Ice Cream in December seems a bit counter-intuitive, at least where we sit, hiding from the cold winds of NYC (we're assured that this is just the beginning). On the other hand, it's nice and toasty in here, and the idea of ice cream on a waffle with hot melted chocolate drizzled over it sounds rather appealing. Or a scoop of ice cream in hot chocolate… Now if only we didn't need to venture outside to find good ice-cream… Enter the NewAir AIC-210 Ice Cream Maker - a commercial quality one quart ice cream maker.
Imagine being able to make home-made ice-cream whenever you want. Though not completely instant gratification, it's pretty close: assemble your ingredients, put them in, set the timer for 60 min. Poof! Assuming that you put in appropriate contents for ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet, it's yours to consume. The machine comes with a stainless steel bucket, so you can lift out and serve from there.
We'll admit to feeling a bit nostalgic for the ice cream makers of our childhoods- the lovely rounded wood, the huge bag of rock salt, taking turns cranking the handle in the back yard while spitting watermelon seeds at each other. On the other hand, that took hours, and we doubt our urban neighbors would appreciate random bits of watermelon in front of the buildings. This maker, unlike other ice cream makers, is good to go as is, without requiring pre-freezing of the bowl, or other such nonsense. Aesthetically it certainly doesn't have the charm of older makers, but it is clean and stream-lined looking (and significantly easier to clean).
When considering this as a gift, our only hesitation is size. If you're looking for something for someone with a huge kitchen and lots of storage, it's fantastic, especially if they're really into dessert. On the other hand, for more compact city dwellers, this gift can be a bit of a problem. Still, we find ourselves drawn to it. It's a great way to put an impressive spin on dessert when you have a dinner party. At $200 it's not a gift to get everyone on your list, but for the right person, it'll be sweet.