Many years ago, I gave my sister one of these for Christmas, and I'm sure it remained on her shelf untouched, until she carted it off to donate to some worthy charity—at least I haven't heard another word about it.
Imagine my glee when I discovered an intact unit, complete with instruction booklet, for sale for about a dollar in my local thrift shop.
Its housing has lived next to my jelly cupboard for the few years, though; the silver cylinder containing the magic coolant silently waited in the freezer for some kind of ingredients to churn within itself. Well, the wait is over; the day before yesterday L and I made the ice cream mix from this great book, and dutifully chilled it overnight.
We assembled the Donvier unit (moving as quickly as possible, per instruction booklet!)
and made this (blurred photo indicates excitement level of photographer):
We topped it with a butter/rum peach sauce from Sandi, that I made and absolutely ruined the first time around, but I tweaked it (melted the butter and brown sugar together over low heat and whisked them together before adding the other ingredients) the second time and it came together to die for.
D is perusing the ice cream book, which I believe came about through the author's blog, but I'm not sure as I just started reading it myself. His recipes seem very clear and if the vanilla is an indication, they all should work! We'll be moving on to chocolate shortly . . .