Sunday, July 25, 2010

From Cow To Ice Cream

What an eventful day we had..."The process of milk from the cow to the bottle and everything in between!" We spent the day at the beautiful Maleney Dairy where we did a tour that was just perfect for young children. We spent the beginning of the tour in the baby animal pen to pat the baby goat and calf. Master 2 and Master 4 were so excited as they also had the opportunity to feed the cows and goats out of bottles. We were then shown how hand milking is done using their cow 'Sweetpea'. We then headed to the milking sheds where the boys were able to put their thumbs in the suctions cups to feel the suction of the milking machines and the highlight of the tour... having a ride on the milking turntable!! (Why does everything always come back to trains with my boys!)
We then went to the factory so see where the milk is processed and bottled and finally put into the trucks for delivery. Again of course anything that involves large, moving vehicles in the boy's eyes is a winner. We had a lovely end to the tour with some taste testing of the very popular yogurt! (Yummy) As you know I'm all about hands-on experience for young children, and what better way for children to understand how milk gets from a cow into their ice-cream or milkshakes than experiencing it first hand. On our drive home Master 4 was very keen to go over the days events and to point out as many foods he could think of that contained milk. I knew I had the book "From Cow to Ice Cream" at home and that it was a wonderful opportunity to make home made ice-cream with the boys for afternoon tea. (and a Sunday treat!!)
Milk can become homemade ice cream in five minutes by using a bag! This homemade, creamy treat is a delight for kids and adults alike.
What you'll need:
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk or half & half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons rock salt
1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc)
1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag
Ice cubes

How to make it:
Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully.
Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes.
Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Enjoy!

A 1/2 cup milk will make about 1 scoop of ice cream, so double the recipe if you want more. But don't increase the proportions more that that - a large amount might be too big for kids to pick up because the ice itself is heavy.

Flavour combinations are almost limitless. Don't be afraid to add your favourite fruits or nuts! Below are some suggestions for flavour variation that we use in our house!

Toasted Coconut
Add ½ cup lightly toasted shredded coconut.
Optional: add ¼ teaspoon almond extract.

Add ¼ cup crushed peppermint crisp or aero bar.
Optional: add a few drops red food coloring and/or 1/8 teaspoon mint extract.

Peanut Brittle
Add ½ cup crushed peanut brittle.

Mint Chocolate Chip
Add ¼ teaspoon mint extract and ¼ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (or shaved chocolate). Optional: add a few drops of green food coloring.

Cookies And Cream
Add ½ cup (about 8) crumbled chocolate cookies.

Chocolate Chip, Coconut, and Strawberry
Add 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 bag of milk chocolate chips, and frozen/fresh strawberries.

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