Make Ice Cream and Memories (with Recipe)

Good Ole Days

I call them the good ole days. In the 1970s, we didn’t have ice cream stores on every corner. We lived in the country and couldn’t make late night runs to the grocery store or convenience store (there were none) for ice cream. It was exciting to us kids when Mama and Daddy planned to make ice cream. Daddy would pull out the hand-crank ice cream machine, set it on the gravel driveway under the 100-year-old oak tree. (If he had set it on the grass, the salt water from the overflow hole would have killed the grass.) Mama would assemble the ingredients. Depending on the recipe, she might have cooked the custard mix the day before and set it in the icebox to get good and cold for a day or so. The canister and paddle were usually set in the icebox or freezer to get super-cold.

After gathering the hand-crank ice cream maker, the rock salt and the bags of ice from Sharp’s Market, we were ready for the family affair. Of course, all of us kids were expected to do our parts. Even the youngest ones had assignments. Ones who were too young to crank, would be expected to sit atop the big towel that had been folded and placed on the machine. This practice would keep the churning mechanism in place because it would want to jump up and get itself knocked out of place every now and then. The making was a process, not something to rush. It was a memory-in-the-making, and I almost think that the adults realized it. Nothing was rushed. The process was appreciated and enjoyed. It was meant to be slow and methodical.

Memory-Making Machine

 I now have children and grandchildren of my own. They know the joy and rewards of churning ice cream.  For years, my husband and I went through several ice cream freezers that turned out to be under par, in our opinion. The decision was made to invest in a memory-making machine that would become an heirloom. Our choice was the Immergood ice cream freezer.  Several factors were important to us. We knew we were tired of buying an imported machine every two years because the previous one would malfunction or break. Those dollars added up over time! We appreciate the high-quality materials and craftsmanship of the American-made Immergood product. Although an electric motor may be purchased to use with the Immergood, we prefer the 8-quart hand-crank model as it is easy to take to off-grid picnics or campgrounds. Our family has taken this machine to our Amish friends’ homes for socials. Hand-cranking ice cream is certainly a highlight of our extended family’s Independence Day celebrations. The process is a family affair. Everyone gets a turn, literally. There is just something special-tasting about hand-cranked ice cream but our family won’t turn down electric churned either! And, with the Immergood, no child has to sit on the fluffy towel to keep the mechanism in place.Immergood ice cream freezer in use

Another option for your family’s memory-making machine is this Lehman’s Best Ice Cream Maker. This machine is made in the USA and has an oak tub and stainless steel can. 

To make our ice cream easier to dish up to everyone, we love this spoon that is almost two feet long! While I’m reminiscing, I recall my grandmother serving ice cream in these classic aluminum bowls. Does anyone else remember these? She had matching cups as well. 

Pro Tips

Once the ice cream is churned to your liking, it is tempting to dig right in and that’s fine to do. But a good practice is to allow the creamy goodness to ripen. This involves allowing it to set for an hour or so, covered and undisturbed. Use the towel the kids were sitting on, or, if you have an Immergood like we do, get the cover that literally keeps the ice cream frozen for up to 24 hours.making ice cream together

To prevent unpleasant iciness in your ice cream, add one splash (about a tablespoon) of vodka. This will produce a smoother product. I actually do not do this because I use my homemade vanilla which is made from vodka.

Everyone Has a Favorite Flavor

The possibilities for ice cream recipes and flavors are endless. My southern grandmother always made Milky Way ice cream while my northern grandparents made various flavors. My own Mama made a lot of peach, chocolate and also sherbets. Let’s try a flavor that uses a current season fruit to make Blueberry Lemonade Ice Cream. You’ll love the fresh berries and the bright lemon notes in this one. The first three ingredients are a basic recipe base, no eggs and no cooking involved. This base produces a super-silky ice cream which may feel a bit different from others that use milk. Let’s be real, can you go wrong using any ice cream recipe?

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Blueberry Lemonade Ice Cream

  • Yield: Makes 2.5 quarts 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 (14-oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon good quality vanilla
  • 1 (6-oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed, undiluted
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed


  1. Combine the first four ingredients well.
  2. Add the blueberries.
  3. Pour into a one-gallon ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.


Makes 2 ½ quarts. Double the recipe for an 8-quart machine.

Keywords: homemade ice cream, desserts

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Gary Scher
Gary Scher
9 months ago

I’ll add to your ice cream making memories. Grew up in Saint Louis and loved hand cranking the freezer, although ours was another brand. Our old Philco refrigerator didn’t have much room for ice trays so Dad and the kids would drive about 15 to 20 minutes away to purchase block ice from one of the few standalone block ice dispensing machines in the area.
The block would be carried in an old gunny sack and placed in a beer or soda cardboard flat for easier carrying. Once home the freezer was waiting in the driveway with the chilled ingredients ready to go as Mom would stay behind to assemble the mix. Out came the hammer to break the block ice still in the gunny sack to stuff around the freezer cylinder layered with Mortons rock salt and ice and the cranking would start.
My job when younger when not cranking, was to make sure that the salty water overflow was periodically washed down the driveway to dilute the saltwater to not kill the grass. Our favorites were just plain vanilla for starters and as the mix started to freeze, someone would sneak in cholate chip morsels in some batches and the eating would begin. How can you not like memories like that?

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