National Ice Cream Month

soundsteps by kindermusik of dallas national ice cream month

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month. He called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities”.

Five Fun Historic Ice Cream Facts:

  1. The earliest reference to ice cream given by the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1744.
  2. Ice cream was introduced to the U.S. by Quaker colonists who brought over their recipes.
  3. Ice cream was served at President James Madison’s Inaugural Ball in 1813.
  4. Charles E. Minches of St. Louis, Missouri is credited with inventing the ice cream cone. On July 23, 1904 at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, he filled a pastry cone with two scoops of ice cream to make the first ice cream cone.
  5. Reuben Mattus, an American, invented Haagen-Dazs in 1960. He chose the name because it sounded Danish!

Sure, ice cream is not exactly health food, but did you know that ice cream can be a source of protein, vitamins B2 and B12, and calcium? Add some berries and walnuts and you’ve nearly  got the whole food pyramid in your bowl!

Just because your body doesn’t tolerate ice cream well doesn’t mean you have to skip all the fun. Sherbet, sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato and soy ice creams can be just as delicious and refreshing, and can even be enjoyed out of a cone – so you won’t be missing any of the fun.

Why not host your own old fashioned ice cream social? Head to the farmer’s market for some in-season goodies (peaches and cherries are perfect right now!) and churn up a batch of homemade deliciousness. Here’s a crowd-pleaser of a recipe:

Peach-and-Toasted Pecan Ice Cream
Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped peaches
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and whipping cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

2. Whisk egg yolk until slightly thickened. Gradually whisk about 1 cup hot cream mixture into yolk. Add yolk mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla bean paste. Cool 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, cook peaches and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Coarsely mash, and let cool 30 minutes. Stir peach mixture into cooled cream mixture.

4. Place plastic wrap directly on cream mixture, and chill 8 to 24 hours.

5. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; add pecans, and cook, stirring constantly, 8 to 9 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).

6. Pour chilled cream mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Instructions and time may vary.) Before transferring ice cream to an airtight container for further freezing, stir in pecan mixture.

*Vanilla extract may be substituted.

Not in the mood to make a mess? Load up the kiddos and head to your favorite ice cream spot. Have you been to Wild About Harry’s?  They made the Top Ten List of best places to get ice cream in the US!

Keep it super simple and get some cones and ice cream at the grocery store and plan a family walk around the block while you eat your ice cream cone from home.

Any weary moms out there need an excuse for a spa day? The Spa at Luxe Stoneleigh is celebrating the Ice Cream Month in a fancy way. During the entire month of July the Spa will be offering delicious Ice Cream Sundaes when you book an Ice Cream Manicure or an Ice Cream Pedicure (see their website for details).

No matter how you celebrate, be sure and participate in the most tasty American holiday. I scream, you scream, we all scream…let’s all stop screaming and eat some ice cream!

This post brought to you by Jenny Leggett, who is partial to a small dish of rocky road, if you please.