domingo, 6 de julio de 2008

Summer Days In the Country

It is the time of year that there is hard work and too much to do to fit it all in the long days! Taking care of the yard and flowers and gardens holding down a job and taking care of the family, picking berries and garden produce and preserving foods. The county fairs are in full swing and people are carting their goods to see if they are worthy of a Blue or purple ribbon. I love Summer in the Country. At the end of the day you are ready to drop into bed and revieve yourself to start all over the next day. But oh what joy there is in all of this!
A few tips to get you through this busy time is what my blog is going to be about today. It's been awhile since I've written but I have been so busy doing all of this stuff. :)
I've been picking wild blackberries and preparing for jam YUM!!
A tip on picking berries of any kind but especially ones with THORNS is to use a meat ball maker. one that has a hinged handle and a ball on both sides. (like tongs but with a ball that opens on the end). All you have to do is open the ball with the handles and grab the berries and close the ball and pull them off the bush. This prevents your hands from getting stained and stuck by the thones. It really works and makes berry picking so much more enjoyable!! Try it.
Oh and don't for get to "beat the bushes" if you live in snake country. I came face to face with a snake just laying on one of the branches. NOW I take a yard stick with me and tap the bushes before I start to pick to scare away any unwanted slithery creatures!
Handcranked Ice Cream is a must for Summer Country fun.
There's really only one standard method for making turned ice cream. You should be able to use these directions for any ice cream recipe(not the kind you put in your freezer, use manufacturers directions for those)
1 Prepare the ice cream mix according to directions and cool it in the refrigerator for several hours.
2. Wash the can, cover and dasher well and scald with boiling water. Drain and cool.
3. Pour the cooled mix into the can. Never fill the can more than 2/3 full. For example, never put more than 4 quarts (1 gal) of mix in a 6 quart can. Ice cream expands as it freezes.
4. Put the dasher in the can(be sure it's seated properly), cover, and place in the freezer bucket. Place the cranking mechanism on top; make sure it fits tightly and is securely wedged in place. (Electric cranks are done the same) But taking turns cranking is part of the FUN!! for all.
5. pack the freezer bucket with ice and salt. Salt lowers the freezing point of ice and forms a salt-water brine that is good and cold. just right for freezing ice cream. The 4 qt. models needs 15-20 pounds of crushed ice and 2 1/2-3 cups of salt. Use only crushed ice. You can freeze lots of ice cubes ahead of time, then place them in a burlap bag, and smash them with a hammer.(that was MY job when I was a youngster!) Crush them into small pieces; Large pieces of ice leave too many open air spaces around them and are a common cause of ice cream failures(as is too little salt.) Layer the ice and salt in the bucket, beginning by filling the bucket 1/3 full with ice. Cover with a thin lalyer of rock salt or ice cream salt, then another thinner layer of ice. Continue until the bucket is full and the can is covered by the ice/salt mixture. you can add some water 1 cup for small freezers and 2 or larger ones.
6. Begine cranking the mixture. If you're using a hand craned model, start cranking slowly, then faster as the mix begins to freeze. Throughout the whole cranking process, water should be flowing from the drain hole in the side of the bucket(keep the hole free from ice) Add more ice and salt as needed so that the can is always covered with ice and salt. When the cranking becomes difficut- or the motor begins to l abor this step is done.
7. Remove the crank and take out the dasher. Be careful not to get salty ice or ice water in the can. (Let the kids clean the dasher for a treat while they wait for the finished product!!) Cover the mix with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, blug the hole in the cover with a cork or rag and put the cover on the can. Now the hard part waiting!!! Wrap the can in a towel and place it in your home freezer for 2 to 3 hours. Before they had freezers they emptied the ice salt mixture packed in in new ice in the bucket and wrapped it with a burlap sack. You can eat the ice cream as soon as you get done without putting it into the freezer but the texture will be more runny.
You can add nuts fruit or anything you like M&Ms etc. before you pack it and put it in the freezer! HAPPY EATING AND HAVE A FUN FILLED SUMMER!
Until next time Good Bless all who read this!

No hay comentarios.: