I remember my first dish of homemade ice cream. I was five years old and my parents had been invited to a preacher’s house. Adults sat on webbed lawn chairs while the minister and others took turns cranking the metal handle attached to a wooden bucket. After an eternity, the canister was opened. Inside was the most wonderful soft vanilla ice cream I had ever tasted.
Growing up, I coveted our neighbors’ ice cream freezer. They had an electric model that would buzz and grind forever until we were invited over to partake of vanilla custard heaven
I was well into adulthood before I became a homemade ice cream queen. We invited neighbors, brought freezers of fresh-churned ice cream to church socials and other get-togethers. And when I spotted an ice cream recipe book, I snapped it up.
Over time, I experimented with recipes: the predictable vanilla, strawberry, peach and banana. I branched out to lemon, chocolate, butter pecan. Summer get-togethers became excuses to bring out the freezer and pretend to be Baskin Robbins. I became more daring—peanut butter, rum, rhubarb and strawberry. I collected recipes I never used including instructions for grape ice cream that got tucked it into the recipe book. I did not foresee the end of my homemade ice cream craze.
Life shifted and the ice cream freezer stayed in the attic.
It has been at least four years since I last used the freezer, and it’s a shame because everyone loves ice cream, especially if it’s homemade.
There are a few warm weeks left. There has to be an excuse to make grape ice cream after all these years. Here are the instructions clipped from a church bulletin in the 1980s:
Karen’s Grape Ice Cream
Ingredients: 6 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 quart milk, two 12-oz. cans frozen grape juice not diluted, juice of a lemon, one 13 oz. can evaporated milk, ½ pint whipping cream, additional milk
Directions: Beat together eggs and sugar.
Add 1 qt. milk, thawed grape juice, lemon juice, evaporated milk and whipping cream.
Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon ice cream cylinder with additional milk not to exceed the fill line. Place ice and rock salt around cylinder and freeze until stiff.