SUMMER is fast approaching, hopefully – and with it warmer weather and a chance for lots of outdoor eating!

There is nothing better than sitting in the garden with a big bowl of cold ice cream after a long day at work. But who has made homemade ice cream before?

Just think, a frosty scoop pulled right from your own freezer – it will impress your friends and family and the kids will just love it. So, why not learn this new skill, which will keep the kids supplied with yummy ice cream this summertime, with ingredients you know you can trust throughout the season?

I know what you are all thinking now: making ice cream at home is hard, it takes too much time or I can’t afford an expensive ice cream maker.

With all due respect to the doubters out there, I want to set the record straight.

If you can bake a Betty Crocker cake from a box, you can make ice cream from scratch.

And you may even have all the ingredients in your kitchen cupboards right now.

But surely making ice cream requires a piece of specialist equipment?

If so, there are words in the handbook for this device pointing out ‘ribboning’ and ‘tempering’.

If you do own this gadget, it will use lots of bowls and pots and demanding ice baths, a bit like disarming a nuclear warhead!

But as far as desserts go, homemade ice cream is incredibly easy to whip up without a bowl full of washing up afterwards.

To prove it, the easiest way to start you off is to make a batch of vanilla ice cream, which can be made in less than half-an-hour of effortless churning time.

If you make it in the morning it will be ready a few hours after that, when the kids come home from school.

Then you can move onto making whatever flavours and combinations you want afterwards.

The magic ingredient is a can of condensed milk – you know, the one grandma used to serve the tinned peaches with after the Sunday tea.

Condensed milk might be out of fashion today but it is great for making amazing ice cream, being creamy, smooth and yummy and not all icy.

Condensed milk is magical to use and stops ice crystals forming, which allows the ice cream to achieve a homogeneous texture, which will never get too hard. You can serve it straight away from the freezer.

My wife Kathy’s side of the family came over from Italy in 1905, and made probably the first real ice cream in town at the bottom of West Lane from the cellars of a stable in Leeds Street.

Antonio Minchella then went selling his ice cream in a handcart around the Keighley streets after completing a long shift at Hattersley’s.

So, in closing my column, I want to dedicate it to Mr Minchella and the wonderful ice creams he introduced us to more than a century ago.