Three-year-old Genny Vidrine shares a cookies and cream dessert Monday with her mom, Evie Vidrine, and little brother, 15-month-old Austin. If you're looking for a cool ice creamy dessert for a hot Labor Day, one of today's recipes might be just the one. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
August 23, 2017 10:34:19 AM
Any bona fide Mississippian knows toasty temperatures will last around here well into autumn. Nevertheless, in America, Labor Day has come to represent an unofficial "end of summer." Why not give the season a cool send-off with refreshing desserts centered around summer's sweet staple -- ice cream. One of these might suit an upcoming Labor Day celebration, but they're also right at home at a church potluck or luncheon.
If you were thinking ice cream was a fairly "modern" innovation, think again. Its origins reach back to the second century B.C. Alexander the Great was partial to snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar, according to the International Dairy Foods Association's "History of Ice Cream" (idfa.org). Biblical references reveal that King Solomon was fond of iced drinks during harvesting. In the time of the Roman Empire, Nero Claudius Caesar was known to send runners into the mountains for snow, which was then flavored with fruits and juices.
It would be more than a thousand years later that Marco Polo returned to Italy from the Far East with a recipe much like what we now call sherbet. It's estimated this evolved into ice cream sometime in the 16th century.
The first advertisement for ice cream in America appeared in the New York Gazette in May 12, 1777. Until 1800, the treat was a fairly rare and exotic dessert, enjoyed mostly by "the elite." But then, as now, evolving technology turned the industry on its head, eventually bringing ice cream to the masses. We've been addicted ever since.
"Think about it: When it comes down to it, it's really a perfect thing -- straight from the carton or in a fancy dessert," said Tina Martin, a mother of three in Columbus. "Who doesn't remember being a kid and first realizing what ice cream tastes like? Who doesn't associate ice cream with summer? It's a connection to childhood as much as anything for me; I think if we're honest, it's probably like that for a lot of us, even if it's subconsciously."
In a couple of short months, we'll be scouting for comforting desserts that warm the insides. But to everything there is a season, and ice cream's "moment in the sun" isn't over yet.
MINT CHOCOLATE BOMB
Makes 12 servings
Total time: 15 min. prep, plus freezing
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons green creme de menthe
2 cups chocolate ice cream, softened if necessary
3 cups vanilla ice cream, softened if necessary
20 chocolate wafers, coarsely crushed
Chocolate syrup and chopped mint Andes candies, optional
(Source: May Kisinger/tasteofhome.com)
STRAWBERRY SORBET SENSATION
Makes: 8 servings
Total time: 20 min., plus freezing
2 cups strawberry sorbet, softened if necessary
1 cup cold fat-free milk
1 package (1 ounce) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
Sliced fresh strawberries
(Source: Kendra Doss, tasteofhome.com)
ICE CREAM COOKIE DESSERT
Makes: 12 servings
Total time: 15 min. prep, plus freezing
1 package (15-1/2 ounces) Oreo cookies, crushed, divided
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
1 jar (16 ounces) hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
(To make cutting a breeze, try dipping your knife in hot water. Wipe the blade periodically to clean it. Skip the whipped topping and use whipped cream in a can to pipe pretty decorations on top. It's a great way to keep little ones busy.
(Source: Kimberly Laabs, tasteofhome.com)
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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