For the past 10 years my in-laws have had a great tradition of throwing an ice-cream freeze off on Labor day. I have been lucky to be a taste tester for the last 3 years (every one who shows up gets that job). Shannon starts the day off by having lunch for everyone and we all sit, eat and mingle, then the freeze off begins. Suddenly those people who were your friends and family minutes ago are trying to sneak a peak at your ice cream making secrets. Flavors are being guarded until the unveiling of the ice cream and the loud humming of the ice cream makers fill the air.
The ice cream is separated into categories giving a few people the chance to make it big. At previous freeze off''s the categories were adult and kid choice, however certain members of the board (Nathan) felt like the only way to win the adult category was to enter a fruit flavor and since he was now considered an adult he wanted more of a say. To put it in his own words he didn't want to feel like he was voting for democrats in Utah. Now the categories are Chocolate, Fruit and Specialty(just a fancy word for other or both chocolate and fruit).
At an appointed time we all place our ice cream in its appropriate category and the tasting begins. We then vote for our favorite flavors in each category and a non-biased judge(one who did not enter the freeze off) counts the votes. We actually won the chocolate category this year-our flavor was yummy!
Cindy pulled out the big guns by entering this. It is vanilla ice cream as the noodles and strawberry rhubarb-peach as the red sauce with Ferrero Rocher chocolates as the meat balls. The noodles and sauce tasted great together.
Each year the winner has to bring back the golden spoon that they one the year before so that it can be handed to the new winner. At 10:00 that morning we were called by a hysteric Leif who accused us of stealing his golden spoon so that he would be disqualified. He later found the spoon at his house but at the beginning of the ice cream freeze off he made an announcement that he had found it in Parkers diaper bag. Does this sweet face look like the face of a criminal? I wish we really had stolen the spoon it would have been funny.This is the firm of Ryan and Jayna. They counted the votes this year but we are expecting them to make an entry next year!!
This is all the craziness of taste testing. But here is a tip from a seasoned pro: only take enough ice cream to taste the flavor or you will be sorry by the end of the day!