Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.

It’ll take you just 10 minutes to prep this satisfying and delicious homemade vanilla ice cream.
The best part? You don’t need one of those silly ice cream machines! Now that’s magic, if you ask us.

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
2 cups cold heavy cream
In a medium bowl, stir together condensed milk, vanilla, and Bourbon, if desired.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, 3 minutes.
With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into condensed milk mixture.
Pour into a 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch loaf pan. Freeze until firm, 6 hours.

Cook’s Note: Freeze, covered, up to 1 week.
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Vanilla was first used among the Aztec people. By the 1500s, Spanish conquistadors, exploring present-day Mexico, had come across Mesoamerican people who consumed it in their drinks and foods. The vanilla bean was brought back to Spain with the conquistadors. In Spain, “vanilla was used to flavor a chocolate drink that combined cacao beans, vanilla, corn, water, and honey”. The drink eventually spread to France, England, and then all of Europe by the early 1600s.  In 1602, Hugh Morgan, the apothecary of Queen Elizabeth I, recommended that vanilla should be used separately from cocoa.

Ice cream can be traced back to the Yuan period of the fourteenth century. There is evidence that ice cream was served in the Mogul Court. The idea of using a mixture of ice and salt for its refrigerating effects, which is a part of the process of creating ice cream, originated in Asia. The method spread from the East to Europe when the Arabs and the Moors traveled to Spain, between 711 and 1492. Once the refrigerating method of mixing ice and salt had spread to Europe, the Italians became involved in making ice cream.

Source : Wikipedia

Easy Midsummer Ritual Mead

Midsummer Mead
Midsummer Mead

From The Smart Witch on Facebook

Midsummer Ritual Mead is a lovely drink to serve at Litha – the Summer Solstice. You also may enjoy offering it during Esbats and during your Cakes and Ale Ceremonies.

Embrace the tradition by using fresh rainwater that has been blessed by a priest or priestess! The final product will be delicate, sweet, complex and tasty.

You Will Need:
3 gallons water (filtered, non-chlorinated)
3 pounds raw, local honey
3 handfuls of herbs such as meadowsweet, lemon balm, woodruff and heather flowers (two to three cups total)
3 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup barley malt
1 ounce brewer’s yeast
Your cauldron or a large pot (non-aluminum)
A jug larger than 3 gallons

Optional Ingredients:
1 large orange, washed well and cut into eights, rind and all
1 small handful of raisins (about 25)

Pour the water into a large cauldron or pot.
Bring to a boil and add the herbs, cinnamon and cloves.
Simmer gently for one hour to infuse the flavor of the herbs into the water.
Skim off any foam that forms on top.
Add the honey, brown sugar and barley malt.
Stir thirteen times in a deosil (clockwise in the northern hemisphere, counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere) direction and then remove from heat.
Strain through a cheesecloth and allow the mead to cool to room temperature (80 degrees F or less).
Stir in the brewer’s yeast – agitate it well to oxygenate the yeast.
Cover with a clean towel and allow it to stand for at least one full day and one full night without being disturbed.
Strain again, bottle in a clean jug and chill until ready to serve.

Now, this is an “easy” recipe that doesn’t call for the use of an airlock or any chemicals. It usually turns out well. However, without an airlock, which allows gasses to escape without allowing air to enter the container, messy little explosions have been known to occur.

Serve the ritual mead with an incantation or prayer of gratitude. You may also want to keep your intent strong to connect with the earth energies as you make the ritual mead.

Sources: The Wicca Spellbook, The Domestic Witch, Mother Earth News and Cookbook of Shadows