Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Home-made Ice Cream!

Home-Made Ice Cream - A Heape Family Favorite circa 1961

It is HOT. I don't even think that describes it adequately - we need another word for it. Like, cantankerous. Which by definition means "difficult or irritating to deal with." So this weather is cantankerous! It sounds so much more dramatic than just plain, old hot; and no, I have no idea if this is grammatically correct, but I am too hot to care.

So - that being said...due to the cantankerous heat wave, I decided last week to make my mother's home-made ice cream. Traditional vanilla - cool, smooth and refreshing! This recipe, I learned, has been used since the mid-20th century - starting with my Grandma Lula.

Although my grandmother's twin, Luther, had a hand-cranked machine, my mother and aunts remember being lucky to have an electric one (probably from Tru-Value, where grandma worked for years). The recipe, we believe, originated in a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but we're unsure of the original publication date. When my parents were married, my mom received the 1972 version and began using it going forward since it was virtually identical - and that is pretty much the recipe we have below.

Over the years home-made ice cream became a regular favorite for birthdays and special occassions. Both my grandma Lula and my father's parents enjoyed the tradition of making it on a hot day...even for no reason at all. Grandma Barb always wanted my mom to make it - "she makes it the best," grandma Barb would say!

Vanilla Ice Cream

4 quart recipe                          6 quart recipe
4 eggs                                         6 eggs
2 1/2 c sugar                              3 3/4 c sugar
5 c milk                                      7 1/2 c milk
2 c half&half                              3 1/2 c half&half
3 c heavy cream                         4 c heavy cream
2 1/2 TBLS vanilla                      4 1/2 TBLS vanilla
1/2 tsp salt                                 3/4 tsp salt

2-3 bags 7# ice
ice cream salt

Beat eggs till really light. Add sugar gradually, beating till thick. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. (Eggs could take several minutes to get light. All of the liquid may not go into the mixer bowl so after transferring it to the freezer, add what you have left and stir before freezing.)
This recipe is for a 4-6qt freezer.

Put container in with lid and motor on first. Then begin alternating layers of ice and salt. After first layer of each, you can turn the motor on. Be generous with the salt. As the ice melts, add more, of course. If you are churning this outside, the humidity and temperature will effect how long it takes. It could be anywhere between 20-40 minutes. When it is finished, take the paddle out. Then you can either put the container in the freezer, or, you can drain some of the salt water off and 'pack' the bucket by adding additional ice to the bucket then cover it with a towel or rug. 

 So I totally FAIL on photos of the canister and paddles as I was starting the freezing process...and during the freezing process. But what's really important? The outcome, right? It was delicious!

When the ice cream is done, it is soft serve - just put it
in the freezer if you want it thicker!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Texas Potatoes - A Kuhn Klassic

Texas Potatoes - A Kuhn Klassic (now known as "those potatoes Amber makes" at our house)

So every October my Grandma Ford's family has a reunion in Okawville, IL. When the Kuhn siblings (12 in all) started having children of their own, the reunion was a great way to get all of the various children and grandchildren together in one place. And over the GREW. For example, my dad has 60 first cousins between the Fords and the our reunions on both sides were large, with lots of little ones too. Growing up, the Kuhn reunion was always held at the community club in Okawville, and though it has since moved to a smaller facility and we haven't been able to go as often since relocating to Richmond, I know the cousins still have a good time. Between the food, golf and card games, maybe a couple drinks too, everyone always looks forward to the Kuhn family reunion.

Each and every year we would expect a lot of the same foods - fried chicken, Chip's fried rice, Aunt Ester's red velvet cake, deviled eggs, Texas potatoes, various pies...and so much more. My dad remembers this recipe being made with the "little square hash browns," and this recipe, or something like it, can be found in various church cookbooks and be made lots of different ways.

At our house, we now call them "those potatoes Amber makes" - because she does such a good job making them! We've switched up the recipe to our liking and to lighten it slightly, but they still taste like home :)

We had these as part of our 4th of July celebration in Richmond this year; hope you enjoy them soon too!

Texas Potatoes - Those Potatoes Amber Makes

1-pkg shredded frozen hash browns
1/2-C butter
2-C sour cream (we use light)
1-1/2-C shredded cheddar cheese (divided 1 cup and 1/2 cup portions)
1/2-C diced onion
1-can cream of mushroom soup (we use 98% fat free)
1-tsp salt
1-tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Saute onion in butter until soft. Mix sour cream, 1 cup cheese, salt, pepper and soup; let stand. Once onions are cooked, add to the sour cream mixture, then combine with potatoes - coating evenly. Coat a 9"x13" pan with non-stick spray, and pour in the entire mixture. Bake for 25 minutes, stir and spread the other 1/2 cup cheese on top. Bake additional 20 minutes until bubbly!

Saute onion in butter...mmmm, butter

Mix other wet ingredients while onions simmer

Combine sour cream mixture with onions and butter

Coat shredded potatoes

Bake until bubbly delicious!