A friend of mine called the other day and announced: "I'm making homemade ice cream on the deck today. Come on over." Funny how all my "straightening up the house" plans for that Sunday afternoon disappeared at the words "homemade ice cream."

That invitation got me thinking: When is the last time I made homemade ice cream? Years ago, for sure. I've been on a sorbet kick for a while now (check out all the terrific sorbets on www.kitchenscoop.com) and had all but given up on ice cream. Mainly because it seems like too much work. First you cook it, then you chill it, then you have to freeze it in the ice-cream maker, then you have to ripen it. Hours of work, right? Not necessarily.

Why not make a simple ice cream based on the same principle I use to make my sorbets: mix it and freeze it. Guess what? It worked!

So I am presenting the Easiest "Iced" Cream Ever and hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I call it "iced" cream because I'm not sure, as simple as it is, that this recipe truly classifies as ice cream. However, the flavor and texture are perfect, and it is simply "iced" cream. Watch out, sorbets, iced cream is here!

Start to finish: under 30 minutes (depends on ice-cream maker)

Makes 1 quart (eight 1/2-cup servings)

Ingredients

2 cups whipping cream

2 cups whole milk

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl with a hand mixer or immersion blender for two minutes until sugar is dissolved and mixture is foamy.

Place in an ice-cream maker (see Cook's notes), and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Serve immediately (it has the consistency of soft-serve ice cream) or place in the freezer to harden to desired consistency.

Cook's notes: For testing purposes, I used a Cuisinart Double Ice Cream Maker.

If your ice-cream maker will not handle a quart of ice cream, then make two batches. The cream mixture will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for two days if milk and whipping cream are fresh.

Approximate values per 1/2 cup serving: 238 calories (18 percent from fat), 13g fat (8g saturated), 47mg cholesterol, 3g protein, 29g carbohydrates, 0g dietary fiber, 35mg sodium.

Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross are co-authors of "Desperation Dinners!" (Workman, 1997), "Desperation Entertaining!" (2002) and "Cheap. Fast. Good!" (2006). Contact them at Desperation Dinners, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to tellus@kitchenscoop.com.