sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

July 20, 2020

national ice cream day mishap
posted by soe 1:38 am

Today was National Ice Cream Day, which seemed the perfect opportunity to make some homemade ice cream.

I froze the bowl this morning and washed all the other parts of the ice cream maker. (It had been a while since we last used ours.) I bought cream. I read through the manual and recipe.

I remembered that in past occasions the ice cream maker has overflowed and set out a cookie sheet on the stove (outlets are at a premium in my kitchen, so things that need to be plugged in are often used on the stovetop) to hold the contraption and catch any overflow from seeping down into my burners.

I plugged in the base, pulled the bowl out of the freezer, added the blade and lid, and poured in milk, cream, and sugar. I turned it on, and the lid started to click past its stopping point. This was a problem.

With the lid off, I attempted to shift the blade and realized I’d made a tactical error: it was frozen in place. The liquids had already started to freeze, locking the blade where I’d put it. (I should have turned it on and then added the ingredients.) I rocked the blade out slowly (it’s plastic, so there was a good chance of breaking it in the process), and started to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic scraper.

Eventually I got it to a point where I could get the blade back in, but couldn’t get the lid all the way down. Would that work? No — if the lid isn’t locked in place, the entire thing spins together, and the cream doesn’t churn.

More scraping, and eventually I got it to a spot where the lid nearly latched in place. No problem, I thought to myself, I’ll just hold it in place until it spins down enough to get it down that extra quarter inch.

This is the point in a sitcom where you at home in your comfy chair shake your head. Mishaps are about to ensue. An outside observer can see where things are about to go off the rails. The unwitting actor does not have the benefit of your wisdom.

I flipped the switch and pressed down on the lid.

The ice cream started to spin, but I was holding it down from above. Physics still exist, though, so the only thing not being held down started to spin — the cookie sheet the whole thing was sitting on. It crashed into the pepper mill and the milk pitcher and the tea kettle in quick succession. Realizing my mistake, I reached for the off button. But to do that, I let up slightly on the lid, and the base started to spin with the cookie sheet — and the off switch went out of sight.

In this moment, the only obvious thing that occurred to me was to pick up the entire contraption off the cookie sheet in an effort to find the switch.

“Help! Help!” I shrieked.

Rudi, who’d been taking a nap, stumbled in to find me holding this Exorcist device, and I, the cookie sheet, the stove, and everything in the vicinity (which he’d literally just scrubbed down earlier in the day) covered in cream.

We had very thin milkshakes to celebrate National Ice Cream Day instead.

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