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Easy-Freezy Vanilla Ice Cream

By Kathy Little

Fri, Jun 20th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Lights, action, camera! Mothers and sisters are the stars of Pop Culture in books, movies, and songs. Think “Little Women” and “I Remember Mama.” Woe to the person who speaks ill of someone’s mother. Double woe to someone who forgets mother on “her holiday”. Sisters often vacation together. Of course sisters and mothers are sometimes lucky enough to become grandmothers. Grandmothers become family matriarchs and are often so beloved that their lives are honored for many generations. I am still quoting my Grandma Ruth and plant zinnias in honor of her every summer.

Aunts and cousins seem to be co-stars in the family drama. Of course, there was “Auntie Mame” portrayed so brilliantly by Rosilyn Russel, but I am dating myself. My aunt Ruthie was memorable if not so flamboyant as Mame. She was my mother’s youngest sister with beautiful red hair. (Since I come from a family of redheads, triple woe to anyone who doesn’t think red hair is beautiful!) She worked at the telephone company, lived at home and eventually married a handsome sailor!

Before this man came into her life, she was the life of the party as far as her nieces were concerned. We pretended to apply make-up at the peach crate vanity my Grandpa Schwartz built for her and played with her giant green and white Teddy bear, Henry. We adored the “minute steaks” she ate for lunch and the frosty malt ice cream she bought quarts of for us. We even ate it right out of the carton with ice tea spoons!. My mother never let us do that.

She took me to see “The Wizard of Oz” because I was her oldest (and dare I say, favorite niece). Every time I watch that movie, I think of her. I still lust after ruby slippers. Why do they make them only for little girls? I would wear them proudly at any age. Yes, Dear Reader, I am still very mobile. When I read “Wicked” and saw the musical, I once again thought of Aunt Ruthie.

When she became engaged, we were so excited. She was the first bride we had seen married in our family. She looked like a princess in her princess styled wedding gown. Best of all we got to eat all the wedding cake we wanted for days. Then on an even more romantic note: the newlyweds’ phone number was 765-2325.They were ages 23 and 25 when they were married.

They had a long and happy marriage. My first paying babysitting job was for their two daughters: Debbie and Denise. I learned a lot from that experience. They were great kids but unique! For instance, when I made chicken noodle soup for lunch, one would only eat the noodles and the other one would only eat the broth. I started to wonder if they knew Jack Sprat and his wife. When questioned about future careers, Debbie was thinking about becoming a teacher. Denise proudly declared she wanted to grow up to be a pig. What an imagination .

Later when I became a mother and an aunt, I wanted to be the fun aunt, just like Ruthie! Once when my niece, Danielle, stayed overnight with my son; I made fried ice cream for them and tied rags on their feet with shoelaces and let them help me wash my kitchen floor. They loved it. However, when Danielle told her mother (my sister Julie) about how much fun she and Jed had washing my kitchen floor, Julie called me. She had questions about this “floor washing game.” Something to do with child labor laws.

As much fun I thought I was as an aunt paled in comparison to my sister, Barbie. Barbie is the real “Auntie Mame.” Nieces and nephews begged to stay overnight at her house and only grudgingly returned home. Then they sulked because their mothers never had good enough treats, let them watch movies all day in their pajamas, took them out for pancakes, treated them to root beer floats, played fun games with them, let them decorate the Christmas tree their way, etc. Yes, Aunt Barbie, reminded us that we were merely mothers.

The nieces and nephews, and the great nephew still want to visit Aunt Barbie where they are loved and treated like royalty. I admit, I have tried and failed to compete for the “fun aunt” title. She knows exactly what their hearts desire from food to movies to toys to games and she generously gives it to them. Yet they follow her rules and help her do chores. They don’t play the “floor washing game”, but they have attended many Fillmore County Fairs together. Once I complained to another aunt that Barbie always bought the best treats and the most loved toys. I asked her, “How is she able to do that?” She replied dryly, “Constant practice.”

In reality everyone should be so blessed to have an Aunt Ruthie or an Aunt Barbie or as the grand nephew calls her “the Barberator”.

Just in case you want to be a fun aunt this summer, you and a young relative might want to make this shortcut ice cream. No ice cream maker is needed.

Easy-Freezy Vanilla Ice Cream

2 cups whipping cream

l-14 oz. can sweetened, condensed milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat whipping cream with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Stir together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Fold in whipped cream. Place in an airtight container. Freeze until firm about 6-8 hours. This recipe from “Country Living Magazine” may make you very popular.

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