Why I Whip Cream

1 Oct

See that?

That’s my driveway as the rain started yesterday–September 30.

My husband wrote “happy birthday” on the concrete on August 17, using canned whipped cream. And every time it’s rained ever since, the shadow reappears.


I am not a food snob. We’re bottled dressing people, you know? My kids eat fish sticks and we stop for fast food on our way to and from vacation and I have a really hard time resisting the siren’s song of Little Debbie if she’s in the house. I’ve probably eaten my weight in canned whipped cream over the years. It’s easy, it’s cheap, it tastes good–what’s not to like, right?

Except that it stays on concrete, outside in the elements, for months. Perhaps longer–time will tell. And I’m sorry, but that’s utterly disgusting. If it’s doing that to my driveway, what on earth is it doing inside my body?

Whipped cream is the easiest thing on the planet to make. Dump some heavy cream into your mixer’s bowl, sprinkle in powdered sugar, and let ‘er rip on high until soft peaks form. Don’t go farther or you’ll end up with butter.

We had a party last year and someone came running up to me halfway through, with some little dessert topped with whipped cream. “Oh. My. God,” she said. “What did you put in this?”

She, for the record, was a certified foodie. And I smiled and told her. A drizzle of vanilla extract just as the cream started to come together in the mixer. Almond works too. Maple syrup (the real stuff) is delicious in cream you’re going to use with pumpkin pie or any kind of autumn dessert. Peppermint can go in there over the holidays (or anytime–I’m a peppermint addict), lemon…if there’s an extract or a syrup, a hint of it is delicious. That’s my big secret. Keep it between us. 😉

I’ll let you know if my driveway is still decorated for next year’s birthday when it rolls around. In the meantime, I’m going to take the extra three minutes to make my own whipped cream. All it’ll take is a glimpse of my concrete on a rainy day to remember why.

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4 Responses to “Why I Whip Cream”

  1. Aviva Goldfarb October 1, 2010 at 8:11 am #

    Yuck–and yum, Kim. I’ve never tried using powdered sugar but it sounds like a much better idea. Will try soon.

  2. Michele October 1, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    My mother taught me how to make whipped cream. We always use powdered sugar and vanilla. I’ll have to try maple syrup! Another thing my mother always does is chill the metal bowl and beaters before whipping the cream. She’s convinced it helps keep the cream whipped longer. I’ve also added a tiny bit of cream of tartar to kept it whipped if I’m making it hours in advance.

  3. Laura Beutler October 1, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    Here’s to real whipped cream! I was just chatting with a friend over coffee about food chemicals – and how I’ve launched a personal campaign to make at least one new food a week from scratch until it’s second nature. I started with hummus a few weeks ago, and then pumpkin bread (thanks to you), and whole wheat bread, and now DH wants me to make my own pasta (thank you bobby flay for the ravioli throw down for giving him that idea) – so I’m off to find the attachment for my kitchenaid…

  4. Kim October 5, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    Ooh, I’m going to try the cream of tartar, Michele. Thanks for the tip! And rock on, Laura!

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