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Homemade Ice Cream for Large Gatherings

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Hello:

Would it get really complicated to try to make and sell homemade ice cream at a outdoor fundraiser?

Sincerely Maria in San Marcos, Texas

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Maria --

It probably would. I don't know what size crowd you would be dealing with, but I expect you would need several ice cream freezers, at least. Another thing to think about is the cost. I don't know what you would be charging for a serving, but when you think about it, homemade ice cream is pretty expensive. You have to consider the cost of the ice, the salt, the whole milk, eggs, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, etc. Not exactly expensive ingredients. Also figure in cups and spoons. If you calculate 1-1/2 gallons per freezer of ice cream, that would yield approximately 16 6-ounce (3/4

cup) servings per freezer. You need to calculate the cost of your ingredients to see how much you could charge and still make a profit.

If you made the ice cream at the event, you would probably have to make the ice cream mixture the day before the event so it would be thoroughly chilled. You would have to keep it cold while you transported it to the event. Even with electric ice cream freezers (is electricity available?), you would need quite a few volunteers to help with the freezing, checking, packing, serving, collecting money, etc.

If you make all the ice cream the day before, you have to figure out a way to keep it cold during transport to the event and during the event. Also, consider that once the ice cream is made and frozen in a refrigerator freezing compartment, it is hard as a rock -- too hard to serve. You have to remove the container from the freezer and let it set out for about 30 minutes before you can serve it. So there are some logistical problems to deal with.

I guess I sound pretty negative. If I attended your event, I must say I would be delighted to find that homemade ice cream was available. But it would be a lot of work for you and your volunteers. And, of course, you have to figure out if it would be profitable for your fundraiser.

I hope this has given you some things to think about.

You know, I have no idea what it would cost, but you might think about checking into renting a snowcone machine. I know they have fairly small models available now. That way, you'd only have the cost of the rental, the ice, cups and the syrup. If you have a catering company anywhere near, they could probably supply everything. If there isn't one in San Marcos, I'm sure there are several in Austin. And you can probably charge as much for a snowcone on a hot day in Texas as you can for homemade ice cream. And no spoons!

In any case, I hope you have a very successful event. If you have any questions, let me know.

Patricia Mitchell

Texas Cooking Online

http://www.texascooking.com

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