Last year we picked up an ice cream maker at a yard sale for $20. Ever since that time, we have been experimenting with ice cream flavors.  I might add, these flavors are not the 'run-of-the-mill' flavors. lets just say they are interesting. Some batches turned out spectacular, some not so much. 

Our methodology is to do some research to see if anyone actually made the flavor before and the comments circling around it. Once we decide what we are going to make, it is shopping time. Now most ice creams have a base set of ingredients, such as milk, eggs yolks, and heavy whipping creme. It's the other ingredients that turn it into the interesting flavors.

But the fun part for us is bringing our creations to parties and gatherings. It is fun to watch expressions before, during and after. Today for our mini family reunion, we decided to make a favor we made last year. Before I tell you what it is, I want to make sure you have no preconceived notions what it is. I will tell you the ingredients are common. How does that make you feel? Okay? Unsure? I will tell you that the ingredients together would remind someone of a specific meal, but not ice cream. Now how does that sound to you? Nervous? Okay. The ice cream flavor is maple bacon. NOW how does that make you feel? If you saw a sign for it, would you be willing to try it, or say NO WAY! ? 

Now, if I just sat the ice cream out amount all the other flavors with no sign telling you what is in it, would you just dive in and try it sight and knowledge unseen? Or would you put a small amount on your bowl to sample it to determine if it is good or not?

And lastly, if the ice cream was sat out among all the others AND the maker (my wife and I) were known to be the creators, you tried it, and really didn't like it, how would you handle that? Would you lie and say that it was good and just let it sit there hoping that I would leave so you could dispose of it? Would you be creative in your response, using words as interesting, unique?

The gospel is sort of like that ice cream. Like the ice cream, the gospel contains many of the same 'ingredients' as other religions, but our religion has certain extra flavors added. Those that are members have tasted the flavor before and are accustomed to it. But there are many friends that we want to share the gospel with and they are unsure with all the preconceived notions they have heard before about the church. We can offer the gospel to our friends by extolling the wondrous 'ingredients' the gospel has. We can do this, but we cannot shove the spoon down their throats. They have to be willing to do it of their own free will and choice.

Granted, there may be some that after partaking of the ice cream decide that the church is not for them. They may feel trapped or overwhelmed by the new ingredients. That's okay. Continue to invite them into your family 'ice cream' socials. They are still and will always be loved children by the creator of their spirits. Heavenly Father wants all to partake of the ice cream feast. And by gentleness, long-suffering, and humility those friends just might go into the waters of baptism watching their inexpressible look of joy as they have discovered the new ingredients and find the flavor to be of great joy and happiness.

Maple Bacon Ice Cream

1 pound thick sliced smoked bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix sugar and maple syrup to make a paste. Lay bacon out on a lined sheet pan with a lip. Spread paste on one side of bacon. Bake 15 min under broiler. Turn bacon over and spread paste on other side. Bake additional 15 min. Cool completely and then chop into small pieces.

6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup white sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups milk (2% or better)
4 cups heavy cream
2 cups maple syrup (grade B or better)

Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a bowl until pale yellow. Transfer to a sauce pan and whisk in milk and cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is almost simmering (should be thick enough to coat a spoon). Stir in maple syrup. Refrigerate until chilled.

Put chilled mixture in ice cream maker. Mix for about 45 minutes. When ice cream looks like its setting, add in the candied bacon and mix for another 5-10 min. Immediately put in freezer to continue hardening. Enjoy!

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