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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: You Scream, I Scream — For National Ice Cream Month

By Sherrie Norris

It’s early July and a perfect time to celebrate one of America’s favorite treats. Thanks to President Ronald Reagan for designating July as National Ice Cream Month in 1984 and for recognizing the smooth, creamy treat as a fun and nutritious food enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation’s population.

In his proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” Sounds good to me — make mine chocolate, please.

The International Dairy Foods Association encourages retailers and consumers to celebrate July as National Ice Cream Month with Sunday, July 21, as National Ice Cream Day.

According to an IDFA survey, most ice cream companies are family owned and have been in operation for more than 50 years. Here’s more sweet news: Ice cream companies help support the U.S. economy, contributing more than $11 billion directly to the national economy and supporting more than 26,000 direct jobs that generate $1.6 billion in direct wages. In 2017, about 1.4 billion gallons of ice cream and related frozen desserts were produced in the United States.

Vanilla continues to claim its spot at the top as America’s favorite ice cream flavor, with chocolate coming in a close second.

Supermarket sales indicate that ice cream bars are the largest dollar market share of the frozen novelty market, followed by yogurt novelties and frozen ice cream sandwiches.

Regardless of how we eat it, ice cream is still a great all-American treat.


Heavenly Ice Cream Oreo Dessert

24 Oreo cookies, crushed

¼ cup butter, melted

½ gallon ice cream, softened (your choice, but vanilla or chocolate is best)

1 can sweetened condensed milk

½ cup butter or margarine, softened

16 oz. chocolate syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

8 oz. whipped topping

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix cookie crumbs with melted butter and press into 9×13-inch pan. Freeze 30 minutes. Top with softened ice cream and freeze another 30 minutes.

Make a syrup with the condensed milk, chocolate syrup and butter by bringing to a boil in a saucepan. Simmer 5 minutes and then stir in vanilla. Pour on top of ice cream and freeze another 30 minutes. Spread whipped topping over the top. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. About 30 minutes before serving, place in refrigerator to help ease in serving.


Quick and Delicious Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

½ pint light cream

Can of sweetened condensed milk

1 to 2 tsp. vanilla extract (according to taste)  

Pour all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Transfer the whole mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.


Easy Miniature Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice cream of choice, slightly softened

Small crisp cookies, such as Pepperidge Farms Bordeaux, gingersnaps, or shortbread

Spread small amount of ice cream between two cookies. Serve immediately or freeze, covered, for up to 3 days.


Creamy Diabetic Delight

1 Angel food cake

½ gallon sugar-free vanilla or strawberry ice cream, slightly softened

2 qt. fresh strawberries

Sugar substitute to taste

Cut cake in half; tear one half into small pieces and set aside.

Cut remaining half into 12-14 thin slices; arrange in bottom of a waxed paper lined oblong baking dish, overlapping as needed. Spread softened ice cream over cake, pressing down to smooth. Gently press small cake pieces into ice cream. Cover and freeze. Just before serving, slice strawberries and sweeten to taste. Cut into squares and top with strawberries.


Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream

½ pint light cream

½ pint heavy cream

2 oz. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. butter

¼ cup of pecans, chopped

½ tsp. vanilla extract (or according to taste)

Mix together light cream, sugar and butter into a saucepan over low heat. Stir until mixture starts to bubble around the edges. Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool.

When mixture is cold, transfer it to an ice cream maker and stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions; add pecans as the ice cream starts to harden.