Our son has always tried to visit us around the fourth of July; it's become sort of a tradition. We invite a lot of the relatives on Cliff's side of the family and have a potluck dinner. The grandson often smokes ribs, brisket, and so forth, and spends lots of money on fireworks. This year we are celebrating on the day before Independence day, but it will look, taste, and sound like the fourth!
Last year someone mentioned home-made ice cream; in years past, when I had Jersey cows, I made a lot of ice cream in a White Mountain freezer and ate a large portion of it myself. However, the kids grew up and left home and we didn't really have many large get-togethers. I couldn't eat a quart of ice cream at a sitting any more. The wooden bucket of our old ice-cream freezer dried up and fell apart from disuse; the only person who ever talked about home-made ice cream was Cliff's sister, Rena, but I no longer had the Jersey cow's cream and the raw milk, and I figured if I made a gallon of ice cream, I'd end up putting on who-knows-how-many pounds.
I picked up a cute little electric ice cream maker that doesn't even need ice, and once in awhile I'd make myself a quart of ice cream in it... I even made some for Rena a time or two.
So when someone mentioned home-made ice cream last year on the Fourth, I told them I didn't have an ice-cream maker any more; however, Rena hadn't arrived yet, and I remembered her saying she had bought one at a garage sale, although she had never used it. So I called her and asked her to bring it. I actually had enough cream and milk on hand, because when my son is here I do a lot of baking and cooking; one of his favorite things is rice-and-raisins; I use plenty of cream making that; it's actually a sort of rice pudding. I like whipped cream on some baked goods, too. But I digress. Rena said she'd bring the ice-cream freezer if she could find it.
When she arrived with it I came inside and mixed up the ice cream: 4 eggs, 6 cups milk, 4 cups cream, 2 1/2 cups of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of vanilla. We are not afraid to eat raw eggs around here, but the government doesn't recommend it. Unfortunately, Rena didn't bring an essential part of the ice-cream freezer. A nephew did his best to cobble up something that would make what we had work, but alas, it was not to be, and the ingredients were wasted and thrown away.
So a couple of weeks ago I remembered all that, and decided to throw caution (and money) to the wind. I had to go to Ebay to find a White Mountain freezer, and I'm too ashamed to tell you how much it cost; however, I've had experience with cheap ice cream makers over the years; the gears are plastic and break easily; only a White Mountain will do!Yes, it's electric. I would rather have had one with a crank you turn for half an hour, like our old one; I'd even have been happy to turn that crank as I usually did in the old days, but this was what they had. So now we have to buy rock salt and a big bag of ice, and everyone's wishes from last year will be fulfilled.