by a bite of the cream cheese vanilla, followed by the Aztec...cream cheese...etc...




Rachel said...

Gah, Beel is totally rubbing it in our faces that we aren't local enough to be crashing your ice-cream tasting party! :)

Sounds like a crazy adventure that still turned out well!

GunDiva said...

I'm not sure about well, but it turned out and I finally had something blogworthy :)