Friday, October 16, 2009

Ice Cream For Samantha

When I told some friends that I was going to be writing this blog, the one of the first responses I got was, "Are you going to write about the American Girl books?" As a kid, I loved the American Girls - four books to a series, each series highlighting a girl from somewhere in the United States at some point during its history. They were interesting, and fun, and those of us who grew up with them, love them.

When I started reading them, the girls were Samantha (from 1904), Molly (from 1944) and Kirsten (from 1854). Then Felicity came out (from 1774), and it was a huge deal. (Well, to me, it was.) My sisters and I had several of the books, and we got the catalog that had the dolls in it, even though we never had the dolls.  The company has now grown exponentially, and there are books about the friends of the original girls, books about girls I've never even heard of, and books about modern girls, and dolls you can customize, and self-help for pre-teens, and... gah! So much! American Girl, I love you, but how am I supposed to catch up?

Anyway. In several of the books, the authors mention cooking; Molly makes Boston brown bread, Kirsten makes St. Lucia buns, and so on. In Happy Birthday Samantha, our title character has a birthday party with pink peppermint ice cream. It shows up at the beginning of the story, at the party, but the batch is ruined by the annoying neighbor-boy, Eddie. Samantha goes to visit family in New York City, though, and she finally gets her ice cream there - again, pink peppermint. It's her favorite.

So, in honor of Samantha's birthday (which is in the spring in the book, but let's not be too picky, here), I made some pink peppermint ice cream. This recipe is adapted from the French Vanilla ice cream in the Ben & Jerry's cookbook.

Pink Peppermint Ice Cream
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 drops red food coloring
Enough crushed-up peppermints to make about two cups

1. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Whisk in the sugar, a little bit at a time, and then continue for about a minute after all the sugar is added.
3. Pour in the vanilla, cream, milk, and food coloring, and whisk that together until everything is blended.
4. Transfer into an ice cream maker and freeze according to your manufacturer's instructions.
5. About half-way into the freezing time, add  the peppermints.  If you crushed them like I did (in a zip-top bag, with a hammer), you'll have pieces of all different sizes and a fair amount of peppermint dust that should blend right in.

Samantha has her ice cream frozen into molds, but there wasn't room in the freezer for a bunch of molds, and I wasn't sure how it would take to a mold made for jell-o, besides my being lazy, so I just put it in a large tupperware and scooped it out as needed.  Judging by the trouble I had getting a good photo, that's probably a good thing - this is a very soft ice cream due to the high sugar content. 

I am lucky enough to have family who not only indulges my odd quirks of needing to randomly cook something from a story, but also has the fun kitchen tools I need to make things like ice cream on the spur of the moment. If you don't have an ice cream freezer, run a Google search on: "how to make ice cream" and you will find methods that don't need the ice cream freezer, such by using two zip-top bags or two empty coffee cans.

And yes, I will make both St. Lucia Bread and Boston Brown Bread at some point in the future. And just about anything else. If anybody has any requests or comments, please feel free to leave a comment, or send me an email at

And lastly, thanks to my aunt, who crushed the peppermints with the hammer for me while I was whisking the rest of the ingredients together.  You're the best.

1 comment:

  1. I had forgotten this recipe. Glad to see it here! And that you have an ice cream freezer handy at a moment's notice. :-)