Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Thrifty Acres: Patience Is A Virtue

Hello! Most of us probably have at least one shopping weakness, which can lead to impulse buying when a new "gotta have it"  appears on store shelves or online. 

One of my weaknesses is stuff for the kitchen. Manufacturers are constantly coming up with gadgets, gizmos and small appliances that do everything from cutting a watermelon into slices to making breakfast sandwiches. 

No, I don't have either of those, but I do have an electric ice cream maker that makes two quarts at a time. Each time I make ice cream most of it gets eaten by my husband (he LOVES ice cream) so of course I have to make the flavors he prefers. 

The trouble is, there are many flavors I'd like to try that he wouldn't touch. I don't eat ice cream with wild abandon as he does, so I'd get bored with my batch before I could eat it all.

A summer or two ago, I spied an ice cream maker that makes small amounts of ice cream at a time. That would solve my dilemma: I could make flavors I like and not get sick of them before I ate them up! But, after all, we did already have an ice cream maker at home, and it's not as if I have to have certain flavors of ice cream. So I deemed this mini ice cream maker an impulse purchase and passed it up. 

But remember, the title of this post refers to patience, as in  someone else's impulse purchase showing up at a thrift store eventually. And so, a couple of weeks ago I came home with this:

The Hamilton Beach Half Pint Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker. It works the same as my larger maker: a chilled ice cream base is placed in a work bowl that's frozen before use, and a small electric motor turns the paddle that churns the base. But unlike that larger machine, this one uses between 6oz and 12 oz of base. 

As it turns out, this model has mixed reviews on Some people complained about design flaws, such as motors that died too soon or bowls that split. Others complained that the ice cream didn't set up. (I figured that issue could be due to improper procedure.) But some raved about how great the machine worked. 

I decided to take my chances and whipped up a small amount of Vanilla Malt Chip base(recipe courtesy of my Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book)

Here's how it turned out:

Perfect! I made a flavor I like that my husband wouldn't. And since 12 ounces of base really isn't very much, I can finish the batch before I get sick of it.

Time will tell if I run into the durability issues that people complained about, but if I do, at least my impulse purchase had a thrift store price. Yes, patience really is a virtue!

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