Summertime, homemade ice cream just go together

By Sherrie Geistweidt—

What better way is there to cool off on these triple-digit summer days than with a freezer of homemade ice cream?

Last weekend, I had counted down to Sunday afternoon to cook a batch of custard to freeze later in the day and had gathered eggs, sugar, half and half, cornstarch and vanilla and found some frozen peaches in the freezer to add to my creation.

After dumping all of my ingredients, except the peaches, into a micro-safe bowl, I just happened to lick a quick spoonful of the custard.

That’s when I suddenly realized … the half and half was less than fresh.

Oh no, now what? I had purchased it earlier in the week. Surely, cooking it in the microwave and then adding vanilla would improve the flavor.

The minute the timer rang on the microwave and I opened the door … it was obvious that the milk was sour.

So, I sadly poured the whole batch down the drain and opted instead for some ready-made ice cream out of the freezer, determined to try another day.

I now believe there is something to the old adage to reach to the way back of the cooler when purchasing dairy products.

Even though it’s one of those guilty pleasures, it’s really easy these days (and kind of fun) to make homemade ice cream in one of those tiny one-quart electric freezers that sits on the kitchen cabinet.

Before the days of electric freezers though, we made several batches each summer in an “old-fashioned” Alaska Hostess hand-crank freezer. It was that freezer that I was determined to use Sunday afternoon until my custard “went south.”

Remember? The freezer includes a four-quart cylindrical metal “can” with a metal and wooden dasher that fits into a turquoise blue fiberglass-type bucket. A metal crank fits across the top of the bucket and clicks in place to turn the dasher. Mother ordered ours one summer from the S&H Green Stamp redemption center.

Years ago, the store in Doss gave out the tiny green stamps that were about 3/8 x 5/8-inch in size. They were worth one point apiece, but Piggly Wiggly in town also gave out larger stamps that were worth 10 points.

Each summer, my brothers and I would spend hours collecting the stamps from Mom’s purses, the glove compartment in the car and the gadget drawer in the kitchen, and then moisten and stick them into those little “3-ish by 5-ish” books that were provided by the store.

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