A Canadian Foodie Family Tradition
When I was pregnant with Ragan, I remember seeing a photo of an ice bowl with balls of ice cream in it for a summer bridal shower sponsored by JELL-O. The idea never left me. I kept that clip for years. At that time, the ice cream balls were vanilla and each rolled in a different colour of jello powder, and then white coconut. It looked so pretty. I couldn’t wait to make it for one of her birthdays. I am not sure when I first made it, but I made it just like that: balls rolled in jello and then in coconut. Oh, what a mess and what fun! I thought it was tasty in those days, too. Cringe.
Both daughters have summer birthdays: one in June and one in August. I would make it in June and keep it for August and fill it again. I made this for special occasion birthdays and summer parties through the years. The past several years, I have been making my own ice creams. However, this is the first year that I have had enough fruit to grow my own flavourings, too! Can you see the miniature ice cream cones in a bowl, above?
Sweetpeas are my favourite summer flower. The fragrance is gorgeous and they are usually in full bloom for my birthday. The bowl filled with the ice cream was sitting just under our sweet peas. What a lovely sight: Vanilla, Rhubarb, Evans Cherry, Raspberry, Pistachio, Saskatoon Berry and Salted Caramel.
This particular day was fried-egg-on-sidewalk hot, so I placed the ice-bowl into a bed of ice to keep it chilled. Usually it bares its glory on a pedestal in the central spot on the dessert table.
Lauren and I had such fun taking photos of the spectrum of these little creamy delights.
Tasting is always the best part. However, I get so much pleasure from the presentation and the preparation that eating is definitely not the best part for me. I love to taste, but there are so many aspects to this kind of food preparation that I enjoy more than the eating. Just look at the icy fantasy below.
After making each ice cream, I let it cure in the freezer; about 24 hours prior to the event, I shape the balls and freeze them individually on a parchment lined cookie sheet to again cure them. Before placing them in the presentation bowl, I place a wee bit of plastic wrap under each ball to avoid them melting into one another during the event. I do not do this on the few at top as it looks better and they are the ones used shortly after the bowl is presented, so there is no problem with them melting. Making the balls is a process that must be done very quickly to keep the appearance of the ice cream in its frozen and freshly scooped appearance. Below, some are sitting on a bed or flash frozen Saskatoon Berries that are ready to be bagged.
Ragan and I also played with the miniature cones an evening before the party. Which do you like the best? Can you tell which flavour this one is?
It was such a trying tasting!
Keeping the mould bowls level is one important aspect of making a simple ice bowl. The other is releasing the ice from the mould: letting it set for about 15 minutes and then removing the bowls carefully works almost every time.
However, I always make it in enough time to make another, should something happen. Forty eight hours in advance is the minimum amount of time needed to make an ice bowl. I usually start a week to five days prior to the event and the day before the event, fill it with all of the ice cream balls but the ones that will crown the top!
We are so proud of our new son-in-law! Even with his double Ivy League University Master degrees, he can still look really silly eating ice cream!