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Shake shake shake! Shake shake shake! Shake your creamer! Shake your creamer!
March 9, 2009 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Make your own ice cream, in a restaurant, using coffee creamer and a glass of ice.
posted by mudpuppie (138 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
Like, just, ewww.
posted by Danf at 3:09 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Naw, that's cool. Imma try it.
posted by wemayfreeze at 3:11 PM on March 9, 2009


You can make butter at home with whipping cream, a jar with a lid and a very bored child who is willing to shake a jar for half an hour.
posted by GuyZero at 3:13 PM on March 9, 2009 [7 favorites]


Your server hates you.
posted by sanko at 3:13 PM on March 9, 2009 [12 favorites]


My goodness, I know this sort of thing is normal and on purpose, but making you click EACH STEP to read the whole step is incredibly obnoxious.
posted by ORthey at 3:13 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nah man, if you don't have the patience to click each step, then this is not for you -- there's no way you can shake a glass full of ice and salt for 10 minutes to make a thimbleful of ice cream.
posted by cotterpin at 3:16 PM on March 9, 2009 [14 favorites]


You can make butter at home with whipping cream, a jar with a lid and a very bored child who is willing to shake a jar for half an hour.

We've done this (complete with the very bored child).
posted by Lucinda at 3:19 PM on March 9, 2009


Prepare to be thrown out approximately five minutes after engaging in step 3 if you try this in my restaurant.
posted by limmer at 3:22 PM on March 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


We made butter during storytime in kindergarten, passing the jar around the circle as the teacher read to us. At the end of the story, she opened the jar and spread the butter on crackers for us.

Kindergarten was AWESOME!

But we never made ice cream.

Kindergarten SUCKED!
posted by maudlin at 3:24 PM on March 9, 2009 [17 favorites]


In kindergarten, we split the class into two halves. One half shook cream, while the other half shook milk. After fifteen minutes, they had butter, and we had milk.

I think this was supposed to prove something or other, but I just remember feeling shafted and bummed that my teacher had deliberately wasted our time.
posted by blenderfish at 3:28 PM on March 9, 2009 [14 favorites]


Instructables.com is such a great resource. Thanks for this.
posted by not_on_display at 3:29 PM on March 9, 2009


[this is retarded]
posted by Mikey-San at 3:30 PM on March 9, 2009


Unfortunately, ice cream doesn't go all that well with the lemonade made from sugar and lemons from the salad bar.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:30 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Prepare to be thrown out approximately five minutes after engaging in step 3 if you try this in my restaurant.

Yeah, well the jokes on you 'cause we all took a bite out of our appetizers while you weren't looking.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:35 PM on March 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Prepare to be thrown out approximately five minutes after engaging in step 3 if you try this in my restaurant.

You obviously don't work at Denny's. I'm still amazed by some of the shit we used to get away with at Denny's at 3 in the morning.
posted by empath at 3:35 PM on March 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


For the love of god, just fork over the 1 to 2 dollars it costs for a scoop of ice cream. You'll save time, not piss off your server, and not make yourself a public spectacle.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:36 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't wait to show this to my sister who thinks she's so clever for making her water into crummy lemon/limeade every time we go anywhere.

Er... I mean... I'll show my nephews and then I'll prove that I'm their favorite aunt?

Yeah, that sounds better.
posted by Kimothy at 3:38 PM on March 9, 2009


You'll save time, not piss off your server, and not make yourself a public spectacle.

I think you're not getting the point of this at all.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:39 PM on March 9, 2009 [24 favorites]


Blenderfish: we did that too! I also never figured out why.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 3:41 PM on March 9, 2009


sanko: "Your server hates you."

How to know if you've done too much web admin: you read this sentence, check if instructables.com refreshes properly and use downforeveryoneorjustme for good measure to see if there's an access problem from somewhere else... I think I need a break now.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 3:46 PM on March 9, 2009 [12 favorites]


As a former server -- both at a Denny's and a real restaurant -- this would not have pissed me off at all. In fact, I would have been pretty impressed.
posted by hermitosis at 3:49 PM on March 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


So recently I purchased the 1931 facsimile edition of The Joy of Cooking because back then America hadn't forgotten how to eat. As a sign of how much the situation has deteriorated, when I looked at the Ice Cream section I saw something like "Ice cream is best when made with cream which is not fresh," and I was surprised. I read on. "It is best made with cream which is about 24 hours old," or something like that.

24 hours old.

Also amusing: published during Prohibition, it contains a home winemaking recipe or two and a few cocktail and liquer suggestions for making bathtub gin palatable, and the general advice "Most cocktails containing liquor are made today with gin and ingenuity. In brief, take an ample supply of the former and use your imagination." It's like if the 2000-whatever edition had recipes for pot brownies.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:50 PM on March 9, 2009 [59 favorites]


You can make better ice cream at home by opening that tub of ice cream you already have in your freezer.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:52 PM on March 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


...making you click EACH STEP to read the whole step is incredibly obnoxious.

I signed up for exactly this reason. But they still log me out periodically. And this is the worst bit (worse even than Hitler): they've somehow managed to block Firefox from being able to enter my username and password. Oh wait, it looks like I had two logins saved. Call off WWII, it's just ordinary annoyingness!
posted by DU at 4:04 PM on March 9, 2009


Your server hates you.

Because there's less salt now? None of this otherwise is a problem.
posted by odinsdream at 4:06 PM on March 9, 2009


None of this otherwise is a problem. Yeah, right. You try doing this at any diner in North Jersey and see how long you last without getting the boot, and some choice words as they kick your sorry ass out.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 4:15 PM on March 9, 2009


Cheap coffee creamer frozen goop "ice cream?"

Is this the kind of thing people did before there was an internet?
posted by koeselitz at 4:18 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


My brother and I would always shake the creamer as kids, in hope of making butter, because I also had that cream-into-butter lesson in kindergarten. The first few times, we used to open the creamer to check if it was solid yet (it never was, because we usually were served within 10 or 15 minutes). After a while, we just kept shaking sporadically throughout the meal, forgetting the creamer when it was time to leave. I think back and like to imagine that some coffee drinkers ended up with lumpy creamer and glared at the 10-year-old version of me as I left.

And shaking a glass of ice for 10 minutes is probably more allowable than rolling around an ice cream making ball (which is actually quite fun, but in no way subtle).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:21 PM on March 9, 2009


Metafilter: I think you're not getting the point of this at all.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:21 PM on March 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Or just pocket the containers, and try it at home?
posted by R. Mutt at 4:29 PM on March 9, 2009


Your server hates you.

Wrong. With the tips I leave, my server greets me by name, and often brings me free things to eat. At almost every decent restaurant in town. In fact, if I asked nicely (and I always ask nicely), my server would probably shake the friggin' glass for me. But that would miss the point entirely, which is "Hey, cool science trick -with ice cream!" Later, my server will win a bar bet with this little trick, funded by my hefty tip as seed money. In fact, this will seem like an unlikely rags-to-riches story at first, as my server manages to parlay the initial winnings into a small lottery win, and then opens a restaurant. Unfortunately, the restaurant will quickly fail, as most new restaurants do, and eventually my server will die, penniless, in a freak hotdog cart explosion. But for a while, there: Whew! Good times!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:31 PM on March 9, 2009 [65 favorites]


Your server hates you.

Can't be stated enough.

You know what we servers loathe as much as bad tippers? Cheapskates.

Yes, I'm talking to you, woman who orders a cup of hot water then digs into her purse to pull out a tea bag.

You too, guy who winks at me about "hooking him up," which translates to, "while I'm implying I'll split the savings with you, what I really mean is I'll tip 10% instead of 5%."

I'm especially talking to you, guy that came in by himself and played 20 questions, trying to manipulate menu items and barter prices, then tell me how good a job I did (by putting up with you) and making a grand display of how you'll tip me 20% instead of 15%, for a grand total of 30 cents more.

Fuck you, family of four that goes to the bakery to order desserts and brings them back to eat at the table.

/rant - gotta cut myself off, but I could go on for hours.

All I'm saying: be resourceful and clever on your own time. Servers run a business with their tables; we're most interested in volume, and you're slowing us down.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 4:34 PM on March 9, 2009 [11 favorites]


Well stated, CWAA. I will never forget, back in the beginning of my waiting tables days, I worked at Applebee's. I had a woman with her 4 or 5 kids all ask for water. She then proceeded to pull out a thing container of koolaid and made it right there at the table for everyone. I've since wised up and I tell people that you can't bring outside food or drink, it's a health code violation.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:39 PM on March 9, 2009


Yay! A server vs served thread! Wheeee!!
posted by cavalier at 4:44 PM on March 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


I um, really don't think people are intending this as a "get FREE!!! ice cream" strategy. At all.
posted by odinsdream at 4:44 PM on March 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well stated, CWAA. I will never forget, back in the beginning of my waiting tables days, I worked at Applebee's. I had a woman with her 4 or 5 kids all ask for water. She then proceeded to pull out a thing container of koolaid and made it right there at the table for everyone. I've since wised up and I tell people that you can't bring outside food or drink, it's a health code violation.

Speaking for myself, this would not have bothered me. People bringing in their own accoutrements to compliment their meal doesn't necessarily take money out of your pocket - it doesn't follow that if you banned the use out outside Kool-Aid that they would order drinks. For the most part, being flexible and patient with families tends to result in a larger gratuity
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:48 PM on March 9, 2009 [8 favorites]


Yay! A server vs served thread! Wheeee!!

and it's on a server! What're the odds?!
posted by jonmc at 4:49 PM on March 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


I think my amazement at making ice cream from creamer would be overshadowed by my disappointment at only eating a spoonful of said ice cream. Still, it's an amusing way to entertain kids, the easily amused, or cheapskates.
posted by zardoz at 4:50 PM on March 9, 2009


My goodness, I know this sort of thing is normal and on purpose, but making you click EACH STEP to read the whole step is incredibly obnoxious.

Protip: Even though Instructables is blocked from bugmenot.com proper, stick it to the man by logging in with bugmenot/bugmenot anyway.
posted by niles at 5:03 PM on March 9, 2009


Still, it's an amusing way to entertain kids, the easily amused, or cheapskates.

Also, nerds.

Quick quiz: Nerds are a subset of which of the other three groups?
posted by dersins at 5:05 PM on March 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Servers run a business with their tables; we're most interested in volume, and you're slowing us down.

See, this is why servers who try to rush me get a shitty tip and me lingering for forty five minutes over coffee, while most others get 30+% tips. If you'd rather have volume anyway, tough shit, we're there to relax and enjoy ourselves.

I think this rocks, though I admittedly just dismayed my gf by telling her s.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 5:10 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


While I would assuredly prefer to only make this ice cream with mini half and half creamers (which is what most restaurants, in my experience, serve with coffee or supply to the tables by default) I also doubt that those of you saying "EEEW FAKE CREAM GOOP," etc. have avoided ice creams full of completely bullshit additives all your lives. I would wager you've even ENJOYED the odd choco taco. So shut up.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:16 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it seriously so offensive for me to use the free materials provided by the restaurant while I'm waiting for my food to come to do something fucking sweet and make some goddamn ice cream?

Jesus christ, it's supposed to be a happy food, and the point for me is the novelty of making it rather than being a 'cheapskate' and suckering your restaurant out of two fucking dollars. Sorry I'm infringing on your right to another $0.10 in tip.

You server people may have finally ruined ice cream for me. I've been in the service industry, too. Get off your high horse and let someone somewhere have some fun.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 5:17 PM on March 9, 2009 [11 favorites]


Sorry, meant to say some of you servers. Some of you guys sound awesome and like you would get a huge tip from me for not being a dickwad.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 5:19 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


You server people may have finally ruined ice cream for me. I've been in the service industry, too. Get off your high horse and let someone somewhere have some fun.

Then go buy a damn ice cream maker.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:23 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also I don't care what you tip and don't tip other people and I hate it when people dangle those facts like some dog treat in your face. "Well, *I* wouldn't tip you very well if you waited on me." Who the fuck cares? I have plenty of regulars that tip me just fine and you can keep your sweaty five dollars and go bother someone else. I don't need your tip that bad.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:27 PM on March 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


whipping cream, a jar with a lid and a very bored child

Yeah, but do you know how much it would cost me to rent a child?
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 5:28 PM on March 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


More like ice hydrogenated soybean oil, amirite?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:32 PM on March 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Bartender, have you got the time?
What do I look like: Big Ben? That'll be ten bucks for making me talk to you. Now order another drink, or go buy a damn watch.
But I haven't finished the drink I just paid for...
Holy fuck, you won't shut up, will you?! Somebody throw this waste of oxygen out on the sidewalk! Free drinks if he breaks his face on the way out. Next! What the fuck do you want?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:32 PM on March 9, 2009 [12 favorites]


Then go buy a damn ice cream maker.

People go to restaurants in order to not make food. That's kind of how it works.

I don't know, I guess my attitude about waiting tables was pretty zen for the 14-odd years that I did it. Apart from being stiffed, the only things that really got to me was when someone would eat most of their meal before declaring it inedible and refusing to pay, someone clearly too intoxicated to be in a restaurant, or someone not at least attempting to control their kids if they were running around the dining room.

Sure, I've dealt with Mr. 20 Questions, Miss I Brought My Own Puddings, and Mrs. I Want a Salad With All the Toppings On The Side, Each On a Separate Plate. That's what waiting tables is - you have to serve people. But not only does someone bringing additional foodstuffs not necessarily take money out of your pocket, as I said, I also don't see why this creamer thing would be that big a deal. What extra work will it mean for you? More empty creamer thingies to bus?

I worked with waitstaff who incessantly cranked on about why they didn't like this guy, or oh gawd here comes this one again, and on and on. These servers tended to not earn very well, surprise surprise, and they were miserable. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles. It generally keeps you in better spirits and puts more money in your pocket.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:36 PM on March 9, 2009 [7 favorites]


The most fun way I've ever found to make ice cream is to play Kick the Can Ice Cream. These instructions have you just kick the can around, but it's more fun if you play the actual hide-and-seek-style tagging game Kick the Can, so that the ice cream is kind of a side effect of the game. However, it's not the best ice cream ever. It's just kind of neat.

I like this trick. It's a neat idea. Only assholes will leave the table a mess and they would have anyway. I desperately hope this can stop being a cranky server vs. asshole diner thread, and I say that from the cranky server perspective. If you are working in a place that uses these creamers as a default - and leaves them on the table throughout the meal, at that - you probably have far worse things to deal with than the extremely rare threat that creamer-packet ice cream poses to the sanity of your working life.
posted by Miko at 5:37 PM on March 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


I brought my ice cream maker to denny's but they didn't have outlets by the tables so I left the end.
posted by xorry at 5:38 PM on March 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


I scream, you scream, we all scream at customers.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:41 PM on March 9, 2009 [16 favorites]


People go to restaurants in order to not make food. That's kind of how it works.

Somebody didn't RTFA.
posted by dersins at 5:41 PM on March 9, 2009


You try doing this at any diner in North Jersey and see how long you last without getting the boot, and some choice words as they kick your sorry ass out.

Oh, come now. I'm from NJ and that's ridiculous. Far worse things etc. etc. see previous comment. It all gets hurled in a bus bucket and life goes on.
posted by Miko at 5:41 PM on March 9, 2009


Marisa, you need to direct most of that talk to someone else. Most things don't bother me at work and you will rarely hear me complaining. I actually keep to myself because I'm behind the bar by myself. I've been waiting tables/bartending for over 10 years. More than half of my income is from regulars, and I'm not scraping by. If I was some big shithead at work, I wouldn't have people come in everyday just to see me and shoot the shit. But I can still say that this creamer trick is stupid. And I was never complaining about anyone taking "money out of my pocket."
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:42 PM on March 9, 2009


I was at an Ihop once with some friends, and we wanted dessert (yes we were a little drunk), so we asked, and the waitress said she would bring the menu. After about 30 minutes of waiting for her to return, in a sudden spark of ingenuity, I realized we had everything we needed to make our own ice cream, crappy waitress be damned. So we made it. Then we ate a little bit of it, and then finally the waitress came back. We ordered real ice cream, and marveled at its deliciousness.
posted by !Jim at 5:43 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Somebody didn't RTFA.

I did, in fact, RTFA. I was responding to the retort that a person who would come to a restaurant and make ice cream with creamers and ice water should just buy an ice cream maker. It's a bit like saying that a person who wants to add sugar packets and lemon wedges to their restaurant ice water should stay at home and make their own damn lemonade.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:44 PM on March 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


People go to restaurants in order to not make food. That's kind of how it works.

Ok then why are people making their own "ice cream" at restaurants?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:44 PM on March 9, 2009


And I was never complaining about anyone taking "money out of my pocket."

Then I'd ask why you thought someone mixing Kool Aid at the table was a big deal.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:45 PM on March 9, 2009


Ok then why are people making their own "ice cream" at restaurants?

Answer above your question.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:46 PM on March 9, 2009


I'm still not seeing how you determined I was complaining about money out of my pocket in that comment.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:47 PM on March 9, 2009


Also instead of clogging this thread up with a debate, you can memail me if you want to continue this discussion.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:48 PM on March 9, 2009


I'm still not seeing how you determined I was complaining about money out of my pocket in that comment.

Because that's the only reason I can think of why you'd be bothered that someone mixed Kool-Aid at the table, or why you said that you've taken a policy to tell people they can't bring in outside food for "health reasons" - that they are bringing in food that they would otherwise buy at the establishment, which is erroneous. If there's some other reason why the outside Kool-Aid bothered you, feel free to clarify.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:50 PM on March 9, 2009


Also instead of clogging this thread up with a debate, you can memail me if you want to continue this discussion.

I didn't realize I was "clogging" the thread here. I was offering a different server's perspective, is all, because it seemed the overall reaction to creamer ice cream was pretty negative.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:52 PM on March 9, 2009


Ok then why are people making their own "ice cream" at restaurants?

Because they don't understand the law of diminishing returns?

I'm sorry this hit a nerve with you, MaryDellamorte, but I think you really *are* missing the point, and it seems this is hitting too close to home in a possibly disproportionate way.

Might I suggest some Cherry Garcia for the chill-out factor?

Preview: Takes two to debate. In this case, I'd argue that MSTPT wasn't the one with the [mint chocolate] chip on his shoulder.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:53 PM on March 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


If there's some other reason why the outside Kool-Aid bothered you, feel free to clarify.

Did she mention it was "Jones! Party of 900!"
posted by jonmc at 5:55 PM on March 9, 2009 [15 favorites]


Did she mention it was "Jones! Party of 900!"

Oh great - now we'll have a Kool-Aid vs. Flavor-Aid debate on our hands.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:57 PM on March 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


this creamer trick is stupid.

I don't think it is, and I have a longer restaurant/bar resume than 10 years. I've seen a lot of similar "SCIENCE!" tricks done at the bar. In fact, I've known some bartenders who collected them and mastered them in order to perform for customers and thereby increase their tips and build their crowd. One of the most wonderful nights I ever had working was when a group of Navy engineers came in (stay with me, I realize how that sounds but it's a clean story) on their first night off after a 20-day project. They did an amazing set of stunts, including balancing an entire Windsor-style chair in the neck of a Budweiser bottle with no additional supports, balancing 3 pint glasses one atop the other, and a bunch of other physics-demo style things using bar equipment like drink stirrers, silverware, and napkins. They had the place enthralled and people stayed and laughed and we had a great old time. Some of the tricks were messy - a few times we ended up with water all over the bar. That's what a bar mop is for. It was a really good night - and it was an otherwise quiet weeknight which would have been financially unremarkable and on the boring side without these unexpected guests. I also worked for a while in an Irish pub, where many of the patrons had similar stunts to perform, though not that spectacular.

I think it's a mistake to assume that because this idea exists, it will instantly be used only by annoying young people to make life miserable for a server. There's no reason to leap to that assumption here, other than wanting to. I wouldn't expect the trend of messily making creamer ice cream to sweep the nation, driving servers from their jobs. If you have a problem with obnoxious kid patrons who make a mess, they will be able to accomplish that without even knowing about creamer ice cream (they will just hold the creamers up to their eyes, cover them with their hands, and then pretend to jab a fork into their eye until it splurts creamer all over the table and floor). And if you have cheapskates who want to use up all the free materials you put on the table - jelly, butter, bread, salt, pepper, ketchup - you will have that problem even if they don't know about creamer ice cream. They will just fill their purses or ask you for strawberries to dip into the cream or whatever your cheapskates do. That is a separate concern from the existence of the possibility of using creamers to make ice cream, which is really a fun little stunt to pass the time with and show what you know about physics. Obviously people should be nice to others and behave well in restaurants and bars, but this isn't going to cause otherwise decent people to suddenly ruin the dining experience for millions.

Also, if a place is nice enough that the occasional outbreak of creamer-ice-cream-making would cause a wave of shock to sweep through, then I would recommend that the owners introduce themselves to this little gem. Having condiments in plastic packaging already on the table when you sit down is the first hint that you ain't at the Ritz.
posted by Miko at 5:57 PM on March 9, 2009 [41 favorites]


Mudpuppie, I'm well aware it takes two to have a debate. I just didn't think this back and forth thing we had going on was appropriate for the thread, in which I was participating in.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:57 PM on March 9, 2009


"But I can still say that this creamer trick is stupid."

Why on earth would you care if one of your customers did it? I served for years, and I'd personally find it interesting. It's not to avoid the cost of ice cream, that's for sure.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:00 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


And if you kicked me out of your restaurant for doing this, well, you'd be doing me a favor, because I'd want to eat somewhere where the server doesn't have a stick up their ass.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:02 PM on March 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


Before anyone tries this, make sure it's with real half-and-half, and not nasty non-dairy creamer. 'Cuz that won't do anything but continue to be nasty.
posted by zsazsa at 6:04 PM on March 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can't really see what the uproar is about this. If I was with someone or some friends I wanted to "impress" I would just order an extra glass of ice right when we sat down. I would quietly throw some salt into it with the creamer, and let it sit for the duration of the meal. Pull it out at the end and present it. Would that be so horrendous?
posted by P.o.B. at 6:04 PM on March 9, 2009


Hi I'm on Metafilter and I could overthink a sachet of creamer in a glass of ice cubes.
posted by PenDevil at 6:05 PM on March 9, 2009 [7 favorites]


So, what I'm understanding here is, it is better to just bring an ice cream maker to the restaurant and order glasses and glasses of cream.
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:24 PM on March 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


balancing an entire Windsor-style chair in the neck of a Budweiser bottle with no additional supports, balancing 3 pint glasses one atop the other, and a bunch of other physics-demo style things using bar equipment like drink stirrers, silverware, and napkins.

I wish I had seen that, both for the obvious reasons and to gain knowledge, and put that knowledge to work for the good of mankind, winning free drinks.
posted by jonmc at 6:40 PM on March 9, 2009


jonmc, I don't even think there was any trick to it, just a lot of patience and obviously an understanding of balance. It took them a long time to get it all seated just right. It was amazing.

Those guys drank free all night.
posted by Miko at 6:47 PM on March 9, 2009


I would wager you've even ENJOYED the odd choco taco. So shut up.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, AV. You BACK OFF the choco tacos! That is an authentic Mexican dessert!

It says so on the label, I think.
posted by graventy at 6:50 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mary, FYI, you were the one shitting in the thread first, so don't you go act all suprised when the thread's all smelly. Negative energy and all that.
posted by cavalier at 6:51 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wasn't complaining about thread shitting.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:56 PM on March 9, 2009


Also I wasn't first.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:57 PM on March 9, 2009


Yeah, I'm AV -- artificial schmartischmischial! Choco taco's are freaking awesome! There's nothing more authentic than that.
posted by spiderskull at 7:13 PM on March 9, 2009


...and let it sit for the duration of the meal.

The shaking is key, otherwise you end up with custard. Of course, the "correct" result isn't likely to be that good in the first place, so.. eh.
posted by odinsdream at 7:21 PM on March 9, 2009


I also declare my love for the Choco taco.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:21 PM on March 9, 2009


now, that is a cheap date.

sorry.

Did she mention it was "Jones! Party of 900!"

i worked at a bennigan's for a month once...i used to amuse myself by getting on the pager and calling for:
"donner, party of ten"
wait a few minutes:
"donner, party of eight"
...
"donner, party of five"
&c.
posted by sexyrobot at 7:28 PM on March 9, 2009 [39 favorites]


Well, you guys can just be damned to the small realities to which youve confined yourselves, because I make my own Choco Tacos from freshly baked micro-thin waffles flavored with malt from a mine high in the Andes I personally oversee (Keep up the good work, Pepe! Best Malt Mine foreman in the biz!) raw cacao, small-batch organic fed artisan-separated dairy cream, hand shelled and gem-cut chips of the most flavorful local almonds (peanuts are for suckers, also very allergic) and cane syrup I extract in my grandfather's teak press. And I do it at a table at Denny's at 3am.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:37 PM on March 9, 2009 [15 favorites]


Not many places can take a neat little thing about making ice cream and turn it into a nifty little thread full of bile (mmmm bile ice cream). I salute you Metafilter.
posted by edgeways at 7:39 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


"donner, party of three"
posted by sexyrobot at 8:02 PM on March 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, you guys can just be damned to the small realities to which youve confined yourselves, because I make my own Choco Tacos from freshly baked micro-thin waffles flavored with malt from a mine high in the Andes I personally oversee

Big Deal. I make my own White Castle sliders with patties ground from alleycats I stran---

I've said too much.

*fades into the mist*
posted by jonmc at 8:03 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh people just take the creamers home and do it.

It makes a great finish after a bowl of wiener-water soup.
posted by mazola at 8:13 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yuck. That probably tastes like it's made from sewer rat milk. Can't this process be utilized to make explosives instead?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:59 PM on March 9, 2009


I spent huge chunks of highschool at Denny's in the middle of the night pulling similiar stunts. I would have killed for this trick.
posted by lunit at 9:14 PM on March 9, 2009


This thread went off the rails in a weird way. Can't we all just agree that people, especially customer type people, suck, join hands, and sing a happy song?
posted by rdr at 9:25 PM on March 9, 2009


This thread went off the rails in a weird way.

Indeed it did. Seems some of you really ought to be in therapy, or more therapy.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:31 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know why everyone assumes your server would hate you for this. I've been a server before and cleaning this up would be no more extra work than cleaning up anything else; you dump the drinks the same place you always do, or if not, in the trash. It's no big deal.

I wouldn't care if they made ice-cream at the table; if they're willing to go to those lengths they wouldn't have bought it anyway. I also never cared if people made their own lemonade at the table. I think it's a pretty crappy attitude to bring to the job that customers who don't order lots of things are worth getting mad about.

Actually, in retrospect, this kind of attitude is probably why I disliked some of my fellow servers. Easily irritated, dramatic people who think everyone owes them something when the customers just want to come eat like anyone else.
posted by Nattie at 9:36 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ahem.
posted by Pants! at 10:09 PM on March 9, 2009


I've been a server before and cleaning this up would be no more extra work than cleaning up anything else

i once worked in a restaurant where a customer had an allergic reaction to the peanut sauce and puked an almost-perfect map of japan from her table to the waitress station trash can. i knew putting carpet in a restaurant was a bad idea.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:54 PM on March 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


"donner, party of two"
posted by sexyrobot at 10:55 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I was waiting tables, this totally insane and annoying old man took FOR EVER to eat because he was fucking drawing on paper or something. He didn't even tip me, he just wrote "Hi, Amber" in the speech bubble over the dragon's head. I was so fucking pissed I colored it with markers and have had it hanging in my office for 19 years not AND I SPIT AT IT EVERY DAY.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:57 PM on March 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yes, I'm talking to you, woman who orders a cup of hot water then digs into her purse to pull out a tea bag.


If you are the type of person who breaks out the loathing instead of pity for people who are so broke they bring their own tea bags to restaurants, then I hope to Christ I never end up in your restaurant.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:03 PM on March 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


six-or-six-thirty: "two fucking dollars... another $0.10 in tip."

An appropriate tip on a two-fucking-dollar ice cream is thirty cents. Beware, people. six-or-six-thirty tips 5%.
posted by lostburner at 11:05 PM on March 9, 2009


oh, may bad. 10 years. I'm not old, I'm a bad typist.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:13 PM on March 9, 2009


This thread went off the rails in a weird way.

Mary always does that in restaurant service and/or bartending threads.
posted by ryanrs at 12:05 AM on March 10, 2009


If you are the type of person who breaks out the loathing instead of pity for people who are so broke they bring their own tea bags to restaurants, then I hope to Christ I never end up in your restaurant.

Yes, so broke they dine out at places that offer $15 entrees.

Frankly, if I decided to take pity on the poorest of the poor, I'd invite every homeless person I met in to sit at my tables and offer them unlimited water and bread, but there's that whole thing about...oh yes -- me trying to make a living. (On the subject of broke, guess who's in debt paying off student loans and looking to inherit 1/4 million more during the course of medical school?) I'd honestly love to have the luxury to take pity on people if I weren't working to get mine.

I'm just like everyone, trying to skirt by and make income during these tough economic times. Some nights I can bring home the bacon. Other nights, not so much. The determinant factor? The quality of tables I get. With such volatility, working the same hours, to earn a fraction of what you know you're capable due to luck of the draw (the tables you get sat), it's only natural to commodify your patrons.

I'd love to stop and chat and get to know everyone I wait on, but in the end, it comes down to numbers. Ever since I adopted the "turn and burn" strategy of waiting tables, I've been cranking it out at record pace everywhere I've worked. I'm the guy coworkers look at with envy asking, "How the hell do you pull in so much every night?" I just work my ass off, making sure people are fed and happy.

My lamentations are merely a vent for frustrating nights where one's earning potential falls short due to circumstance. Yes, I'm aware I signed up for the job understanding this potential, but we're all allowed a little tongue-in-cheek rants now and again, aren't we?

The worst night I ever worked: Halloween '06. I'm closing, and without anyone coming in the last hour before close, I'm closing out my last tables and ready to get changed and hang out with my friends at the bar. With just minutes to go, a party of 20 comes in. My manager looks at me and apologizes, I shrug it off and say, "Hey man, big party, big profits; let's bang this out!"

Things are going well. They're quick to order cocktails, and it looks like everyone is ordering steaks. $$$ This is good news until I discover half the kitchen has already called it quits for the night. This leads to several screwed up dishes, but with proper care, it's all managed, and over $100 is comped off the bill for good measure. Even threw in a few free desserts. Everyone's happy. It's three different peoples' birthday. Much singing and rejoicing.

Then comes the bill ($420). Corporate policy mandates gratuity can't be automatically billed on tables where comps were handled, so my manager asks the party for their permission to include it. "Nah, we'll take care of it." I'm not too worried; they all seem in good spirits and we had a good time laughing and singing together. Something in my gut doesn't feel right, though.

They finally leave, and it's already 2 hours past closing, my friends already blitz drunk that they're not answering their phones any longer. Oh well, at least I made out like a bandit for the night...hopefully. I pick up the check and count out the cash. $428. Again. $428.

$8 tip on $420. Tip out to my busser, food runner, and bartender leaves me with a whopping net total of -$13. Turns out I also had to wait a year to show off my sweet penis costume.

Shit happens. There's some people that help or hurt our cause. Call it self-righteous; I call it a game of numbers and expectations.

Just wanted to give a little insight from one server's perspective, whether it opens peoples' eyes or further qualifies statements about my dickwaddery.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 12:38 AM on March 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


That's a really really shitty story, and I'm sorry, but what does that have to do with making ice cream at the table? When my friends and I did it, we tipped our waitress about 20% (maybe like 15%, 'cause of her aforementioned suckage), not because we felt bad about making ice cream at our table, but because that's just what you do.
posted by !Jim at 1:09 AM on March 10, 2009


Why is, "Hey, look, you can make ice cream!" equivalent to taking money from servers? You're getting an ounce of ice cream for ten minutes of effort. This is not a cost-effective way to avoid paying for ice cream. Calling it "free ice cream" is, even in the Instructable itself, admitted to be a mere gimmick and not actually a cost-saving measure.

Why are we defending servers' rights to make money? Who is attacking them? No one is harmed or threatened by this concept, any more than someone is harmed by a person adding a "free" sugar packet to their "free" water and its "free" slice of lemon in order to make "free" lemonade.

(When I worked at a pancake house, I once waited a party of about twenty Baptists on a Sunday morning right after services. Total bill was close to three hundred dollars, and they kept three of us busy for about two and a half hours, with constant changes, updates, adjustments, additional requests, and so on. They all took separate checks and left us exactly zero dollars, along with a little pamphlet about being saved in Christ. Lest anyone think I have no knowledge of the frothing rage one can experience towards customers.)
posted by Scattercat at 1:26 AM on March 10, 2009


That's a really really shitty story, and I'm sorry, but what does that have to do with making ice cream at the table?

Indirectly. In the instance of people taking 20 minutes at the table to make their own dessert in lieu of ordering something (cheapskates). Granted, I hadn't actually gone over the link in detail and was merely knee-jerking the idea of patrons making their own food at the table. It's actually rather charming and cute (and small-portioned enough), and I wouldn't mind it at all if a table was biding their time for dinner to come out by playing around with table items.

One of my favorite moments was when a table left me their cash tip in the shape of an origami elephant.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 1:33 AM on March 10, 2009


(When I worked at a pancake house, I once waited a party of about twenty Baptists on a Sunday morning right after services. Total bill was close to three hundred dollars, and they kept three of us busy for about two and a half hours, with constant changes, updates, adjustments, additional requests, and so on. They all took separate checks and left us exactly zero dollars, along with a little pamphlet about being saved in Christ. Lest anyone think I have no knowledge of the frothing rage one can experience towards customers.)

CPTs. Collection Plate Tippers.

Worst breed. I've refused to work Sunday mornings ever again as a result of repeated episodes. God understands the wrath.

That said, I'm also someone who approaches undertipping tables if I get a chance to either bilk, guilt, or finesse them to an appropriate amount. The CPTs always played stupid but would kick in appropriately. They know what they're doing, which is the least sanctimonious aspect of it all.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 1:42 AM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


you can keep your sweaty five dollars and go bother someone else. I don't need your tip that bad.
I can see why you work in a service industry.

This sounds like a cool, if ultimately useless, trick. Like all the best tricks - what's the point of impressing people with productivity when you can do it with empty talents;-)
posted by dg at 1:54 AM on March 10, 2009


"Not all who say unto me 'Lord, Lord," and so on.

Sadly, I didn't know what they'd done until after they'd all left. And really, I have to admit that I'd not have said much anyway; I don't care for confrontation, and they'll reap the rewards of being cheapskate assholes for the rest of their lives. (And possibly afterward.)
posted by Scattercat at 1:56 AM on March 10, 2009


Worst breed.
there's a waiter equivalent - the type that treats you like crap from the first second no matter how nice you are to them and then act surprised when that's reflected in their tips.
posted by krautland at 2:14 AM on March 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


An appropriate tip on a two-fucking-dollar ice cream is thirty cents. Beware, people. six-or-six-thirty tips 5%.
posted by lostburner


Pardon my typo or slander my name, your call.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 4:59 AM on March 10, 2009


Yeah, but do you know how much it would cost me to rent a child?

This could be your lucky day. I'm running a special on precocious two-year-old girls going through a rebellious phase. Only one left in stock, so act fast!
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:35 AM on March 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


reading this thread I am so glad I don't live in a country that has tipping and restaurants that have creamer on the table.
posted by awfurby at 6:45 AM on March 10, 2009


If you had titled this "How to hack a diner coffee creamer" the response would have been completely different.
posted by iconomy at 8:10 AM on March 10, 2009


think my amazement at making ice cream from creamer would be overshadowed by my disappointment at only eating a spoonful of said ice cream.

I can tell you I made ice cream for 30 cub scouts using the ziplock-bag of cream inside a ziplockbag of ice-and-salt trick, and then passed out thirty spoons, and they all lined up to get their spoonful and nobody complained. They were the best scout troop in all of Darfur.

OW OW LIGHTNING
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:30 AM on March 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


I was afraid that "Choco Taco" had taken on some new meaning that I didn't understand, nor would I want to.
posted by malocchio at 8:40 AM on March 10, 2009


What happened to sexyrobot? I'm still waiting for "Donner, party of one!"


Never mind; I guess they weren't hungry any more.
posted by TedW at 8:47 AM on March 10, 2009


Followed of course, by "Donner, party was ate."

I used to do that too at my restaurant.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:16 AM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think this post was amazing! It's a party trick for the dinner table. If ever I see half and half on my table I'm sooo doing this. I'll get loads of laughs for it.
posted by Gisela at 9:28 AM on March 10, 2009


I am not a server. However, if I was in the same restaurant as someone who was shaking a cup of ice for ten whole minutes, I would scream to the heavens as the spirit of Thor channeled through me, and throw a goddamn hammer through their faces. Seriously, that is the most irritating noise I could think of, unless you could somehow trick a weeping baby into shaking the ice for you, while riding a small barking dog around.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:34 AM on March 10, 2009 [12 favorites]


Some insights from a few steps back after reading this entire post on my iPhone standing in line for food like a sucker, rather than having somebody bring it to me on a silver platter:

If a restaurant that charges $15 for an entree puts out creamer in tiny plastic cups, remind me not to eat food or drink coffee there.

If someone sits at the table and does this when the restaurant is busy, they are an asshole.

If servers hate someone for doing this while they are waiting for food, they are an asshole.

No amount of posting from instructables.com is going to change those two facts. Assholes are assholes without prompting from the web.

Crappy stuff that happened years ago -- whether it be bad service or bad customers -- still sucks, but it has nothing to do with what somebody may or may not do in the future, and while it may explain feelings or behavior, it doesn't excuse it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:38 AM on March 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wow I never would have thought that while reading this thread there'd be so much discussion on whether this was an ethical taboo. I've watched my younger brother down those creamers like shotglasses....I think this icecream idea is far more creative and doesn't cut into the establishments profits. (plus who's to say real dessert couldn't be ordered afterwards?).

Sure many restaurants are feeling the effects of a bad economy....but this is just something fun to do...like playing dots on the back of napkins that otherwise would not have been used. The materials involved are incredibly cheap. I wouldn't do something like this every visit...but maybe once in a blue moon out of sheer boredom while waiting, since it would be a chore otherwise.
posted by samsara at 10:05 AM on March 10, 2009


Yes, I'm talking to you, woman who orders a cup of hot water then digs into her purse to pull out a tea bag.

Your tea probably sucks.

Stash and Bigelow should both be banned from the planet. Even Rose and Lipton can't take the enamel off teeth like those do. And asking if I want more lukewarm water from your ancient-coffee-smelling carafe to add to a used teabag? Disgusting. And yes, I want milk with my tea. This does not mean I'm ordering an entire glass of milk. What is it about tea that's so hard for servers?
posted by small_ruminant at 11:03 AM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


However, if I was in the same restaurant as someone who was shaking a cup of ice for ten whole minutes, I would scream to the heavens as the spirit of Thor channeled through me, and throw a goddamn hammer through their faces.

This.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:20 AM on March 10, 2009


You guys are completely missing out on a better use for coffee creamers
posted by cosmicbandito at 11:33 AM on March 10, 2009


which can be found at this link http://www.5min.com/Video/Penn--Teller-Explain-The-Fork-In-the-Eye-Trick-23995164
posted by cosmicbandito at 11:33 AM on March 10, 2009


So just yesterday, my wife and I were at a terrific restaurant with great food and service, and when they brought us the check my wife noticed they'd left off nearly half of the items. So she brought it to their attention, and the manager (who thanked us profusely, much joking all around) brought it back, and the amount was more than before but definitely less than we thought we owed. He didn't return it with the receipt, though, just the slip to sign, so we couldn't prove he was charging us less than he should. And so we left a tip in the 35-40% range.

It's nice to be nice to the nice, in both directions. All y'all need to get over yourselves. :P
posted by davejay at 11:35 AM on March 10, 2009


If a restaurant that charges $15 for an entree puts out creamer in tiny plastic cups, remind me not to eat food or drink coffee there.

I much prefer my coffee creamer in a restaurant be administered by individually sealed par-doses of UHT Half and Half (yeah, I'll take, like three of those thimbles) than in some grotty inadequately chilled mini-pitcher or a crusty-lipped vacuum pitcher like the ones at coffee shops. But then again, I'm a little lactophobic.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:36 AM on March 10, 2009


I once got yelled at just for making water at a restaurant table.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:41 AM on March 10, 2009


I once got yelled at just for making water at a restaurant table.

Yeah, I once tried to prove my divinity by turning wine into water in a cheap chain steakhouse booth. They didn't buy my premise, but they crucified me, nonetheless.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:49 AM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I make Pruno while I'm at the bank. Do I have to tip the teller?
posted by electroboy at 11:50 AM on March 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Stash and Bigelow should both be banned from the planet. Even Rose and Lipton can't take the enamel off teeth like those do. And asking if I want more lukewarm water from your ancient-coffee-smelling carafe to add to a used teabag? Disgusting. And yes, I want milk with my tea. This does not mean I'm ordering an entire glass of milk. What is it about tea that's so hard for servers?

Tea, like the perfect martini, is an item which is entirely preference based and if your window of enjoyment is minuscule enough to include getting too much milk, you're best not ordering it at all.
posted by David Fleming at 3:38 PM on March 10, 2009


I have to ask: was this the inspiration for this thread?

Also, I only tip 5% plus whatever Jack Chick tracts I have in my pants, yet I get excellent service everywhere I go, even Cracker Barrel. I guess it just goes to show ya, it's always something....
posted by TedW at 5:52 PM on March 10, 2009


Sexyrobot, Alvy Ampersand and TedW, you all just made me laugh out load, totally freaking out the only other person stupid enough to be at work. Henceforth, I will always be Donner for restaurant reservations.
posted by theora55 at 6:19 PM on March 10, 2009


Thread needs more Mr Pink.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:51 PM on March 10, 2009


Henceforth, I will always be Donner for restaurant reservations.

I am so stealing that idea! I live on the lower right coast, so there shouldn't be any confusion if we both go out to dinner on the same night. Besides, many people mangle my real name, so Donner is more practical anyway.
posted by TedW at 7:32 PM on March 10, 2009


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