Wondering about wild grapes

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wondering about old New Year’s Eves

We are coming to an end of another calendar year, and many will celebrate and some will make resolutions and some, like me, will just try to go to bed early. Of course I have tried that the last few years and it didn’t work out too well. Why? You ask. You see, everybody and their cousins who live anywhere near here have truck loads of fireworks and guns of all kinds. It is like replaying the sound track of the bombing of Pearl Harbor at twice the normal speed. I keep thinking that maybe someday I may just shoot back, but then I realize that nobody would notice. (grin)

It does get me to remembering some wonderful New Year’s Eves that I have spent back when I was a kid. We used to go to my Uncle’s farm where a large percentage of the family got together to ring in the New Year. There was no alcohol to be found there, but there was something much more addicting.

Yes, the fellowship of kindred spirits is one, but I am talking about HOME MADE ICE CREAM. My one cousin and I had the job of collecting ice. Since we lived in a northern state and the end of the year came in the middle of winter that was usually not a problem. The easiest source was ice-cycles. No chopping required, just break them off and pile them on the porch. When that source ran out, we had to go down the hill to a spring and chop the ice off the top of the water. Snow was just not good enough, had to have ice. You know, we were making ice cream not snow cream. (grin)

My Grandma, Aunts, and Mom would mix up the heavenly tasting and addicting fluid the texture of good paint. It was loaded into the center metal canister, the apparatus with the wooden blades was inserted and it was placed on the pivot in a large wooden pail. Then the top cross-member was installed that held the crank and connected it to the blades inside the canister.

We kids were the ones that did most of the cranking. We cranked and cranked and cranked and about then we figured it wouldn’t be ready until next New Year’s Eve, but then it stated to get too hard for us to crank. The men took over for a short time, then disassembled the apparatus and removed the canister. Took the lid off and gently removed the blades. It was done! Yes, it was ice cream! Yes!! And the taste and texture, heavenly!!

Well, you get my point. I sure wish I had the recipes for that ice cream. I don’t even have an ice cream freezer (maker). And dang, I would have to go buy ice. Oh well, I will just have to have Blue Bell ice cream this year. And my favorite? It is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Dang, I am starting to drool already. . .


  1. When my kids were small we got an ice cream maker, the old fashioned kind. I found a recipe for vanilla custard ice cream, that had to be cooked on the stove for a set time, and the taste when it was finally done even made the old folks say it was just like back in the old days.

    The men were pretty smart, getting the kids to do the real work and then taking over at the last!

  2. Boy, I remember making ice cream! The kids had to sit on the freezer to make sure it didn't turn while being cranked!

    An old quilt placed on top kept the seat from being too cold...!

    Now my mouth is starting to water! That sure was some good stuff!

  3. yep, good memories of the crank ice cream maker.Our favorite was called I think burnt sugar .. Grandmother knew how to make up the sugar in a pan, add in the vanilla and cook it just so. Then into the tub and assemble the maker. course like you, us kids could never finish it,so Daddy or an Uncle would finish it off. But their reward was getting the beater to lick off.
    But we never had snow so ours was always in the summer time.

    Good times huh?

  4. Howdy Gypsy, there were probably as many recipies as there were people who made ice cream. And yes, the guys were pretty smart.

    Hey HJ, The way you made ice cream could cool kids down two ways. First by sitting on the freezer and second when you ate it.

    Hi Ben, Yep, they were good memories and tasty ones, too. Glad I could jog some of your old memories.

  5. Diz, you asked me a question about PA, and I just wanted to let you know my g-daughter is a Juniata Collee in Huntingdon, PA. I'll swing by there on my way to NY, hopefully.

  6. Never to cold for ice cream and where I live this is the time of year when it isn't melting all over the place before you get it eaten.

  7. Gypsy, That is a long drive and this time of year the weather may be bad. Do be careful.

    Fran, I agree, it is good anytime. And if it is too warm to get it home, carry a spoon.