Tell me, if you can remember, when was the last time you had real, honest-to –goodness hand cranked ice cream?
Well, if you went to the St. John’s UCC Ice Cream Social in Syracuse yesterday, you had a big bowl!
Today, we have gelato, sherbet, low fat, sugar free, ice milk, of all kinds and flavors – you name it. We have everything imaginable but the real thing.
Oh, the memories simple things like a dish of ice cream can bring to mind.
Did your family have an ice house? My grandfather Cook had a big one. They harvested ice from the creek that ran along the south side of the farmstead.
We had an icebox. During the summer months when I was very young, a man would come to your house in a covered truck full of ice blocks.
I can remember, being amazed he had any ice left because the truck was always dripping ice water from all sides.
The driver would come to the house and ask my mother if she wanted any ice.
Then he would open the door on the back of the truck, crawl inside, take his ice tongs, pick up a block of ice, jump down from the truck, take it in the house and put it into the ice box. The cost was 25 cents! The dripping water from the melting ice was free, I guess.
Occasionally, my grandfather, Frank Cook, would put a block of ice from his ice house, wrapped in a couple of gunny sacks in the back of the old Buick and bring it to our house.
Unless you lived in that era, you couldn’t possibly imagine what a treat that was. You could have a glass of cold milk, instead of warm milk, straight from the cow. Food could be kept at a safe temperature to eat. The old ice boxes kept a block of ice for quite a while. If you remembered to empty the drip pan beneath the big contraption, fine. If you didn’t, it ran over and ran across the kitchen or in our case, the back porch where we kept our ice box.
Anticipating the great treat in that ice cream can was well worth the long times of crouching down on the floor or sitting on a stump to turn the crank. Licking the dash was even better!
The summer Sunday afternoons were special when Dad would get out the old wooden freezer. That meant we were going to have company that evening and we were going to have a real treat to serve them.
Oh, it wasn’t only just vanilla. Strawberry, peach, or banana ice cream often came from that big metal can. We also had a great recipe for something like pineapple sherbet we made for really special occasions.
Today’s “ice cream socials” usually feature ice cream from the Dairy Store on the UNL campus. That is pretty good, too, but can’t compare to the “real” thing.
Ice tongs, ice boxes, ice cream freezers . . . are simply antiques to most people in today’s world. Relics of the past – like those of us that actually remember living in the time and using them was our way of life.
My thanks to the many hands that prepared the food for a Germanfest treat yesterday. I enjoyed it tremendously.
Of course, the best part was just visiting with, pardon the term, “old” friends and meeting some new ones.
Parting with a promise to “see you next year”, at our age, we really hope we can keep that vow.
I like to recall a favorite saying I have on my wall “happiness is the journey not a destination.”
Have a happy journey today!