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Proof icebergs are perfect for making ice cream for picnics in N.L.

In 1995 Midday food columnist Kitty Drake demonstrated her use for bergy bits, using the iceberg by-product to make a sweet and creamy treat on Newfoundland's shore.

With help from icy bits from the ocean giants, an old-fashioned hand crank made picnics sweeter in 1995

Bergy bits, a by-product of the summer icebergs off Newfoundland & Labrador, can provide a low-tech ice-cream maker with the goods for making the sweet treat. 1:59

In recent years, the icebergs that drift south past the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador have attracted tourists, armed with cameras, who want to get an up-close view of the icy giants.

It seems that there is one low-tech item that could make the viewing experience sweeter — a hand-crank ice cream maker —  for making a creamy treat to be enjoyed on the spot.

'Iceberg ice cream'

Midday cooking columnist and Bill Donnelly make ice cream with help from bergy-bits (Midday/CBC Archives)

Back in 1995, CBC Midday food columnist Kitty Drake told viewers how the arrival of the ancient ice calves which made their way from Greenland or the Canadian Arctic were a welcome sight to her in her "homesteading days."

"When I lived on a deserted island, ten miles off the coast of Newfoundland," she said, "when the icebergs came down in the summer, it was wonderful." 

They provided her with a form of refrigeration for her food, but they also meant she could create an icy treat — on the spot — for her picnic.

With assistant Bill Donnelly turning the crank on her old-fashioned ice cream maker, she demonstrated how easy it was to turn some basic ingredients into "iceberg ice cream."

A simple hand-crank filled with 'iceberg' turns the right ingredients into a creamy treat (Midday/CBC Archives)

Armed with fisherman's salt and a basket full of ingredients, she described picking up "iceberg on the way to the beach" where she would make ice cream.

"I used to make really fancy custards," she said, until she tried her neighbour's simple recipe, which included evaporated milk, lemon extract and crushed pineapple.

 "It sounds strange, but it makes the richest, creamiest ice cream you've ever tasted."

A large iceberg visible from the shore in Ferryland, Newfoundland on Monday, April 10, 2017. (Paul Daly/Canadian Press)

With recommendations of the addition of fruit sauce to top up the flavour of the creamy treat — "I love it with fresh rhubarb," she told Midday viewers — Drake gestured to the scenic backdrop of icebergs and ocean behind her.

"There are over 1,200 icebergs that are going to drift down," she said. "So, my first ice cream, I've just barely touched the iceberg tip of the ice cream world."

Freshly-made ice cream was on the picnic menu for Kitty Drake in 1995 (Midday/CBC Archives)