Homemade Ice Cream

Is there anything better than homemade ice cream? There is nothing better to me. All ice cream is good but there is something very special about the kind made with the old fashioned ice cream freezer with the crank on the side.

As I grew up making ice cream was the highlight of many social events. There was always a new recipe to try. My favorite was banana. We’d take turns cranking the ice cream maker. As the milk froze, the crank was harder to turn. I always liked to take my turn early.

In preparing the freezer for making the ice cream, a metal canister was filled with a milk mixture and surrounded by ice in a larger wooden bucket. Salt was mixed with the ice. The salt lowered the freezing point of the ice and caused the milk mixture to freeze on the side of the canister. A crank turned a paddle inside the canister which scraped off the frozen milk from its side and let a new layer freeze. Making a freezer of ice cream usually took about 30 minutes.

Most people did not have refrigerators, and ice was not always easy to come by. Grocery stores had no way to keep ice to sell; so ice was usually bought from an ice truck that came to the community frequently. Many families had ice boxes which were well insulated and had a compartment at the top that housed a block of ice. Although the purpose of the ice box was to preserve food, we often chipped ice from the box to use in making the ice cream.

When I was in high school Daddy was always home before Mother each day. He frequently made a freezer of ice cream. He liked to add different fruits to the mixture to present a surprise dessert for supper. He had a freezer with a small electric motor that replaced the crank mechanism.

Today ice cream is so readily available in grocery stores and special ice cream stores that we seldom get out the ice cream freezer.

I still believe homemade is the best.