Vanilla still a hit


By Robert Herrington

In their first year competing in the Homemade Ice Cream contest in 1988, Dotty and Chuck McMillian weren’t sure of the rules. Instead of bringing their supplies ready to begin making ice cream, the Noblesville couple had all raw materials.

“We brought the kitchen with us,” Dotty said. “We came ready to go. We got it done. We were really cranking.”

Since then, the McMillians are a staple at the event, which is open to all Hamilton County residents.

“When we started, there were three other people. Our granddaughter was a child, she’s 27 now,” Chuck said.

One of the biggest changes in the contest is the number of participants. This year, there were 26 entries including eight first-time participants.

“There’s a lot more variety, different makers,” Chuck said. “There’s more family members, too, because the family’s grown.”

Taking an entire row of tables, the McMillian clan works on a variety of flavors including maple walnut, but Chuck says it all starts with his vanilla recipe.

“I like the basic flavors of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. You use a good base vanilla recipe to make any variations,” he said. “We throw things in – a little something special every now and again.”

Each team of two to four people have 40 minutes to make its favorite ice cream recipe. Prizes are awarded in three categories: all flavors – electric freezer, all flavors – crank freezer and youth (ages 19 and under).

In the youth division, Kate and Taylor Gerardot of Fishers competed in the contest for the first time.

“They love ice cream and cooking. It’s a good combination,” their mother, Amy, said.

Team Yummy, as they called themselves, served peanut butter ice cream which won the youth division and overall grand champion.


“We made it one time and decided we loved it,” Taylor said. “We put Reece’s cups in it and fudge on top.”


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