Friday, September 19, 2014

Thrifty Acres: My "New" Kitchen Toy

Hello! I'd just made my husband a batch of homemade coffee ice cream a few days ago, knowing that our ice cream maker would be going back to its basement storage spot soon - after all, the days are getting shorter and cooler. 

But while browsing in a local thrift store, I spied a Hamilton Beach Drink Master sitting on a shelf with the other small appliances. I plugged it in a nearby outlet to see if it worked, and it did. Appeared to be in good shape too; just in need of a very light cleaning. And the price was right: $2.99. The manual was missing, but I figured I could find it online.

I thought of my husband and his fondness for milkshakes. We already have a blender, but it really doesn't do a good job with shakes. From time to time I've thought of buying a shake machine, but had never done so. Here was my chance.

And here's what my new "toy" looks like:

My Drink Master is model #727-3; made in the US. I looked online to try to find out how old it is. One Etsy seller says it's from the 1970's. Judging from the Etsy and eBay listings, it appeared the $2.99 I paid was a good deal. 

Even though I bought the Hamilton Beach Drink Master with my husband in mind, I have a bit of a fondness for chocolate malts. I don't have them very often, and when I do, I'm often disappointed by the lack of malt flavor. Seems like they end up tasting more like ordinary chocolate shakes. 

Well, I could put this baby to the test and make a chocolate malt just the way I liked! I already had chocolate-flavored malted milk powder at home (left over from a homemade flavored coffee mix recipe), but I needed some ice cream. Fortunately I happened to have a very easy chocolate ice cream recipe on hand as well:

Easy Chocolate Ice Cream (adapted from a Taste of Home recipe credited to Sharon Skildum, Maple Grove MN)

4 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put all ingredients in blender; process on low until smooth. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Recipe yield is 1 1/2 quarts

(Skildum's recipe actually calls for 2 cups half and half and 2 cups whipping cream. In this case, the directions call for processing the half and half, sugar, baking cocoa and vanilla in the blender on low, then stirring in the whipping cream. I find the ice cream plenty rich with all half and half; it'd be even richer if made as published). 

Made this recipe in the morning and after dinner came the moment of truth: how would the Drink Master perform? Following the instructions from the online manual, I added milk to the cup first, followed by the ice cream and then a generous serving of the chocolate malted milk powder. 

The result:

It was fun to use the Drink Master; I felt just like a soda jerk. My chocolate malt tasted properly malty too! I didn't add enough ice cream to make it super thick, but that wasn't because I didn't think the Drink Master couldn't handle it. No, it was because my husband had finished up the coffee ice cream and so I was being nice by saving more chocolate ice cream for him.

Hmm...the weather forecast earlier tonight actually showed warmer temps by the end of next week - maybe I won't put the ice cream maker away just yet. That'll mean I can play with my new toy some more!

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