Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Making Ice Cream

Papa volunteered at Taylor's school:
By dumb luck when opened the door to go into Jen Giblin’s class today to be a reading-helper she waved me in and pointed to an empty table.  M. Boufils was in front giving a talk about the science of hot and cold, water and ice.  The combined classes of all the French program kids were listening to Boufils.  I glanced over toward Jen as if to ask her if I should leave since it was apparent that there would be no reading sessions that day.  She shook her head and motioned that I should stay.  With what little French I have learned I could still follow what Boufils was telling the kids.
The kids had made experiments with zip lock bags filled with light cream to find out which treatment cools the cream the most, for example in the freezer, outside in the snow, or resting on a bag of ice and water.
Next Boufils gave instructions on how to make ice cream. On the table where I was sitting were cartons of light cream, sugar, salt, and a bottle of vanilla, and two round objects each about the size of a volley ball.  He described how the kids were to roll the balls on the ground but not to throw them.  He took half the kids back to the French classroom. 
Jen ask me if I had ever made ice cream, and that if I knew how to make it that would be good since she had never made ice cream.  While the kids watched intently Jen and I made up two batches of ingredients by poring them into a metal container confined in the middle of each of the ice cream making balls.  Jen sent me over to Boufils classroom with a bowl to be filled with ice.  I returned wit the ice.  With the help of the kids we filled the empty part of the ice cream ball with ice cubes and added rock salt, then screwed down the caps. 
Jen then asked the boys to form a big circle and gave them one of the ice cream balls to roll back and forth between the boys in the circle.  Then she did the same for the girls.  I sent you pictures.   In one picture Jen is helping the girls get their ice cream ball ready to start rolling.  Another picture shows Taylor and other girls who had been asked to roll the ball back and forth in the circle.
The plan was to have the ice cream ready for the kids to sample just before lunch.  Gen and I tested both batches and saw that the ice cream had started to form on the surface but was still liquid in the middle in the ice cream container in the middle of the ball.  Finally time came for the kids to go to lunch.  I was left in an empty room with two ice cream making balls.  I opened them and took out my knife and started scraping the hard ice cream away from the inside surfaces and mixing it with the liquid in the middle.  The mixture looked like soft ice cream.  I replaced the caps, shook the container, and then checked the mixture.  I guessed that just by letting the mixture sit a little longer in the salted ice mixture that the ice cream would by just fine for the kids to sample.  I went outside the classroom and found Boufils, and asked him to come examine the ice cream.  He had a big smile on his face and seemed happy that his project has turned out to be a success.  He rolled the ice cream balls, soccer style along the floor from one room to the next.  I left the school, got on my mountain bike and rode home.
You will have to ask Taylor how the kids liked their ice cream.