Aug 29, 2010

The Best Vanilla Ice Cream

Like many people, I love vanilla ice cream. I have done ever since I was a child. So it's no surprise that it's the one ice cream recipe that I enjoy making above all others. The interesting thing is that even with the same recipe, the results are never 100% identical. Most people probably wouldn't notice the difference but when you've made and tasted as much vanilla ice cream as I have, even a tiny difference can stand out.

My most recent batch of homemade vanilla ice cream was one of the best I've ever made. No, I'm not being conceited ... ask my family, they all said it before I did :)

Here are 2 pictures of it.

The first (above) was taken after serving a couple of scoops into my favorite penny lick glass and the second (outside in the garden, hence the light) after I put a scoop into an ice cream cone and sprinkled some hundreds and thousands on top. Delicious!

I've tried to work out why it was so good and the only thing I can come up with is that perhaps the quality of the vanilla pod I used was a little bit special in some way. The taste of the vanilla in the ice cream that day just seemed to be stronger and more aromatic.

Well, whatever it was, I hope I can get it to repeat next time!

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Aug 26, 2010

For The Love Of Ice Cream - With Yahoo!

My passion for ice cream goes way beyond just making ice cream, creating ice cream recipes and updating my ice cream website .... I love to study visitor statistics to the website and understand who is looking for what, where from, how and why. It is an amazing thing to have an insight into the minds of people on a given subject - in this case ICE CREAM.

Having study my Google Analytics reports for several years, I am familiar with quite a depth in level of data - where the visitors come from, in what numbers, which main keywords they use, the most popular content and the most popular sources of traffic (search engines, referring sites etc).

One statistic that has been consistent for a long time now is that Google is the most important search engine to provide traffic to my site; day after day after day, Google outscores all the other search engines by a LONG way. There has not been a single day in the last 4 years where another search engine has outscored Google with traffic to my website .... until recently.

On 28 July I had a 'double take' when I looked at the stats. There was something I had never seen before nor had I expected to see.

Yahoo! sent a whopping 28,000 visitors in 24 hours! That's 4.5 times MORE visitors than Google usually provides daily at this time of year. What's more, it didn't cost me a penny!

How come? Well, because I spotted this massive traffic boost on the actual day whilst it was happening, I was able to do a little 'live' digging and, yes, I found out how and why Yahoo! had done this.

I went to and there staring me in the face was 'Trending Now' .... a small list of keywords that, according to Yahoo!, were the most popular that day. At number 3 was 'ice cream recipes'. So I clicked on the link and it sent me to the Yahoo! results page for that keyword search. At number 1 was my site - bingo! I had found the answer to the puzzle. Quite simply, people using Yahoo! that day were just intrigued as to why ice cream recipes would be popular and, assuming it might be some interesting news item, they click through and visited the first site listed - mine! So there you have it ... simple and honest curiosity was the key - and what's important, it was from people who perhaps never normally think about ice cream recipes.

So if anyone tells you not to take Yahoo! seriously in your Internet marketing strategy, stop and think again. You now know better. Thank you Yahoo!

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Aug 8, 2010

Ice Cream Cone Holder - A Welcome Idea

Have you noticed how, whenever you eat an ice cream cone there's always a bit which melts without you noticing and drips down onto your fingers? It then risks getting on your clothes and, what's more, it tends to all gather at the base of the cone and make it soggy and sticky.

Some people would say that's part of the fun of ice cream and when I was a child I would definitely have agreed .... but now? Well, I must admit to finding myself clutching a paper tissue in readiness before I even get served at the ice cream counter!

Countenance my delight, therefore, when I was recently handed an ice cream cone in its own paper cone holder - free of charge and without asking. It was even branded with the local ice cream maker's name .... a nice little marketing ploy and one I wholly congratulate them on.

Here's a picture of the mint choc chip ice cream cone my son chose - you can see the paper cone holder quite clearly.

FOOTNOTE: In N. Ireland they use the term ice cream poke instead of ice cream cone.

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