Brrr. The thermometer read -3 first thing yesterday morning; a hard frost with everything crisp and white.
Not much better even after the sun had risen. The perfect day to make ice cream!
It all started way back when we were learning about plants. Remember Tommy's sweet-scented vanilla pod? And how he told us that vanilla can be used to flavour all kinds of things - including ice cream? And how Sivert proudly told us that his grandfather could make his own ice cream?
Well, the other day, I received an email from Sivert's mum, saying that the famous ice-cream-making grandfather would shortly be visiting from Norway. And would it be OK for him to come and show us how.....
Would it? Well, what do you think?
And so, at 11.20 yesterday morning, an excited Sivert fairly leapt out of his chair as his grandfather appeared in the doorway, heavy bags in each hand.
What, we wondered, would the bags contain. What do you need to make ice cream?
"Vanilla," shouted Tommy, predictably!
"Strawberry; mango," were other suggestions.
Well, we are going to make vanilla ice cream and so, even though you can use things like strawberries and mangoes to flavour ice cream, we won't be needing them today. What else?
"Bread?" wondered Chloe.
"Cream," Sivert said firmly (it ain't called ice cream for nothing!)
"Ice," suggested Meghna (ah ice cream!)
"Eggs," suggested someone else (maybe they'd peeked inside one of those bags!)
Anything else? What sort of taste does ice cream usually have - sour; bitter; sweet; salty?
A bit of confusion here, until the helpful teacher made her sour, bitter, sweet and salty-taste faces (thank goodness it is she who is the one behind the camera!)
And how can we make things taste sweet?
OK Let's begin. We each need a small plastic tasting spoon (very important this!) and a plastic cup which we will label with our name.
And now the cream; 5 dls. it said on the pack (which is the same as 500 mls.) Pour it all into the bowl.
Hmm. That doesn't look very much. We'll have to make it bigger. We need to fold something into it and trap it there; something that we can't see.
There followed much waving of arms (again, glad I am the one behind the camera) until all was suddenly clear; clear, in fact, as the air we breathe. We need to fold in and trap lots of air. Using an electric whisk.
Barely concealed squeals of excitement.....
.....as we each had a turn at beating in the air, all the time remembering to keep the whisk in the cream!
Next the vanilla. Take one pod. Slice it carefully down the length, and then cut it into pieces - so that everyone has their own bit to scrape the seeds from.
Eggs next. 4 nice fresh eggs for each batch of ice cream.
And now the tricky bit. You need to crack each egg on the side of the bowl and carefully (carefully) let the 'white' slide out and keep the yellow yolk safely in the shell.
Drop the yolks (just the yolks!).....
.....into the bowl with the vanilla seeds.
Now the sweet stuff. Measure out 4 tablespoons of sugar.....
.....and whisk it into the egg yolk mixture.....
.....until that too has lots of air trapped inside.
Now, pour the thick creamy yellow stuff into the thick creamy cream, making sure you scrape the bowl clean.....
.....and then stir to mix it all up.
And now, remember that tasting spoon? Yum!
But hang on; don't eat it all - what about the ice part? Ice cream needs to be, well, icy! What should we do next?
Well, what do you think we did?
With enormous thanks to Sivert for lending us his grandfather, and of course to the grandfather himself!
PS Here's a screen shot of the ingredients we used if you'd like to have a go at making some at home: