Winter Favorites: Hot Soup, Hot Chocolate, and Homemade Ice Cream
Homemade Ice Cream? But It's So Cold!
It's that time of year again. Winter is on its way, and the snow will soon be flying and cold winds blowing. Most of us will be staying indoors more often and maybe firing up the wood stove or doing some cooking and baking. It's hot soup, homemade bread, and hot chocolate time. But let's not forget the wonderful taste of good old-fashioned homemade ice cream, either.
Soup and hot chocolate, yes, but homemade ice cream in the winter? That doesn't seem to fit—after all, it's not a warm, comforting wintertime food. Ice cream should be a summertime food, right? Yes and no, I would say. Let me explain.
I grew up in a large family, and in the winter we would wait until the creeks froze over, like this winter. Brr. It was then the children's job to go to the creek, break up some ice, and carry it back to the house in buckets. Then we had all the free ice we could use to make our ice cream. Now, you might think that the ice would be dirty. But the only purpose of the ice was to pack around the metal container that held the ingredients that would make the ice cream. The ice never touched the ice cream itself. Rock salt was then used on top of the ice, and us children had the honor of taking turns cranking the handle on the old ice cream maker. Oh yes, things have changed. Now electricity turns the ice cream maker for us.
Homemade Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 4 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 or 3 tsp vanilla flavoring
- 2 eggs for a yellower ice cream if desired, mix with sugar,
- Chocolate syrup for chocolate ice cream
- Other flavorings can be added to the mixture. Some ideas are to add pureed fruit such as fresh peaches or strawberries to the mixture. Another favorite is to add crushed peppermints or crushed teaberry lozenges. Use your own imagination and create your favorite flavor of ice cream.
- Rock salt and ice
- Mix milk, eggs, cream, and cook over a low heat till sugar is dissolved completely and a small ring of foam forms.
- Stir in vanilla flavoring and chill for 3 hours or longer. On a cold winter day, this can be done by setting outside in a safe sealed container.
- Pour cold mixture into an ice cream maker and pack ice around the container.
- Add rock salt to the ice to make the ice slowly melt and get colder.
- Let it churn for 20 or 30 minutes until it is the texture of soft frozen ice cream. Serve at once or place it in a container in the freezer for future use.
- Add any other desired toppings.
Cheesy Homemade Potato Soup
Soups to Warm You Up
Whether a child or an adult, there is nothing like coming in from the cold and having a steaming hot, delicious bowl of homemade soup waiting to warm you up. Placing the soup in a large soup cup, instead of a bowl allows you to wrap your cold fingers around the warm cup. Add some warm homemade bread on the side, dripping with butter. I know, that butter is not allowed anymore. What a shame. There are so many varieties of soup that whole cookbooks have been made on just soups, but here is a favorite one of mine for potato soup. It is a very easy recipe.
- 4–6 potatoes
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 small onion
- 6–8 slices of bacon,
- 1/2 cup milk, add more milk if desired
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and cut into small chunks about 4 to 6 large potatoes depending on how many you are feeding.
- Cook the potatoes until soft and drain most of the water off, keeping only a small amount.
- Cook the bacon and chop into small pieces.
- Sauté onions in the butter with the chopped bacon.
- Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the butter mixture. Stir in 1/2 cup of milk and stir until smooth.
- Add butter and bacon mixture to the pot of potatoes. Then add however much milk you want till the soup becomes as thick or thin as you prefer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If you like a cheesy potato soup add 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.
- Another tip is to use canned milk for a much creamier soup.
Serve while hot with that sinfully delicious dripping with butter homemade bread.
This recipe can also be used to make broccoli and cauliflower soup, simply substitute either broccoli, cauliflower or both and omit the potatoes.
Hot Chocolate With Whip Cream And Chocolate Bits
Hot Chocolate, a Wintertime Drink
As the temperatures drop and the snow flies, hot chocolate becomes a favorite drink. I remember going to sledding parties in the cold, and then going inside to the warmth and a steaming cup of hot chocolate topped off with whipped cream or marshmallows. Today, it is easy to go to the store and buy a box of hot chocolate, but as kids our mother made our own hot chocolate. Here is the recipe.
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1/4 cocoa mix
- 3 to 4 cups of milk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tsp of vanilla flavoring
- Cook sugar, cocoa, vanilla flavoring, salt, and hot water together.
- Stir until mixture boils, continuing to stir while boiling for two minutes.
- Add the milk to taste and heat over a low-temperature setting. Do not boil.
- Add lots of whipped cream or marshmallows per serving.
Hot chocolate and some warm soup is the perfect combination to serve those children who have been busy playing outside in the cold winter weather.
Winter Can Be Tough
Yes, wintertime can be brutal for those of us who live in the north. Some winters are rougher than others, but no matter how cold the temperatures drop or how hard the cold wind blows, there is nothing like enjoying a meal of hot soup, homemade bread dripping with butter, a cup of hot chocolate and homemade ice cream. With my family, that includes an evening of all of the above, and when the table is cleared, the cards come out and we enjoy an evening of quality family time while we forget about the cold and the snow.
© 2014 L.M. Hosler