Finally, and officially, winter is here. For some of you that means a white Christmas. For my friend Leigh it means white until June!
I like winter. It’s a wonderful time to slow down and think, to observe, to plan, to get things in order and prepare for the coming busier seasons. This is one of my favorite times to get out of town and into our parks and natural areas. The leafless trees are like skeletons through which you can see things hidden by the muscle and flesh of leaves the rest of the year. It’s a delight to look off a mountainside through the skeletons at striking rock formations, waterfalls, or into a deep valley to all sorts of hidden things now exposed by winter.
Winter: comfortable boots, a warm jacket, and a hat pulled low—It’s a fine time of year. It should be enough to just say it’s winter, lie low, take a day or two off, enjoy a walk in the quiet winter woods, and enjoy the season. But it’s getting close to one of my favorite times —Christmas. Yes, I’m one of those. I like the lights, the music, the decorations, the packages, and most everything, except shopping. Raised over half a century ago, I yearn for small towns, snowy streets, snowmen in yards, kids playing, and strings of lights hung across main street. I never liked the lame little cutesy things tied to light poles—if you are in the spirit get those strings of lights all the way across the street, or just get out of town!
It’s Christmastime, and I have a gift for you. In going through family things last month I came across a box that held small papers that must have come from my father’s wallet. The papers were wallet-size and looked like wallet stuff. Among them was a carefully folded sheet of notepaper. Written in my father’s handwriting was my mother’s vanilla ice cream recipe.
Now this was a surprise. Why would Dad keep Mom’s ice cream recipe in his wallet?
I do know that Mom’s ice cream was a special treat. It’s not a complex recipe, but the ice cream was, is, wonderful. Sometimes she would add to it – bananas, powered cocoa, or strawberries were most common – individually, not all together. I loved her chocolate ice cream. It wasn’t heavy, dark chocolate; Mom added just enough cocoa to create a hint of chocolate. Oh my – good stuff!
So, my gift to you, though the weather outside may be frightful, is Mom’s ice cream recipe, saved by Dad, found my me, and given to you. Play with it and see what you like to add.
Angie’s Ice Cream
1¾ cups sugar
1 tall can condensed milk
1 carton Half and Half
A pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Put all in a mixing bowl and mix with electric mixer, then pour into ice cream freezer.
Fill any remaining space with milk.
Surround with ice and salt
Crank until hard