Homemade ice cream

May 10, 2010

My mother’s job was to cook the custard base for our homemade ice cream. My father would pour that into the ice cream can, along with the rest of the milk, and then carry it outside to where the freezer stood waiting. He would put the can into it, and then the ice and rock salt would go in. The churning would begin after the top section of the freezer (the part with the handle) was snapped onto the lid of the can. Each of us would take turns: my sister, Bobbi, and I, sometimes my mother, and always, my father–until the turning became more laborious (which seemed to take forever!), meaning that the ice cream was done! At this point, speed was key. The handle would come off; the freezer can would be whisked into the house, and Bobbi and I would be on pins and needles waiting for the next part: the paddle and our spoons for the “licking,” the part that we had been waiting for all along. And then lick we would! Until we got caught fighting with our spoons over who was getting more! The can would go into our chest freezer in the cellar and we would have to wait until it was solid. It was a real treat–no getting away from that! And I can still see and taste that softened chocolate (my favorite), stirred into a creamy paste at the bottom of my ice cream bowl….which was why…..

I decided we had to have homemade ice cream here at Simply Bed & Bread! And which was also why I high tailed it over to the W.I.N. store to find the ice cream freezer for $ 15 that I’d heard they’d had earlier. They still had it, so I took it home, gathered the ingredients for a batch of homemade coffee flavor, found the recipe in my 1975 Betty Crocker cookbook, and cooked my own custard base and put it in the frig to chill. I made it today and it is now in our upright freezer in our basement waiting for it to turn solid. I hope it’s not icy. We’ll see how it is tomorrow! Can you picture it in a small ice cream dish with a fresh strawberry garnish?

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