Five-Minute Homemade Ice Cream


It’s been H-O-T here in Columbus lately. Twice this week when I checked for the daily forecast, it showed a picture of a thermometer colored red with red wavy heat lines coming off of it instead of the usual sunshine covered partly by clouds or the almost-as-common cloud with a lightining bolt.

Being eight-and-a-half months pregnant, this means I am

  • whiling away my days inside, in the air conditioning, which normally I would hate doing
  • swollen, when I do venture out into the heat, like a sausage about to burst out of its casing
  • sleeping with the A/C on and a fan pointed directly at my feet (incidentally, directing said fan was a two-person job requiring me on the bed, Brian at the fan, a book to prop the fan at the most advantageous angle for optimum foot-blowing, and four post-it notes used to mark the precise location of the fan in case it should move or be moved (saving us the trouble of having to go through the long fan-alignment process all over again))
  • using all of this as an excuse for eating ice cream daily (which, let’s face it, I did everyday for ten years before I became pregnant, but who needs to know that?)

So I bring you this post in honor of pregnant women everywhere who are also suffering the summer blazes. It’s inspired by my eleventh grade Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Spears, who had us do this project in class one day as a way for us to learn about chemical processes. What a wonderful woman.

And, now, I bring you ICE CREAM IN A BAG! (Yes, it is possible to make ice cream in a Ziploc baggie – who knew?!)

INGREDIENTS (for vanilla ice cream):

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  • 6 tablespoons rock salt (or any coarse salt — coarse Kosher salt works)
  • 1 pint-size Ziploc plastic bag
  • 1 gallon-size Ziploc plastic bag
  • ice cubes


  1. Fill the large bag half full of ice and add the rock salt. Seal the bag until step three.
  2. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag and seal it.
  3. Place the small bag inside the large one and seal again carefully.
  4. Shake until mixture is ice cream, about 5 minutes.
  5. Wipe off the small bag (the outside will be all salty) and ENJOY!

The ice cream comes out a little bit soft. You can shove it in the freezer to make it harder, or just eat it really fast. I’d also recommend you include fun things like crushed Oreos, sprinkles, frozen peaches, etc. Try some mint extract for a tasty cool treat.

Let me know if you come up with something great.


3 Responses to “Five-Minute Homemade Ice Cream”

  1. 1 RockStories

    Wait, I don’t understand! I know this is supposed to be a simple procedure, but if the smaller bag is placed inside the larger bag sealed, how does it combine? Did I miss a step? I’m well aware that this is a totally stupid question, but I can’t see the point where they combine…

  2. 2 Julie

    No stupid questions! The answer is it doesn’t combine. The ice and salt in the outside bag just make the ingredients in the small bag get cold enough to turn into ice cream.

  3. 3 TrueMirage

    Cool! You might like the banana milkshake from the cookbook Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. It’s basically this: Put a banana, a cup of ice cubes, and some condensed milk (I forget how much) in a blender. Blend the hell out of it until there are no ice chunks at all and it’s thick and creamy. Slurp it down way too fast and make another… I also like it with some coconut milk or that disgustingly sweet but delicious coconut creme that’s used for pina coladas.

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