Churning ice cream by hand was a rite of summer for my generation. Our ice cream maker was a big green bucket, in which we placed ice and salt. Then the metal canister full of cream, sugar, and flavourings would be sunk into the ice, the wooden paddles inserted, and the crank latched into place.
Then it was the kids’ job to crank and crank and crank and crank and crank and crank and crank, until the ice cream was frozen. We were always sweaty and tired—desperate for that ice cream by the time it was ready.
I don’t know how many children have the opportunity to hand crank their own ice cream these days. Very few, I expect.
A few years ago, I bought my husband an ice cream maker for Christmas. I had resisted the gift for years (in spite of his not-so-subtle hints), because the only ice cream makers I could find were electric ones. I hate the whine of an electric ice cream maker, and…well, ice cream just doesn’t seem home made if you don’t crank it yourself. But then I came across a fabulous hand-cranked machine that combines the best features of the electric machines and the old-fashioned hand-cranked ones.
It’s much easier to crank than the old-fashioned ones (probably because the old ones held a gallon of ice cream at a time, and this one only holds a quart), and there’s no need for ice and salt, as the inner canister is chilled in the freezer.
And best of all, the kids can crank their own ice cream, leaving the adults to sit down and relax while the kids make dessert!