There is nothing better on a hot day than a bowl full of ice cream; especially the home made kind. I have fond memories of making it with my Grandma Dee Dee and her mother, my Great-Grandma Bernie. They were two old ladies who did not mess around with their ice cream. They did not believe in using mixes; if we were going to make it, we were going to do it right! That meant making it from scratch and along with the hand churning, it took several hours. The recipe has been passed down in my family and I will gladly admit it is pretty darn good ice cream. I truly enjoy making it and sharing it with others as long as I dont have to churn it by hand.
Every Wednesday, our Calo students are involved in a course simply titled, Seminar. Each week is different; one week we might discuss science, the next the Civil War and the next week, we might learn how to play chess. The students look forward to Seminar and the teachers enjoy stretching their wings and teaching lessons that are outside of the box.
After my most recent visit home, a conversation with my Grandma Dee Dee made me think about making home made ice cream. Immediately I knew that I wanted to make it during Seminar with my students!
We had to break the students into two sections; making ice cream with 45 teenagers is not a simple feat. We found the perfect opportunity when half of the campus was on their most recent camping trip; the girls were up first with the boys following the next week. I enlisted the help of our fantastic Calo staff and they came though with flying colors. Not only did they help to supervise the activity, but several allowed for the use of their ice cream machines. For two weeks, 6 teachers, 6 Calo coaches and 20+ students were ready to go!
We met in the kitchen for the excitement to begin. The students were eagerly anticipating the ice cream and only a small few had ever made it before. We discussed the directions and the ingredients that were used and they were divided into teams of 3-5 students. There were many humorous incidents most of which involved the cracking of eggs and the separation of the egg whites and yolks. Each team should have used 6 eggs but the overall average was more in line with 10-11 eggs; needless to say, our Calo boys will definitely need another lesson in egg cracking!
I have never seen such patience and team work from our students. Each team had their own different obstacles, from egg cracking to mixing the ingredients and adding their rock salt and ice. They were all engaged in positive conversation and there were smiles and laughter all around. The entire 2 hour process was such an uplifting positive experience; their good humor was contagious.
When the churning process was complete and it was time to eat the ice cream, the students dove in head first. The girls were willing to share with others, the boysnot so much. A team of 4 boys and their staff were so excited about their ice cream that the moment it was finished, the grabbed a few toppings sat down at a table and within a very short amount of time, had eaten the entire batch!
Needless to say, all of the students were proud of their accomplishments and their bellies were the recipient of the reward!