The other night we were headed over to a friend’s house for dinner. Julie had made a tasty peach and apple crumble for dessert. She went to the local shop to buy some ice cream to go along with the crumble. She didn’t see any in the freezer, so she asked the proprietor:
“There’s no more ice cream. The ice cream is finished.”
Puzzled. Julie walked down, passed the church, to the other shop. Same question, same reply.
Whiskey tango foxtrot?
As it turns out, they don’t sell ice cream in our village between November and May. And I thought these Maltese were a civilized people.
This is why my family started making our own icecream… supermarkets will still stock it though.
We used to buy packets of icecream powder, freeze two cans of evaporated milk, beat the milk with an electric hand-beater until it nearly doubles in size and is very thick and creamy. Then mix in a packet of the powder and pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours.
Then when we couldn’t find the icecream powder any more, Mum found a recipe to make icecream from scratch, involving corn starch. Then the local shop expanded, and started carrying icecream year-round. Whew.
I just tried this recipe with my pre-schooler. You need:
1 c whipping cream
1/2 c whole or 2% milk
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 lbs ice
1 c coarse salt
1 smaller ziploc bag and one larger one
Pour the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla into the smaller bag. Seal.
Pour the ice and salt into the larger bag.
Put the small bag into the big bag. Seal.
Shake for 8 minutes. You may want to wrap it in a towel.
After 8 minutes, you have ice cream. No kidding. It even tastes good.
I’m having trouble determining if you were really annoyed or just pretending to be annoyed.
What you have here is insularity. In small island nations and states, some practices (culttural, economic, and social) can avoid continental homogenizing. Sure it can be frustrating for a moment, but I would hope the joy of discovering something different in this world would quickly shine through.
PS: is it true that Moscovites eat ice cream all winter to stay warm?
Andy: I’m just pretending to be annoyed. And indeed, it’s discovering differences that attracts me to travel.
Darren, Growing up in Malta I do remember that we just did not ‘think’ ice cream in the winter. Only if there is a demand for ice cream will this practice change in the stores. Loblaws has Breyers Twix Ice cream on sale this week for $1.99 LOL!!! I enjoy your postings on Malta and I will miss them when you leave the island. Say hello to the Queen if you see her.
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