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Carol Perkins: The Christmas with the best present ever

What was in the box? She could never have guessed. Many women would not think it a romantic gift at all. But for Carol Perkins, it was. And it was priceless.
Last week's column: Carol Perkins: Major changes in Christmases past and present

By Carol Perkins

The box sat under the tree for two weeks before Christmas. I never want to know what Guy has bought for me, but this box intrigued me. Without shaking or lifting it, I gauged its size but could not guess what was inside. It wasn't clothing. It wasn't a pair of shoes; he would never know the size or the style. It wasn't jewelry and it wasn't perfume. He is also not into trick boxes, so I knew whatever was in that box was what was in that box.

"Any idea what I've got for you?" he asked knowing I could not guess.

"Not one clue."

"Good." He never likes for me to know.

Christmas morning there were just the two of us around the tree. "Open this one first," he said, handing me the mystery box. I ripped off the paper and there it was. I had admired one just a few weeks before Christmas at a William Sonoma. Now I had my very own Kitchen Aid homemade ice cream attachment for my mixer. I was elated. He was proud of his choice.

Some women would have found that gift very impersonal, but they might not have the affection for ice cream that I do. Not only did he buy the maker, but he also bought a starter kit that came with a hot fudge sauce and a Ben and Jerry's ice cream cookbook. Merry Christmas just got merrier.

The first step was to freeze the mixing bowl for 15 hours. That meant no ice cream that day, but I had to buy ingredients and prep for the mixture, which called for eggs, half and half, heavy cream, and sugar plus a flavoring. I had probably invested the cost of a carton at the store, but this was going to be so much better.

The next day Guy attached the machine parts to the big mixer. I had chilled the mixture for a few hours and poured it into the chilled bowl and turned the mixer on to "stir." The process would take thirty minutes.

I checked on it often, waiting for it to look like ice cream rather than pudding. Guy kept saying, "Are you sure you've done this right?" I was sure. Finally, after forty minutes, I stopped the process, dipped the very soft ice cream into a bowl, and popped it into the freezer to harden. In the meantime, I reread the directions to make sure I had followed them correctly. I had.

After a few hours, I dipped out my almond vanilla homemade ice cream and poured some hot fudge sauce over it. Was it as good as "store bought?"

Not really, but it was good. Was it too much trouble for its value? Of course it was. When was making homemade ice cream ever easier than buying ice cream?

Never. Back in the old days when men churned for an hour with a crank, the results weren't always worth the effort, but the spirit in which it was made was priceless.

The final product that wasn't totally important to me although I do love my ice cream, but the fact that Guy zeroed in on my favorite "food" of all times and gave me a gift that he knew I would enjoy was the best present of all.

The bowl is in the freezer and the next batch will be strawberry. I can't wait. By the way, maybe next year I will stop in at Zales and admire a diamond necklace.

This story was posted on 2015-12-30 04:15:18
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