NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

May 29, 2013

Fun frozen treats

Ice cream can be an easy way to get kids cooking

Sometimes, it takes the mind of an 8-year-old boy to come up with a brilliant idea. At least when it comes to ice cream.

My son and I had just left a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop, where I’d snarfed down a double-scoop cup of Americone Dream (vanilla with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and caramel) and Phish Food (chocolate with marshmallow, caramel and fudge fish). My buddy had inhaled Sweet Cream & Cookies (pretty much what it sounds like) and Candy Bar Pie (peanut butter ice cream with fudge, chocolate nougat and pretzels).

And then he got really quiet for a moment, which generally is just a pre-storm calm.

“We need to make our ice cream and sell it this summer,” Parker began with rapid-fire excitement. “We can make all sorts of varieties like red velvet cake and chocolate eclair and snickerdoodle and chocolate with chocolate pretzels and dark chocolate bits and ...”

And you get the idea. His imagination was sparked, and by the time we got back to the car, he’d asked for my phone so he could type out the list of flavors we would be selling this summer.

But his wasn’t the only imagination sparked. Because I’m always looking for great excuses to get kids into the kitchen. Generally, anything that is messy, hands-on, delicious and invites them to be creative (this isn’t the time for fussy recipes) works well. Do-it-yourself ice cream had all the makings of a perfect kid-friendly kitchen project for summer.

Except that neither I nor most parents have the time (nor kids the patience) to truly make ice cream from scratch. And as my son had so wonderfully demonstrated, the fun isn’t in making the ice cream base, but in testing all manner of wacky-delicious things you can flavor it with.

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