Hello. My name is John, and I am a hypocrite and a spendthrift.
A little more than a month ago, I gushed in this space about the simplicity of the countertop Donvier ice cream maker that I picked up several years ago at a community yard sale hosted by the Times-Gazette.
And the Donvier is a simple machine. But it’s not perfect. There have been times in the past that I have, I admit, coveted the electric equivalent of the non-powered Donvier. It’s the Cuisinart ICE-21.
It has the same type of freezing canister as the Donvier; you place the canister in your kitchen freezer, set to its coldest setting, 24 hours before you intend to make ice cream (or just leave it there all the time when you’re not using it, so that it’s ready at a moment’s notice). But the Cuisinart has an electric motor that spins the canister constantly, like a traditional old-style electric ice cream maker. It also has an open top, allowing you to easily add, say, chocolate chips or finely chopped nuts once the ice cream has started to thicken a little. The Donvier is operated by a hand crank, but you’re not supposed to crank it constantly; in fact, they tell you not to. You are only supposed to give the crank a couple of turns every minute or so.
I’ve admired the Cuisinart machine in the past, and it has high ratings on Amazon. It’s similar, although probably not as nice, as ice cream makers I’ve seen on TV cooking shows. But I didn’t think I needed one.
Ironically, the web searches that I did when I was researching my Donvier post caused other ice cream makers, including the Cuisinart, to pop up in my Facebook and Amazon activity. And the Cuisinart is surprisingly inexpensive; a little more than $40. In fact, on Amazon, it costs quite a bit less than the non-powered Donvier machine, which is somewhat difficult to explain.
I found myself looking at the Cuisinart machine earlier today on Amazon, and I almost clicked the order button, but I remained strong. Still, the process made me think about making another batch of ice cream. While killing time this evening between covering a county meeting and covering the Bedford County Fair, I stopped by Walmart and I bought a couple of envelopes of ice cream mix from the clearance aisle. One of the envelopes was for a sugar-free ice cream, which I was curious to try. Yes, I know these ice cream mixes don’t have the same flavor as true homemade ice cream recipes. But they often have good texture, and you can make them more quickly because you don’t necessarily have to chill the mix overnight.
I stopped at Dollar General on my way home from the fair and bought a carton of half-and-half. When I got home, I threw it into my kitchen freezer, just for a half hour, to get it as cold as possible before making ice cream with it.
I mixed the half-and-half with the ice cream mix packet in a pitcher, and then poured the mix into the chilly canister of my Donvier. I slapped on the lid and gave it a good crank.
Something snapped. At first I thought maybe there was a bit of frost on the side of the canister and the dasher was hitting it. But it turns out that the dasher had frozen to the size of the canister, and one of the two blades of the dasher had actually broken off, rendering the dasher, and thus the ice cream maker, unusable.
I went online and looked to see if I could buy a replacement dasher. I found a used one for $14.
I didn’t buy it.
I went back to Amazon and bought the Cuisinart.
I did, in my own defense, save $5 by buying through Amazon from a third-party seller. I will not get Prime shipping, so the machine won’t arrive until next week — which is fine, since I have some family stuff this weekend and probably won’t have time to make ice cream anyway.
I’ll skip fast food and bring my lunch a little more often to make up for it.