Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Surviving Georgia Summers

Georgia summers are pretty brutal. It’s hot and humid. The second you walk outside you start to sweat. The shade isn’t significantly cooler like it is in the west, because of the humidity. It’s pretty awful. We have learned how to somewhat survive here in the south, here are some of the things we do.


Water


Drink lots of water. This is something I forget, especially being a breastfeeding mother, I need more water than most. On the few occasions I have forgotten to drink enough I get a horrible headache and even start to feel nauseous. It’s awful. One of the things that helps us drink plenty of water, is having a water bottle for everyone. Heather and Rose fight over one if forget to bring one for each of them. Camelbak water bottles are our favorite, the have an adult and a kids version. Heather could operate one at 6 months. They don’t leak, they are dishwasher safe, and you can buy replacement mouth pieces and straws.


Do things indoors.


Here in Georgia there are quite a few indoor playgrounds. Most the malls have little play-places inside. There are also places with playground equipment inside. Rose loves going to places like that, she can play for hours and hours. We all stay cool, and out of the sun.

 This is a photo of Rose at a place called Catch Air this picture does not do this place justice. Rose loves playing here.



Water play


We have not been to the pool yet this summer. We have a great neighborhood pool I have just not been brave enough to juggle both kids there yet. As soon as I can get Rose to wear a puddle jumper without her screaming and taking it off we will go (she’s quite stubborn, and opinionated). In the meantime we have a water table we bought off Amazon. I put it in our Florida room so they can play without needing sunscreen. I strip them both down to diapers and they will play for a good hour or so. It’s a great way to keep them cool. We love swimming but the sun this far south is pretty harsh. Sunscreen is a must, and you have to reapply. Putting sunscreen on kids is a hassle, and making sure I get enough sunscreen on myself while chasing them is also difficult. Most the time we just avoid needing sunscreen.   


Ice Cream


Eat plenty of ice cream. There is nothing better than a cold treat on hot days. My mom sent me the Kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment for my birthday. She also sent me Ben and Jerry’s recipe book.

Homemade ice cream is way better than store bought, there is something so satisfying about enjoying something you made that is typically store bought. It is also very easy. I only make unpasteurized ice cream. The risk of getting sick from unpasteurized ice cream, is way less than the risk of dying in a car crash. I put myself and my girls in a car without thinking everyday. We eat unpasteurized ice cream in our house without a second thought. There are plenty of pasteurized recipes out there if that’s what you would prefer. In Ben and Jerry’s recipe book they do not have a recipe for a Vanilla bean ice cream. So I decided to create my own. Most vanilla bean ice cream recipes are pasteurized, and use the heat to extract the vanilla flavor. I have just substituted the heat with time.


Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


Ingredients


2 Large eggs
¾ cup of sugar
2 cups of heavy or whipping cream
1 cup of milk
1 vanilla bean


Directions


  1. Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl (I use my kitchenaid mixer, with the whisk attachment). Whisk on high till eggs are light and fluffy.
  2. Turn the speed down to medium and whisk in the sugar a little bit at a time.
  3. Continue whisking on medium and pour in the cream, and milk.
  4. With a sharp knife cut open the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the beans and whisk them into your ice cream base. Throw the outside of the bean in as well.
  5. Transfer your ice cream base to a container with a lid.
  6. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours to infuse ice cream with vanilla flavor.
  7. Use a fork to fish out the vanilla bean.
  8. Transfer base into ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions for your ice cream maker.
  9. Ice cream made by at home ice cream makers comes out soft serve. To harden ice cream put it into a good plastic container with a tight fitting lid and put in the freezer for a few hours.


Tips


The key to smooth ice cream is freezing/churning the base as fast as possible. To achieve this I make sure everything that the base touches is as cold as possible. If you have a separate freezer use it, and set it to the coldest setting. If you have a ice cream maker with a bowl you freeze, make sure it has plenty of time to freeze 24 hours or more. I put the paddle that churns the ice cream in the freezer a few hours before churning as well. When I transfer the base into the maker I do it as quickly as possible. I also freeze the container my ice cream will go into.


I buy my vanilla beans off amazon here. They are ridiculously expensive from the grocery store, and you do not have many choices. I definitely recommend buying them online, buying them anywhere else is just silly.

Summers in Georgia are pretty hot but the beauty of the other seasons make up for it! I hope you all are inspired by my ice cream recipe and try it for yourself. Trust me it’s worth it!


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