When you grow up on a farm you grow a lot of what you eat. Summertime is one of my favorite times of the year and the summer season often brought about many meals made from just about everything we grew ourselves. Besides our milk, we had a flock of laying hens that provided us with eggs and a garden that gave us fruit, berries, and vegetables all summer long.
July is a beautiful month of running barefoot on dusty paths, sunny days of cutting hay and watching the corn grow. That might sound like the most cliché description of summer on the farm, but those are some of the things I hold dear. July also embraces one of my favorite days – America’s Birthday.
Arguably my favorite holiday, my family’s tradition on the 4th of July will always have a special place in my heart. Our celebration of the Stars and Stripes includes a little bit of everything I love, family and friends, home-cooked food, country music, cows, a campfire and a guitar, and homemade pies with fresh ice cream!
My sister and I have a longstanding custom of baking pies for almost every holiday and special occasion imaginable, but we go above and beyond for the glorious Fourth - we especially love using fresh berries and fruit from our garden that are plentiful in July. And nothing goes better with pie than a scoop of fresh vanilla ice cream!
As the sun begins to set and the cool night breeze blows we all sit around the campfire, sing old songs, and dig into our dessert. This is when Daisy Mae comes over to join in the merriment. When the fireworks light up the sky we crank the radio in the pickup so it drowns out the noise of the fireworks for the cows. Daisy Mae is never too bothered by the fireworks and often watches them go up in the sky, enjoying the show with us!
Sis and I never quite agree when it comes to making the perfect flaky pie crust but we sure do agree when it comes to making the best ice cream. Below is our recipe for our rich and delicious vanilla ice cream - remember to start with fresh local milk and cream!
On this 4th of July, let the Red, White and Blue fly high to celebrate our Nation’s 241st year with family, friends and of course some fresh dairy!
Until next time,
Aleah and Maggie's Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 teaspoons real vanilla extract
- Combine milk, cream and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a simmer. Stir occasionally and remove from heat.
- In a large bowl whisk together egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Gradually mix half of the milk mixture into the bowl (this will slowly heat the eggs, but not too fast so that they scramble). Then pour the egg and milk mixture back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 6 to 8 minutes, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Pour the custard through a sieve into a chilled bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water. Refrigerate and stir occasionally. The custard can remain in the fridge for up to 2 days before freezing.
- Pour into freezer safe container and place in the freezer. Freeze overnight. Because this recipe does not require an ice cream maker it may help to stir the ice cream occasionally for the first couple hours it starts to freeze, but this is optional.