Tuesday, April 8, 2008

beer and cream

I started home brewing soda a few weeks ago, and the first result wasn't great. I read the recipe wrong, used too much water and not enough sugar. I ended up with this root tonic that didn't hurt anyone but wasn't the root beer we know and love. Well, I did some research, bought updated supplies, and redid the recipe correctly and now have 2 gallons of soda fermenting as I type back at the cabin. One gallon of root beer in an antique whisky jug with a metal handle (thanks Ebay) and a 2-liter bottle and two liter glass bottles of birch beer also fermenting. By the time the weekend rolls to an end, and the chicken coops been built and my new birds are resting on their roosts, I hope to have the beer ready to serve. So we'll see.

But this post really isn't about root beer. It's about what root beer egged me on too. I was emailing heather, like I always do throughout our workdays, and she brought up the point of, "if you're going through all the trouble to make your own soda, why not make your own ice-cream for the floats?" Well, the answer to that was pretty logical. Because homemade ice-cream is expensive. A decent maker barrel costs at least 200 bucks and that isn't counting the bags of rock salt, ice and ingredients. But then I remembered a gadget I first saw on hiking blogs. The ice cream ball (by now, it's so common I think they sell it at Target.) I ordered one for eighteen dollars.

The ice cream ball is like a mini factory/soccer ball. You fill it with ice and rock salt and then fill the little metal vessel with cream, sugar and flavoring. What you end up with is a clamped shut ball you just kick around the yard, let the dogs play with, and roll down the hill and after 10 minutes you'll have a pint of fresh ice cream. I only did this once before in girl scout camp, and we used 5 pound coffee cans with one pounds cans inside them for the same effect. Sadly the ice-cream turned out salty as hell and gross (coffee can lids aren't very good barriers between the salt and cream). So there's this morning's update. Adventures in home brewing, part two with Vermont hill ice cream to boot.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

See Please Here

April 8, 2008 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger HEATHER said...

i love that you can put ice cream ingredients in a ball, let the dog play with it and 10 minutes later you've got yourself a frozen treat. now thats a job i think my border collie would appreciate doing (especially if he got a lick of the finished product...)

April 8, 2008 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Rhonda Jean said...

I make a soft drink called ginger beer. I'm not sure what you mean by root beer. Is it also made with ginger? My recipe is on my blog and it's a real summer hit. It's fermented, fizzy and with the sharp tang of ginger. Oh, and it had been know to explode glass bottles, so I ask my neighbours for their old plastic coke bottle and make it in them.

June 6, 2009 at 7:21 PM  

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