I Scream, You Scream for National Ice Cream Month

Go ahead and indulge. It’s president’s orders. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month. So you should feel obliged to enjoy this delicious treat all month long. Here are a few ways you can celebrate. Maybe President Obama will pardon your extra calories.

Go Beyond Vanilla
You’ve always hesitated to buy it, but your favorite flavor could be that one flavor you just haven’t been bold enough to sample. Rum raisin, black walnut, green tea, lemon custard or pink bubblegum, the possibilities are endless. Be brave, grab a free sample first, if you must, and try something different to observe this special month.

Make Your Own
An electric ice cream maker is the obvious, less work intensive option. However, consider making it the old fashioned way for a fun family summer activity. Fill a one-gallon plastic jar or old coffee tin with crushed ice and six tablespoons of rock salt. Seal the jar and shake it up for about five minutes. (You might want to wear gloves, because the mixture will cool down to about 14 degrees.) In a two-quart Ziploc bag, combine a half cup of Half & Half, one Tablespoon of sugar and a half teaspoon vanilla extract. Seal the bag, with very little or no air. (Double bag it to ensure the ingredients in the jar don’t get into your ice cream.) Put the bag(s) into the jar and begin shaking the jar or rolling it back and forth between your two hands for about 20 minutes.

Branch out beyond your usual ice cream and take a taste of gelato, fro-yo, old fashioned or soft serve. Ice cream isn’t just plain ice cream anymore. Specialty ice cream shops are popping up all over the place. Take advantage of this and expand your palate of sweets with these tasty summertime treats. So go on, explore places around town with your family and friends and make Ronald Reagan proud.