Oh So Cool
by Eric Smith
Creamy cold Vanilla, smooth icy chocolate: the stuff of summer daydreams. The tinkle of the Good Humor truck tune lingers in every childs ear like a mirage in hot afternoons. This is ice cream season.
Ice cream has been an essential element of American summers for over 150 years. But you couldnt always get your ice cream from aisle 9 of the nearest grocery store. Before 1851, when Jacob Fussell opened the first ice cream factory in Baltimore, everyone made ice cream at home! People put ice cream mixes into special salt-and-ice-bowls and shook it till it froze. Or they used hand-crank ice cream freezers, stirring the ice cream instead of shaking it.
I said that ice cream has been an essential part of American summers for 150 years. Ice cream itself is much older than that! Almost 2000 ago, the Roman Emperor Nero loved to eat fresh snow from the mountains mixed with honey or juice. In the 1200s, Marco Polo brought from China recipes for milk-and-ice dishes, like the sorbets of today. He reported the Chinese had been eating these desserts for thousands of years!
These days, we dont have to climb mountains, travel to China or hand-crank an ice cream freezer to get the taste of the sweet, creamy ice. Food stores, ice cream stands and Good Humor trucks make ice cream accessible to everyone. With such tasty stuff so easy to reach, it is no wonder each American eats an average of 15 quarts of ice cream every year! Most of it is chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. I like mint chocolate chip. Or cookies and cream. Or a nice vanilla sundae with hot fudge and whipped cream and a cherry. You get the idea. Ice cream. Have a sweet summer.
IN 1903 New York City, Italo Marchiony sold edible waffle dishes at his Wall Street ice cream stand.
DURING the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (or Worlds Fair) in St. Louis, an ice cream vendor who ran out of cups teamed up with a next-door pastry maker. They used zambia, a Syrian wafer-dessert, for cups.
Making Ice Cream. Playing Catch. Two Summer Classics in One Sweet Activity
Take a small bag and fill it with:
- 11/2 quarts whipping cream
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- One 15-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon of gelatin
- and 1/2-pint of whole milk
Place the mixture within a bigger bag filled with lots of ice and rock salt. Make sure both bags are sealed tightly with strong tape. Wrap and tape a towel around the bundle.
Find a friend and play catch with your new ice-cream-maker/ball. In about a half-hour, the cream in the inner bag should be the consistency of soft serve. Its ready to eat. Be sure to share with your catching buddy!
Saturday, July 20
Teens design and hold a conference on how adults and teenagers can better communicate with one another. 8am-6pm @ Bowie State University, Free: 301/445-4508.
Sunday, July 21
Wildlife Wonders Story Time presents a bunny hunt and a tale, The Bunny Book. by Richard Scarry. The park is full of bunnies in the summer, so dont miss out. Ages 3-5 w/adult. 2pm @ Kinder Farm Park $2; rsvp: 410/222-6115.
Monday, July 22-26
TetraBrazil Soccer Academy comes to town to train young American players in fancy footwork @ Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, rsvp: 410/643-8487.
Tuesday, July 23
Join in readings of Aesops fables and make animal sculptures. Fables include The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Tortoise and the Hare. Ages 6-10. 1:30pm @ Borders, Annapolis Mall: 410/571-0923.
Thursday, July 25
I Scream for Ice Cream
Enjoy free ice cream and listen to music by the Calvert Community Band. 6:30pm @ the grounds of the One Room School House, Brooms Island Rd., Port Republic: 410/586-0683.