I’ve been dreaming about making Golden Milk Ice Cream for a while now. The spicy flavor, the bit of ginger-ish heat. And today’s the day we finally dug the chiller bowl for our Nostalgia ice cream maker out of the recesses of our jumbo freezer. I mean in normal times we’d have a turkey, maybe a ham, some bags of frozen veggies, and maybe a container or two of soup in there.
But with the pandemic, and everyone hoarding everything, the threat of suddenly not having access to meat or frozen vegetables, the shortage of dairy products… you get the picture. We’ve become that family I used to marvel at when I was young, with all the canned goods in the basement, and bottles and bottles of cooking oil lined up for the end of days. So now our freezer contains hams, a turkey, multiple packages of turkey and regular hot dogs, veggie burgers, frozen veggies, fish, scallops… if zombie apocalypse or snow-mageddon come calling, or the trumpets sound from on high, we are prepared!
Digging out the prized freezer bowl
But we also had to dig through all that stuff (yeah, loaves of bread, frozen milk, and cheese… we don’t need to shop for months!) to find the lone little freezer bowl for our little Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker. We bought it on a whim a year or two ago. It’s very simple and makes just a pint. But it’s quick. You keep the bowl part stored in the freezer. When a craving for home made ice cream hits, voila! Mix up your ice cream mix, pour it into the frozen bowl, attach the paddle/lid piece, plug in and flip the switch. In 20 – 30 minutes you end up with ice cream!
New Englanders love ice cream. It’s a habit from way back!
I remember when I was little. We had a big wooden barrel ice cream maker that you had to crank for what seemed like hours. In between cranking you got a break to pour rock salt into the sides surrounding the canister. That’s when I learned melting ice is colder than ice that’s just sitting there. It did the trick too, but we were always opening the top to see if it was ready, and a bit of salt would tumble in. Maybe that’s why my blood pressure is a bit high today… too much salt in my ice cream growing up! But we didn’t limit ourselves to DIY ice cream when I was younger. Not at all. We had a few places I remember. Maybe you have your favorite ice cream spots too?
Patleys Ice Cream Parlor
This place was amazing! Attached to a house, and very much an old-fashioned ice cream parlor right on the main street in my hometown of North Reading. We’d stop in there on Sundays before we headed home from church or pick up a few pints of ice cream on the way over to my aunt’s house. This place is even referenced in old newspapers. One article I found was from a pre-1900 newspaper! I think Patley’s even had a make-your-own sundae bar. I don’t really remember sitting in the place, but I definitely remember when they closed. My father told me it was because they had problems with their plumbing. I couldn’t imagine what kind of plumbing issue would make an ice cream place close. But when we stopped by there was a sign on the door, closed, thanks for the many years of being our customer. It was the first time in my life that I realized business belonged to people and those people could decide to close them, even if I really liked them.
Richardson’s is an actual dairy farm in Middleton, MA. They’ve been in the same place for 300 years. My Uncle Everett knew the family who owned the farm since he’d been a foster child to the White family a few towns over who also ran a Dairy Farm. Farms and farmers all rely on each other and see each other at area fairs. It made sense that he’d know this family. We used to go to agricultural fairs every Fall with my uncle, and he definitely knew a lot of the farmers there. And we’d watch the oxen pull and he’d cheer on his friends. Definitely a brotherhood, even though my uncle was no longer in farming.
How doing laundry connects with ice cream
I remember stopping by the White’s farm when I was very young to see a newborn calf. Those cows were HUGE! My uncle carried me up on his shoulder so I wouldn’t get trampled, and that cow’s shoulders were right up there higher than my uncle’s! We also took a run over to Richardson’s to say hi to that family.
When we were older, Richardson’s Dairy had a couple stores, and a mini-golf spot out front. The strip mall had a convenience store and a laundromat and I think I liquor store, too. We’d go to that laundromat once a week. Not a fun Saturday with my mother coordinating laundry and trying to make sure four kids didn’t wander into the parking lot in front of a car, or head into the cow barns and get in trouble… or worse yet, walk out onto the main road and get hit by a truck! Good behavior, meaning sitting quietly and helping to fold the laundry = we would be getting an ice cream. It worked quite well.
We survived those Saturdays living for an ice cream cone. Eventually, we got a washing machine that sat in our kitchen at home. But we couldn’t use it much because we had to run a hose from the machine, through the bathroom door, and into the tub to drain. Not the most convenient thing in a house with only one bathroom and six people! So we still went to Richardson’s occasionally. If you could deal with the smell of cow manure, you could enjoy an ice cream that was fresher than any ice cream around!
China Blossom – A family tradition
Our favorite family restaurant for celebrations, special dinners, or just because my parents felt like a Sunday drive was in order, was eating at China Blossom. It’s in Andover, and is still around! It definitely looks a bit different than it did back in the 60s. Back then it was a special place for my family. I can remember one time we all got dressed up to go out to eat there. It may have been around Easter. My brothers were wearing little suits and grown up hats like my father’s, my sister had on a fluttery, hot pink flowered organza dress with matching pink tights and white shoes, and the six of us waited patiently in the lobby for our table. The inside of the restaurant smelled like incense, and there were all sorts of display cases with teacups and statues.
What little boys did when they were bored in the 60s
My brothers finished their meal and got up to talk to the men in the lobby. Not sure why my mother let them just wander off, but she did, and when we finally went out to get them they were bowing to the waitstaff and saying, “Aah, sooo!” Obviously the result of some tv show they’d seen. Thankfully the waiters were laughing and taking it for the innocence it represented. My mother was not pleased and grabbed them quickly to bring back to the table. We were going to have ice cream for dessert!
The waiter went around the table asking each of us what we’d like, “Vanilla or Chocolate?” One child at a time, and repeated the choices each time. When he finally got to my sister, she panicked at being asked, and when the waiter asked, “Vanilla or chocolate?” Lorraine, blushing and smiling at the same time, said clearly, “Strawberry!” The poor waiter didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to disappoint her. My mother laughed and just said, “She’ll have chocolate.” I’ve asked my sister about that day, she said she was hoping he’d have something else by the time he got to her. It had been a long meal!
Other Ice Cream Places I Remember
- Buttrick’s in Medford. Just down the street from the ice rink. There’s a condo complex there now.
- Friendly’s because there’s one everywhere and I used to love their Swiss Almond Fudge Sundaes
- Dairy Queen – I have a hankering for their Dilly Bars and discovered one on a road trip just a few years ago.
- Kimball Farms is a favorite of our with the added benefit of a seafood and BBQ, outdoor seating and an arcade plus so many other activities
- Great Brook State Park has an active Dairy Farm on site with blueberry ice cream to die for, and baby cows, goats, and bunnies you can feed.
The list goes on and on and on. Right now our favorite local place is Sully’s. Just a small stand representing Sullivan Farms. It’s just a couple miles from our house and sells amazingly generous quarts to take home.
But if we’re in the mood, we can make ice cream whenever we want! And this recipe for Golden Milk Ice Cream is my new favorite! I made it with lactose-free, fat-free milk (Lactaid), and whipping cream. Looking for a vegan option? Substitute full-fat coconut milk for the milk and cream, and leave the eggs out. My Golden Milk powder is made with milk protein, coconut milk, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper among a few other ingredients. But there are several vegan versions of that as well.Try this vegan version of Golden Milk by Minimalist Baker if that’s your goal.
Golden Milk Ice Cream
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup whipped cream, chilled
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla
- 4 TB Golden Milk Turmeric Infusion
- In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, mix sugar and milk together, and stir occasionally until bubbles start to form around the edge
- While milk and sugar are heating, beat egg in a small bowl
- When milk has started to bubble, slowly pour about ½ cup of the hot milk mixture into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to prevent the egg from curdling or cooking
- Once combined, stir the egg mixture into the pan with the rest of the milk mixture. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook and stir until the mixture has thickened slightly. It should take 2 – 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer into a metal bowl. Set in refrigerator to allow to cool completely. 2 hours or longer.
- Once completely cooled, whisk in the whipping cream, vanilla, and golden milk powder.
- Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow instructions to make your ice cream.
I have a Retro Ice Cream Maker. It takes about 30 minutes to churn into amazing ice cream! Enjoy over apple pie, cherry pie, or all on its own.
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