Ice cream and summertime seem to go hand-in-hand and July is National Ice Cream month - bonus!

Dating back to the 1600’s where the concept of flavored ices evolved, ice cream has come a long way from the flavored ices to the hand-crank ice cream maker to a multi million ice cream (gallon) industry per year. We now have ice cream cones, ice cream cakes, pies, sundaes, and about anything your taste buds desire. Trip Advisor shared their members top picks for homemade ice cream. Here are the details to one of our favorite summertime treats:

The Split Banana Company in Staunton, Virginia (VA)
Open 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.

You can sample as many flavors as you want before you decide. They have free high-speed WiFi for their customers, ice ice cream, gelato and sorbet.

Brown’s Old Fashion Ice Cream in York Beach (New England), Maine (ME)
232 Nubble Road, York, ME 03909

Brown’s Old Fashion Ice Cream is located about a hundred yards from the famous Nubble lighthouse (just east of Nubble Lighthouse http://www.nubblelight.org/ and Fox’s Lobster House http://www.foxslobster.com/) and not far from the busy York Beach boardwalk (1-2 miles) http://yorkbeach.com/. Brown’s offers 50 plus ice cream varieties including hard to find flavors like grape nut and Indian pudding.  (Photograph of Nubble Lighthouse)

Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream in Charleston, West Virginia (WV)
255 Capitol Street, Charleston, WE 25301
Monday - Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Homemade ice cream, unique flavors and large serving sizes. Ellen’s also serves a lunch menu salads and sandwiches which are all fresh and delicious, along with daily specials of cold pasta, grain salads and soups including an amazing Red Curry Soup. Coffee drinks, teas, smoothies, and baked goods with of course, ice cream for your dessert or even an appetizer.

Sweet Peaks Ice Cream in Whitefish, Montana (MT)

Opened in April 2010 and serving everything from the classics to the contemporary such as Lemon Dill and Chocolate Bacon. Their flavors change with the seasons and their ice cream is made with milk and eggs from Montana, huckleberries from the surrounding mountains, mint, dill and cherries from local farmers, and many other tasty and carefully chosen ingredients.

Cayuga Lake Creamery in Interlaken, (Finger Lakes), New York (NY)
http://www.cayugalakecreamery.com (please note at the time of this article, I was unable to open their website, but wanted to provide you the information in case it is back up and running)
8421 Route 89, Interlaken, NY 14847
Monday - Friday: 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Homemade waffle cones made right before you. In addition to the many flavors, they also offer wine sorbets - Yummers!

Zinger’s Homemade Ice Cream in Seaside, Oregon (OR)

Homemade ice cream made with local ingredients. Summer hours are daily 1:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. with the exception of July 4th where the hours are noon - 9:00 p.m.. Remember to bring cash - no credit or debit cards accepted.

Pink’s Creamery in Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii (HI)
4489 Aku Road, Hanalei, KI 96714

Choose your own ice cream, pick a topping that you want swirled in it and continue with more toppings on top of that.  Think about then taking a hike to the beautiful Hanakapiai Beach http://www.kauaivacationsecrets.com/hanakapiai-beach/ and enjoy the scenery.  (Photograph of Hanakapiai Beach)
Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream in Youngstown, Ohio (OH)

Daily handmade ice cream and yogurt since 1945.  With too many flavors to list with big servings. If by chance you can’t get there, your problem is solved - they even offer Ice Cream Shipping within the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii.

Bedford Farms in Bedford, Massachusetts (MA)

Serving ice cream since 1880 and is open year round. Bedford Farms Ice Cream serves homemade style gourmet ice cream, frozen yogurt and soft serve ice cream in over 60 flavors.

Brickley’s Ice Cream in Narragansett, Rhode Island (RI)

Serving over 45 flavors ice cream, frozen yogurt, no-sugar added ice cream, sherbets and sorbet made fresh daily with only the best ingredients. Brickley’s has appeared on a “Best Ice Cream in New England” list amongst many others.

Hungry for some ice cream now? Here is a simple recipe with no ice cream maker needed. (Keep in mind that the advantage of using an electric or hand-cranked machine is that the final result will be smoother and creamier. Freezing anything from liquid-to-solid means you’re creating hard ice crystals, so if you’re making it by hand, as your ice cream or sorbet mixture freezes, you want to break up those ice crystals as much as possible so your final results are as smooth and creamy as possible).

Here is a great, very creamy recipe basic from http://www.kevinandamanda.com/ to give you some summertime ice cream smiles.

You will need:

2 cups of heavy cream 
1 can (14 oz) of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk.

Whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks.

Add your flavors, toppings to the Sweetened Condensed Milk.

Fold in the whipped cream.

Place in covered 2 quart container and freeze 6 hours or until firm.

Some ideas for flavors and toppings could be ½ tsp cinnamon with ½ tsp vanilla extract and 3 Tablespoons melted butter, or try ½ cup Nutella with 1 cup peanut butter chips.

Now, I think I need to get busy and start celebrating with some ice cream . . . it is National Ice Cream Month after all!  Feel free to share your favorite Ice Cream Shoppe or recipe ~ we really can’t get enough of this wonderful treat!