Jul 27, 2009

A Cute Little Culinary Secret!

It's not often I get to share secrets but here is a little gem - about ice.

In addition to having an ice cream maker at home, I have a home ice maker or a portable ice maker as some people call it. I have mentioned it before in my blog posts when talking about preparing foods and entertaining where having freshly made ice available is relevant. However, one thing I have NOT said before, is that this little machine has an 'ice secret' all its own.

That secret is in the shape of the ice it produces. Sounds odd? Perhaps, but not so for anyone who has used one of these machines to produce their own ice for storage in the freezer.

If you have ever bought bags of ice to store at home you will know that it is usually the commercially, bulk produced kind, shaped in cubes. Take the bags of ice cubes home, put them into your freezer to store, bring them out when you need them and more often than not you are greeted with .... no, not a bag of beautifully preserved, loose cubes but the challenge of smashing apart a solid block of ice because the cubes have fused together!

Now with a home ice maker such as the one I have (in the photo), the ice it produces is nugget shaped - cylindrical is perhaps a more accurate description. This shape means that when the nuggets are stored together in a bag in the freezer, they won't stick together in a solid block as readily as cubed shaped ice does. So when you pull your bag of frozen nugget ice out of the freezer all it usually requires is a gentle tap to just free any that have become a little 'sticky'. Now that's what I call a cute little culinary secret!

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Aug 4, 2008

Ice Cream Making & Ice Making At Home

As everyone who reads my website knows, I have a passion for making ice cream at home. I even have 2 different kinds of ice cream maker - both are electric but one freezes as it batches allowing me to make a traditional fairly frozen ice cream and the other is one of an increasingly popular type of machine which produces more of a gelato (semi-frozen) ice cream. My latter ice cream maker even has compartments for sprinkles, an ice cream cone holder and a lever for dispensing the ice cream when it's ready. It's like having my own little ice cream parlor. Experimenting with ice cream mixtures has never been more fun!

My kitchen has other machines in it of course - for making anything from bread to ice. My ice maker is a small, light and portable ice maker, ideal for home use. It doesn't make ice cubes but rather ice nuggets. See photo for the shape of them. It's really handy whenever I want fresh ice in a reasonable quantity. Also I don't have to worry about making space in the freezer to try and produce a few ice cubes from a tray of water.

I also have one of those mini chocolate fountains - great for parties and get-togethers. In fact, when I come to think of it, all the machines I've just talked about could be used in one fell swoop for a summer party - homemade ice cream and dipping chocolate (with fruit) for desserts and freshly made ice for all the drinks. All we need now is the sunshine!

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