Monday, July 4, 2016

Hand Cranked Ice Cream and Grilling in the Rain for the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July began...and continued throughout the day...with cozy, drizzly rain. Thus our day was most definitely defined, but not washed out. We had a plan!

When my kids were little we did patriotic readings and even played relay games in the backyard between dinner and the fireworks. However my kids are now in college so that means...they went to work, my husband studied for his latest certification, and I caught up with the mending basket while watching HGTV's Lakefront Bargain Hunt! Even though my family was busy, even though it was drizzly outside, I enjoyed dreaming of potential summer vacation properties, although I was glad that I was dreaming with other peoples' money!

Late that afternoon my kids came home from work to enjoy the evening festivities. Rain doesn't stop this family from having fun! While I assembled the ice cream base for hand cranking, my kids played a good old-fashioned past time of marbles! 

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Meanwhile my husband prepped our hand-crank ice cream station under the deck, by laying tarp on the deck, because of all the moisture falling from the sky over the deck!

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The flowers definitely enjoyed the rain that day!

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Layering of the ice and rock salt soon commenced...

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Hand-cranked ice cream is a family tradition from my husband's mother's side of the family...

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The tradition is that only those who turn the crank get to eat the ice cream!

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We've carried on this tradition ever since we were first married, and continued through my kids' growing up years from the time they were toddlers. Even toddlers have to take turn the crank. Even when  my daughter was one and not yet standing (developmental delays) we used hand-cranking as part of physical therapy, but holding her and helping her turn the crank. She thought it was fun because we made it fun! (Photos and blog posts of that when I get a chance to start uploading old photos through the scanner...) 

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This antique ice cream maker was a wedding gift...

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It dates back to the same era as the ice cream we were cranking!

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During the cranking by the others I tend to get distracted by flowers and raindrops...

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Constantly cranking...
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Constantly adding ice...
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Constantly adding rock salt...
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Finally it was ready! This is a lemon ice cream that comes from my husband's mom's family and I'm discovering it has quite the history. I hope to share...but only if my mother-in-law allows me. However this recipe is an old family recipe, a closely guarded secret, and now I think I know why! lol
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With the ice cream safely chillin in the freezer, it was time to grill...in the rain. The drizzle at this moment returned to a steady rain.
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However the rain did not deter me from grilling fajitas...
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...jalepenos (my husband took over grilling those, one was from our garden)
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...onions, and sweet peppers!!!! I even threw in some of my preserved roasted garlic that I had harvested from our gardens.
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Yum!!
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After dinner and ice cream, dark settled and the rain had stopped. My favorite part of the evening is watching fireworks from our deck, with many thanks to the nearby towns and numerous neighbors who put on quite a show. There is a feast for the eyes across the horizon and overhead. I tried taking photos, actually got one great shot, had trouble uploading it, then during the busy week it was inadvertently deleted. Oops. Oh well. Sometimes I play the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps music while watching the fireworks. What a great combination to top our nation's birthday!

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