When I was young, our vacations consisted of going to visit my grandparents who lived on the beach. Our big night of the trip was to invite all the local family members over, grill burgers out back, show slide on the side of the house once it got dark, and turn a churn of ice cream. Things were alot less complicated back then, and good memories were made. My grandfather had a hand crank ice cream freezer. He would fill up the inside container with the ingredients to make the ice cream. Place it in the freezer and surround it with ice and rock salt. He would sit and turn the crank until his arm got tired, then pass the duties to the next person who happened to be standing around. I guess the fact that I was sitting on top of the freezer while he was churning it didnt make his task any easier.
Once the ice cream was finished, he would pull the beater out for me and my brother to lick, then he would put more ice around the container and place a towel across the top to allow it to pack. When it was ready to eat, my mother would fill up paper cups and pass it around to everyone while we enjoyed the slides being shown on the house.
As I got older my daddy got an electric freezer, no more hand turning for him! I remember him mixing the ingredients like my grandfather did; letting me or my brother lick the sides of the eagle brand sweetened condensed milk. That was some of the best ice cream ever. During the summer, my church would have ice cream socials. Families would bring their freezers to church full of fresh made ice cream to share after the Sunday night service. As you can imagine, the ladies of the church would always put their best efforts forward when bringing something to church. It was then that I learned you could add things to the ice cream. Up intil then we only had vanilla ice cream in our freezer, but at church they would have fresh peach ice cream, strawberry, banana, blueberry, and all kinds of flavors like chocolate, butterscotch and even praline.
Nancy Johnson invented the first hand-cranked model in 1843. She then sold the patent to William Young, who marketed the machine as the Johnson Patent Ice-Cream Freezer. Since then the freezer has gone through many changes. From being hand cranked, to electric, to a tabletop device that you place in the freezer for your finished product. A few years ago I gave my cousin a small ice cream freezer for her kids. Every day they would try a new recipe, and she would let me know what kind of ice cream they had fixed for the day. They all sounded so delicious I would be tempted to drive to her home to sample some.
Today we celebrate the birth of the ice cream freezer, and I am including a recipe for you to try if you need one. Why not dust off your freezer and start using it for the warm summer months ahead.
Vanilla Ice Cream
- 2 quarts half-and-half cream
- 1/2 pint heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
Combine half-and-half, cream, sugar, vanilla and salt in freezer container of ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.