• If you have school aged kids or even preschoolers, and those kids watch any TV you have likely heard about Ice Cream Magic. Basically it is a little contraption shaped like an ice cream cone that makes about a half cup of ice cream. You freeze part of it, add your ingredients and then shake. My kids have been asking for one of these contraptions for weeks. Frankly, there is no way I am going to shell out fifteen bucks for one of these things. Call me a Scrooge, but I’m just not going to do it.

    However, if my kids want to make some homemade ice cream I am all for that. I know what you’re thinking, most ice cream makers are not as much fun. Never fear, you can put your kid’s summer energy to work by hand “churning” ice cream using plastic bags.

    You need your obvious cast of characters:

    Gallon zip top bags
    Quart zip top bags
    1/2 cup of half and half
    1 tablespoon of sweetener (more or less to taste) I use regular white sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla flavor
    One decent squirt of chocolate syrup (totally optional, but extraordinary taste!)
    Five tablespoons Ice cream salt
    A towel or pair of gloves to keep hands warm.

    Pour your half and half, sugar, vanilla, and chocolate syrup into the quart sized bag. Zip it up. Shake it to mix. Really make sure it is zipped up well. Or you will end up with a big mess. Don’t ask me how I know this. Okay, that is your ice cream base. I would imagine that you could use any ice cream base that you prefer. More elaborate ones, or simpler ones like a mix. Just don’t over stuff your bags.

    Put the bag of ice cream base into the gallon sized zip topped bag. Fill the larger bag with ice and the ice cream salt. Zip up that bag.

    Your final step is to shake! My kids danced, they shook, they wiggled. They complained a little bit about cold hands. I calmly reminded them that cold fingers were well worth fresh ice cream! After about fifteen minutes of constant shaking, you could start to feel the ice cream firm up. You want it to be the consistency of soft serve.

    When you finally reach that elusive moment of ice cream it is time to eat! Pour it into bowls or eat it straight from the bag. I will not tell. If you prefer a more hardened texture you will have to put your ice cream into a container and back into the freezer for a few hours. No matter how you eat it though, it is a great summer afternoon activity with a sweet reward.