We had lots of fun making kick-the-can ice cream at the Rust Nature Sanctuary’s spring Eco Fair a few months ago, and finally drank enough mediocre coffee for a repeat performance at Playschool. I found recipes and instructions at Kaboose.com and dairyspot.com and then co-mingled and finessed them to work with the contents of my refrigerator. The result was definitely worth the two months of reduced quality coffee!
Afterward, we wanted to do it again (and again and again) so I requested large coffee cans on freecycle and found out that very few folks are getting their coffee in large cans around here. In addition to the fact that we live in a fairly well to do county where many folks can afford better coffee, many brands have switched their bulk packaging to plastic. I wiggled my way out of that conundrum by hoofing it to REI in Fairfax to buy The Mega Ball, a plastic contraption designed to replace the coffee can.
The verdict in our unscientific, one run vs one run test is that kick the can ice cream kicks the mega ball’s butt!
Kick the Can Ice Cream tricks and observations:
I bought all the ingredients but the ice at the store. As luck would have it the bulk of the ice cubes in our freezer were made of coffee or contained mint leaves or tang, but we used them anyway.This made the whole production give off a heavenly scent. Our coffee can started to leak coffee ice cubes right away so we covered it with a trash compactor bag. It was still leaking so we covered it with a towel. The towel made it soft which made it safer to send down the slide and push in the swing at the playground. That made us happy. Very happy. I think the towel also insulated the can a bit and wonder if that helped the ice cream along? Our outer can lid was shredded when we opened the bundle up, and that made it a one use thing — which made us sad given that large coffee cans appear to be headed towards extinction. Our inner can was intact which was quite a relief since a hole would have meant salty (coffee-mint-fake-orange-flavored) ice cream. Our ice cream was the consistency of soft serve and we (6 experienced tasters aged 1 to 30) liked it a lot.
Mega Ball tricks and observations:
The Mega Ball was simpler, but I missed the journey. We didn’t need to wrap it in a towel so it was too hard to safely launch down the slide. The mega ball is one of those funny shaped things that takes a long time to dry on my counter. I like the idea of the Mega Ball and will continue making my kids earn their ice cream with it this summer, but will switch back to kick-the-can after two more months of coffee drinking.