The rudimentary contraption with no built-in freezer or rock salt requirements, cost only two dollars, which isn't much of a wager, so I clutched my prize and headed to the register.
As I read through the instruction manual on the bus ride home, I learned that the inner chamber is filled with some serious freezing liquid, which they claim to be non-toxic, in the end enabling the cream to freeze. I also read through the included recipes and to my disappointment, they all required eggs. The least spontaneous, but most comfortable recipes calling for a heated custard that is cooled over night.
Aha! And this is where Mark Bittman comes in! This morning while perusing The Times online, I see that The Minimalist's topic du jour is corn starch ice cream. Now, the process is no more spontaneous, as it calls for making and chilling your custard before ice creaming, but there are no eggs involved and for that, I'm willing to wait.
I intend to prepare my corn starch custard this evening and pop the inner-chamber in the freezer, giving it en entire 24-hours to chill, before whipping-up a pint of ice cream after work tomorrow.
What do you think? Fresh strawberries and mint from the garden? My basil's flourishing — basil and... ? What about my tomatoes? They're a fruit sometimes, right? Seems the experimental options are limitless.