Refillable Ice Cream
updated: Nov 02, 2013, 10:00 AM
By Kelley Skumautz
Around Town Asides - Local Finds With Refill In Mind
Armed with reused containers and bags, I scour the greater Santa Barbara area for places where
bringing your own is not taboo.
I have spent the better part of this year trying to find refill options for goods normally sold in new
packaging time and again. This demands only a little more forethought in how and when I procure said
items, but demands a lot more from my abilities in the kitchen - not the place where I tend to turn out
my best work.
Inspired by my rediscovery of Broguiere's milk available in returnable, refillable bottles, I decided to give
homemade ice cream a try thinking I could oust another store bought, pre-packaged item. However, I
made my decision before conducting research about what is involved in this particular DIY project. As it
turns out, doing it myself would not ease the quantity of packaging load because the recipes call for half
and half, heavy cream, or both. Since these are not ingredients I need for any other reason, it does me
no good to buy them in cartons in order to displace ice cream containers. Net loss would equal zero.
(One can "shake and make" homemade ice cream too, using only milk, sugar, vanilla and salt most of
which I can purchase in bulk using my own bag or that otherwise satisfies my purchasing policy because
I use it elsewhere and am not creating a new demand. But I worry about how Ziplocs® would hold up. I
am on short supply of them, refusing to ever buy more, and I believe I am likely destroy two of this
precious quantity for something that seems like a kindergarten science project more than an option for
making a real dessert.)
But all this got me thinking and I am glad to say that this road of unrequited experimentation led me to
Rori's Artisanal Creamery. Rori's is
more than happy to hand pack their delicious dessert in a container that I bring from home. My husband
and I have made it a tradition to stop by the Montecito shop on our way back from points north for two
scoops to have on site while we wait for the fun and friendly staff to pack our pint to go (there's usually
a line and we are not bothered to wait until there is a break in the crowd). Now that we have become
somewhat regular, we have noticed, and very much appreciate, that Rori's non-disposable ethic runs
throughout her operation. She serves her scoops in tasty, made-by-hand waffle cones or in mason jars
- you simply do not see people enjoying a ten minute sweet and trashing a dish immediately after. And,
Rori gives her samples out on stainless steel spoons not the throwaway kind many of us are so used to.
Thank you, Rori's, and may the refill be with you.
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Kelley Skumautz is the owner of Refill to You, a service
that replenishes empty containers with detergents, soaps, lotions and sprays for the kitchen, bath, and
laundry and delivers them to your home or small business. She also writes a weekly blog about simplicity, sustainability, community & commodity.
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