Neither very hot nor very cold foods should be taken at meals. If foods are too hot, the stomach is debilitated, and if they are very cold, vitality must be drawn from the system to warm them before the work of digestion can be carried on; so it would be better to take ice cream and all ices by themselves rather than as a dessert.
When ices are served for dessert, they should be eaten very slowly.
I am not going into the subject of ice cream exhaustively for there are plenty of books on that subject already, but will give you my own recipe which must be tried to be appreciated.
The little flour in it gives it a smoothness and creaminess with one third to one half milk equal to all cream without it; and does not give the disagreeable flavor of corn starch; also, made by this method, the cream and milk are sterilized.
Try the cream without any flavoring and see how delicious it is.
Use wet snow instead of ice for freezing in the winter. It works even better and is less trouble.
Beat the cream well with a wooden spoon after removing the dasher.
Add fruit or nuts to cream when removing the dasher, so that they will not become hard as they would do if frozen with the cream.
For freezing, have the ingredients cold. Have the ice very fine; the finer it is, the better the results. One-third as much rock salt should be at hand. The ice and salt may be mixed, or may be put around the freezer in the proportion of 3 inches of ice to 1 inch of salt.
First, adjust the freezer, having the mixture to be frozen in the can. Fill not over 2/3 full to allow for expansion. Then pack with the ice and salt, turning the handle around once in a while during the operation, to keep the mixture from freezing to the sides of the can. Have a stick to pound the ice and salt down well around the can.
Turn slowly at first to make a fine grain, then more rapidly as the cream thickens.
Before removing the cover to take out the dasher, scrape away the ice and salt and wipe off the water on the lid and near the top of the can, so that none can possibly get into the cream. Beat the cream and replace the cover, with a clean cork in the top. Drain off a part of the water and repack the can, using less salt than at first, sometimes not any, so as not to have the cream too hard. To be at its best, cream should be stiff enough only to hold its shape. Cover with paper, a blanket or carpet and let stand to "ripen" for 2 hours or longer. This part is important, as the flavor and texture are perfected only by standing.
If possible, open the can in an hour and a half and stir the cream so that the soft center comes to the edge of the can. Repack and cover the same and let stand for 2 or 3 hours.
Save the salt from the bottom of the freezer to use another time, and it is a good plan to save a little of the thick salt water to use instead of the last layer of salt near the top of the can for the next freezing, as it facilitates the work very much.
In serving, dip the spoon into hot water each time before putting it into the cream; this, with care, will give a nice shaped serving.
Sugar syrup gives a finer, smoother and more substantial grain to frozen fruits, sherbets and water ices than sugar and water, and they do not melt as quickly when exposed to the air.
Pack all ices the same as creams and let stand the same after freezing, to become smooth and mellow.
For water ices, do not turn the crank continuously. Turn slowly and rest between, until the ice becomes quite stiff. This is the rule, but for a change the freezer may be turned rapidly and continuously, with a different result.
Stir sherbets constantly. Serve both sherbets and water ices in glasses.
Vegetable gelatine is an improvement to ices, giving body to them.
There is a great difference in freezers. Be sure to get a good one. The construction of the dasher has much to do with the texture of the cream. Those that freeze the quickest are not necessarily the best.
Do not buy a small freezer: you can freeze a small quantity in a large freezer, but you cannot freeze a large quantity in a small freezer.