Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sharing Memories (Week 35): Ice Cream, the Old-Fashioned Way

Just one example of an old-fashioned
manual ice cream churn
One of my favorite childhood memories is the making of old-fashioned vanilla ice cream.  The making of ice cream was a summertime family affair, one in which my siblings and I could participate in together along with our parents.  I recall Mom getting the ingredients all together and spreading them out on the kitchen counter- eggs, vanilla flavoring, condensed milk, pet milk or whole milk and sugar (maybe additional ingredients but I'm uncertain).  She had to first beat all the ingredients together before pouring them into the bowl of the ice cream machine.  Often, my siblings and I would gather around in the kitchen and watch her while asking a thousand and one questions.  Dad would next pour ice and rock salt into the tub, surrounding the center bowl which held the ice cream mixture.  He then laid a large heavy towel across the top of the machine.  Then the churning began.  We each took turns manually turning the crank, forcing the center bowl to spin, while listening to the grinding of the rock salt and ice mixture in the outer tub.  As the mixture began to freeze, it seems the manual churning became harder, and that's when Dad would take over until the ice cream was ready.  
There's nothing quite like the taste
of good, old-fashioned homemade
ice cream- delicious!!!
I don't remember how long preparation time was- perhaps a couple of hours in all, but it seemed to take forever to us kids.  The best part of the project was gathering around together and devouring our bowl of delicious, homemade vanilla ice cream.  What a tasty treat to have on a hot, summer day!  Mom and Dad later purchased an electric ice cream maker which took the hard labor of hand churning away and Mom even became creative with ice cream recipes- I remember she once did some peach ice cream and blueberry ice cream, and from time to time we would have some extras for topping such as chocolate syrup or cookie bits.  I also remember a few ice cream socials with my Stogner family.   Not only was homemade ice cream a cold, delicious way to celebrate summer, it was also a way to celebrate family time and togetherness.  It has been many years since I've had a bowl of the old-fashioned home-churned ice cream but the dessert remains one of my favorites to this day.  I am particularly fond of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream because it at least comes close to the old-fashioned taste I loved as a child ;)

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