Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream for the Fourth of July

Fourth of July celebrations usually include fireworks, a hot dog or two, and in our RV, homemade ice cream. Whether you hand crank it the old-fashioned way, or use an electric ice-cream maker, the results are worth the effort!

Waiting for ice cream And, if you don’t have a freezer or only need a small amount of ice cream, here’s an entertaining way to impress your fellow RV campers. I like to take two coffee cans and improvise an ice-cream maker. Just put your ice-cream mix into the smaller (1 lb.) can, seal it tightly with the plastic lid, and then set it inside the larger (3 lb.) one. Pack the space between the cans with rock salt and ice, and seal the larger can. Then, hang out by the lake, enjoy the breeze, and roll the can back and forth with your foot. In about 30 minutes, you’ll have a cold tasty treat!

Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe (this one’s for the ice cream freezer)

6 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 12 oz. cans evaporated milk

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

Whole milk

Whisk these together, and pour into the ice-cream freezer. Add fruit if desired (peeled, diced peaches are a wonderful addition) and then add milk to the “fill” line in your freezer. This makes one gallon.

Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe (for the coffee can)

1 egg

1/3 cup sugar

1 5 oz can evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whole milk

Crushed fruit, chocolate chips or other “mixin’s” (optional)

Duct tape

Rock salt (about a cup)

Crushed ice (about 10 cups)

Whisk the ice cream ingredients together and pour into the small coffee can. Add milk until the can is about ¾ full. Seal the plastic lid on the can with duct tape – you don’t want salty water getting into your ice cream!

Place the small can inside the large can, and layer about half of the ice and rock salt in the space between the cans. Seal the large can and you’re ready to roll. Literally. Roll the can under your foot (place it on a towel to keep it clean) or make a game of it and recruit some of the kiddoes to roll the can around the RV park.

After 10 minutes, open the large can, drain the water, and wipe down the top of the small can. Open the small can and scrape down the sides with a spatula and stir the ice cream. (This would also be the time to add some crushed fruit or chocolate chips if desired). Re-seal the small can and re-pack it inside the large can with ice and rock salt. Roll the can for another 15 minutes and again open the cans and check the mixture. It should be frozen to a soft consistency, but if not, you can either re-pack the cans and roll a bit longer, or, place the cans in the freezer to harden. This makes about a pint of ice cream.

What are some of your family’s favorite Fourth of July traditions?

Happy Independence Day, and don’t forget the ice cream!

~ G. Elaine Acker