One of the best things about summers in the South is the plentiful supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. Here in Georgia, we get particularly excited when peaches are in season. There seems to be no limit to the peachy goodness that we produce during peach season: peach cake, peach preserves, peach salsa, peach relish, peach pie and peach cobbler, just to name a few. My personal favorite of all peach concoctions is the Peach Beehive!
Ice cream in general is always delicious, but there’s something about homemade ice cream that’s even tastier! I’m not sure if homemade ice cream is a strictly southern tradition or not, but I know it’s a summertime tradition for our family! There are lots of recipes, but I’ve perfected a simple vanilla recipe, which is always a crowd-pleaser. Once you have a basic recipe like this, you can make variations with whatever fruit is in season, or even make chocolate using cocoa powder.
Many recipes call for eggs in the mixture, which you cook on the stove, then have to cool before making the ice cream. That’s too much trouble for me. Other recipes don’t cook the eggs, which is supposed to be safe because of the churning, but I don’t trust it. Therefore, my recipe does not have eggs in it. It is however, full of cream and condensed milk, so it is certainly not for the lactose intolerant!
Like I’ve said, I like to keep things simple, so I mix up my ice cream right in the canister for the ice cream churn. Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 can condensed milk, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. The sugar won’t dissolve, but make sure it’s all distributed evenly. Add 1 pint heavy whipping cream and 1 quart half and half. Top off with whole milk to the fill line on the canister. Stir to incorporate the condensed milk mixture.
The dasher - the part that does the churning - goes inside the canister. Put the lid on, then get ready to start your engine, or ice cream churn! Follow directions for your churn on how to put the motor on your ice cream churn, but you'll need to be sure the dasher is inserted through the lid into the motor and the motor is locked onto the outside bucket.
If you’ve never made homemade ice cream, there are a few items you will need in addition to your recipe: a churn, rock salt, ice, towels. You can usually purchase an ice cream churn at Wal-Mart or many other grocery stores, especially this time of year, as well as online like at amazon.com. They can range in price from $25 up to $70 for a basic churn, with fancier options that don’t require ice or rock salt running up to $250. I say stick to the $25-$40 range unless you’re going to make ice cream several days a week. The rock salt can also be purchased at most grocery stores. Once you’ve filled your canister and placed it in the churn, you’ll need to layer ice and rock salt all around the canister. Helpful hint: I usually plug in the churn to get it started after I put the first layers in so the churn can spin freely and not get caught up on pieces of ice. The towels can be placed around the top of the churn to insulate it or underneath to catch condensation or overflow. I usually set my churn in the sink or in a large pan because as the churn makes the ice cream, the ice melts, causing water to spill out of a hole at the top for this purpose.
The motor on the churn can be pretty loud, so you may want to put it in another room or outside, where you can close the door on it. Most models of ice cream churns will stop running when the ice cream is ready. You just need to listen for the motor to stop, then unplug it. When you remove the canister of ice cream, be careful not to allow the salty water into the lid. You don’t want to ruin all your effort!
Undoubtedly, when Chris used the knife in the canister, he somehow made some tiny holes, which didn’t leak out the ice cream, but siphoned in the salt water! It was awful and sooooo disappointing!
This vanilla recipe is delicious all on its own, but feel free to top it with fresh fruit, like berries or peaches. Yum!
So, for your next get-together, try your hand at homemade ice cream. It’s sure to be a hit at any gathering!
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On the first weekend in June, we found ourselves in Lawrenceville, GA for Vintage Market Days of Greater Atlanta, our last show of the spring! While I have greatly enjoyed our travels and meeting lots of new Southern Merc fans, I must admit that I am looking forward to slowing down a bit for the summer! This show in Atlanta was a fantastic end to our spring travel schedule. We had a great venue and a super-fun crowd!
Our space was filled with cool garden items, succulents, vintage office decor and cool summer travel items.
Roxie even set up a little work station and created custom flower arrangements during the show!
We have a real passion for vintage garden items, so y'all know we can't leave home without a collection of vintage planters and bell jars.
Can you really ever have too many globes?
We have had a really great time on the road this spring, and we are excited and thankful to have met so many new Southern Mercantile fans! While it will be nice to unpack for a while and recharge our creative batteries, we are already looking forward to fall! You will have a few more chances to catch up with us this year in September and November. You can always find a list of our upcoming travels on our Events page.
In the mean time, if your summer travels have you passing through south Georgia, we would love for you to drop by our store in Ocilla! Stop in and see us at The Shoppes at Fourth and Cherry, have a little lunch and do some shopping!
Just because we are done traveling for a while, doesn't mean we don't have anything fun planned for you guys this summer! Keep checking the blog every week for more recipes and renovations headed your way. We are also having a special, online-only, vintage sale that will launch next week. We'll be featuring a selection of our favorite treasures that didn't find happy homes while we were out on the road. The vintage sale will only be up for a limited time, so if you see something you like, grab it!
If you haven't already, join our email list so you are sure not to miss a thing that is going on at The Southern Mercantile! Happy Summer y'all!
We met Leigh Ann Harris of Sweet Auburn Studio at Cottontails Village in Birmingham, Alabama, and were so excited to have her as our neighbor there. We just fell in love with her beautiful jewelry, especially the way she incorporates unique vintage pieces in her designs!
Although Leigh Ann says she can’t choose one single favorite piece of jewelry, she especially enjoys creating the vintage collage bracelets and necklaces. One of her hobbies is looking for vintage pieces in antique shops and flea markets to use in her designs. She has even created pieces for friends using their grandmothers’ costume jewelry!
We’re so excited to carry some of our favorite pieces from Sweet Auburn Studio here at The Southern Mercantile! We love the way Leigh Ann combines so many elements in these vintage collage bracelets to make such beautiful statement pieces.
And, we just adore the look of these necklaces made with vintage pocket knives! Who knew a pocket knife would look so cute on a chain?
Leigh Ann says that, to her, “being southern means being gracious in all circumstances,” and we couldn’t agree more! She fits that definition to a “T,” and we are grateful to add her to our list of Southern Mercantile Maker friends! Be sure to check out her Etsy store to see more from Sweet Auburn Studio! And, if you’re in the Birmingham area, you can look into Burrow Interior Design, which Leigh Ann also owns.
Shop any of the pieces pictured above in our own store! We are excited to begin this journey with Leigh Ann and we can't wait to bring you more of her work!