Monday, March 3, 2014

Ice Cream in a Bag

I bribed my kids a few nights ago.

I don't normally bribe them.  I strive to be a pretty matter of fact parent.  Tonight, for some reason, I was a raving lunatic.  I'm not proud.  I joined a facebook group a week and a half ago with a no yelling challenge.

I don't yell at other people's children. After 25 years of working with children, I have learned that it is ineffective.  The only thing it might accomplish is a temporary release of your pressure valve, but it's followed immediately by shame, and kids don't really hear you when you yell anyway.  So why do it?  That's how I feel about other people's children.  The most frustrating thing for me is that I know what to do, I'm a "Professional" for Pete's sake.  But my own children know every button I have, and they push them.  Repeatedly.  Every.  Day.

I don't yell often, or for very long, but even once a day is too much for me.  When I found the facebook group, it popped up on my Pinterest feed while I was in a "Mommy-time-out" because I was ineffectively yelling at the children and they weren't listening anyway.  Ironic, isn't it?

The challenge is for 365 days.  I reset my clock tonight.  I got very frustrated in the car on the way home with the children interrupting each other, then yelling at each other about it.  My teachers will, I'm sure, pick on me for this one, but I yelled at my children to stop yelling (How's that for modeling behavior?  Do as I say, ladies, not as I do!).

When we got home, hubby was late and I needed to get dinner started.  So, knowing I couldn't take one more "mommy, mommy, mommy" I told the kids to sit with their leapsters and don't make a peep.  Then I bribed them with a project while dinner was cooking.  If either of them whined, cried, yelled, or called my name while I was prepping our pigs in a blanket and peas, we wouldn't do it.

It worked.  We made home made ice cream in a bag.  I've been meaning to practice, anyway.  A friend and I are planning a just because ice cream party for our children and a few friends in a couple weeks.  I was worried that the ice cream in a bag would take too long and the kids would lose interest.  For the record, the littlest, who is 3, did lose interest after about three minutes, but she was easy to pull back in (hence the photobomb below!)

This is the rock salt we used.  This was left over from a project at the Center, I found it in the art closet a few weeks ago.  If I hadn't any rock salt, I would have used some kosher salt.  I'm sure table salt would work too, any kind of salt will lower the freezing temperature of the water, making the slush very cold. I found this video, it was the most concise one I could find, but still over my kids' heads as an explanation (but they are only 3 and 5): How does salt melt ice?  There are plenty of videos out there, it could lead to some experimenting with your kids.

We put the chips in the bag, then poured in the cream mixture.  I wanted to ensure equal distribution for the siblings.

Rock salt on ice.

Ice cream mix bag inside ice/salt bag...photobomb (this is one of five pictures--I finally gave up trying to get one without her).  I tried to get the kids to put mittens on their hands so they could hold the bag and squish it around, but we had left our mittens in the car.  They improvised with their socks (the dirty ones, taken directly off their stinky feet and put into their hands.  Don't judge me, I was proud of their problem solving skills).  We ended up wrapping the ice bag in a dish towel, which we later used to wipe the inner bag clean and dry.

It's ice cream!

Snip the bag and squeeze it out.

Freeze it or eat it!  My kids didn't eat it until the next day...the bribery worked before the project, but not after dinner.  Matter-of-fact-mommy kicked back in and drew a hard line in the sand...knock it off or go to bed.  They went to bed and I tried not to eat their ice cream.  After all, I'd like to think I don't need to bribe myself to behave.

Ice Cream in a Bag for 2
2 gallon size ziplock bags, 2 quart size ziplock bags
1 cup Half-and-Half
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional--we also used cinnamon chips, you could mix in anything you want)
10 cups crushed ice, approximately
1/2 cup rock salt, divided

In a medium bowl, mix half-and-half, sugar and vanilla until combined.  Add chocolate chips or any mix-ins you like. Divide the mixture between the two quart ziplock bags.  Carefully squeeze out air and seal the bags.
Fill each gallon ziplock bag half way with crushed ice, add 1/4 cup rock salt. Seal it and shake it up a bit.  Insert the quart ziplock with the ice cream mixture into the ice mixture and seal the bag again.  Shake it for about 5 minutes.  It works best if the quart bag is kind of flat--the ice cream will freeze faster.
When ice cream is frozen, remove inner bag and wipe off any ice or salt particles.  Cut the bottom corner (about 1 inch) off the bag and squeeze the ice cream out of the bag.  Eat or freeze immediately.

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