Summer Means Ice Cream

Big Stock Photo

Big Stock Photo

Last week I wrote about one of the staples of summer–roller coasters. However, another one of the much-loved things about summer is ice cream.

On a hot day, it’s a treat to open the freezer, take out the container of ice cream, and scoop out a bowl-full of the cold, creamy good stuff.

In the past ice cream was an extra special treat because if you wanted some, you needed cream, eggs, and sugar–all of which might be in short supply. But first, months earlier, you had to cut ice out of a lake or pond and store it until you wanted it.

In Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, Farmer Boy, Wilder relates a story about a time Almanzo and his siblings are home alone and decide to make ice cream for themselves:

They dug a block of ice out of the sawdust and….pounded it with hatchets till the ice was crushed. Alice came out to watch them while she whipped egg-whites on a platter. She beat them with a fork, till they were too stiff to slip when she tilted the platter.

Eliza Jane measured milk and cream, and dipped up sugar from the barrel in the pantry. It was not common maple sugar, but white sugar bought from the store. Mother used it only when company came. Eliza Jane dipped six cupfuls….

She made a big milk-pail full of yellow custard. They set the pail in a tub and packed the snowy crushed ice around it, with salt, and the covered it all with a blanket. Every few minutes they took off the blanket and uncovered the pail, and stirred the freezing ice-cream….

They could eat all the ice-cream and cake they wanted to; no one would stop them.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful–except for all the work and waiting?

I confess, I’ve never liked homemade ice cream. I’m a hard-packed ice cream girl. And I like my ice cream with bits of chocolate, nuts, or peanut butter in it.

What’s your favorite ice cream? Do you make homemade ice cream?


  1. Lisa

    I LOVE the picture of the dog, and you do make a girl crave some Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or a good old-fashioned Chocolate Malt. I don’t even know if I can get Malted Milk in the UK! Research time!!

    • Deb Watley

      Thanks! Creighton’s favorite is cookie dough. Is ice cream as popular in the UK as in the US? If you can’t find malted milk, I won’t try sending you ice cream, but I could send you jars of powdered malted milk.

  2. Mary Louise Sanchez

    We had a tradition of churning homemade ice cream for our two sons whose birthdays were in August. My mother gave us the crank type ice cream churn because she thought it would be fun for the kids. It was fun, but not as much work as Laura Ingalls Wilder experienced. I love fruity ice creams. Candy and cookie additions are too sweet for my tastes.

    • Deb Watley

      That sounds like a wonderful birthday tradition! It might not have been as much work as Laura and Almanzo had to make ice cream, but a crank churn meant you had to put some muscle power into it!

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