I remember being a small boy on my grandparents farm on those hot & humid summer evenings making ice cream. There was this worn & weathered looking wooden barrel, with a metal canister and a hand crank with a worn wooden handle.
I remember grandma mixing up the batch in the kitchen using raw eggs from the farm and milk that was hand milked from our cows into a tin bucket. Ya, I am old enough to remember such things………..
There was a certain romance in the making of ice cream…..it was like magic watching the process and so much enjoyment in eating the finished product.
Over the years I had continued to make homemade ice cream following the evolutions of society….I remember going from a wooden barrel to a plastic one and then a composite. Going from a hand crank to one with an electric motor. And, thru this evolution the equipment just got thinner and cheaper.
Then at about age 60 I got a White Mountain machine with wooden barrel and stainless steel canister, cast iron paddle and wooden scrapers. It worked quite well and I again began enjoying making ice cream. It was a romance. Everyone loved the ice cream.
Then I had a pipe dream to make it at some festivals and public events to sell – right out of the churn. I had 3 each 6 quart machines. And, I was naïve enough to think I could make it fast enough to meet the demand. Nary even close – to keeping up with the demand.
The next year I made up ice cream for 2 to 3 days in advance, and froze it up in tubs so I could take 25 plus gallons to the event in a freezer. This involved chest freezers, extension cords – and in general a bunch of stuff to lug along. The main thing I learned during all this exercise was that people loved our ice cream and were more than willing to pay $3 a cup for it.
Then I dived into researching the ice cream industry and the science and machinery involved, therein. My mind became clouded with all the information and options.
In summary of the research…..you can buy commercial ice cream making machines from $5000 to upwards of $50,000 or more…..there were also a lot of used or repossessed high dollar machines available. This all leading me to think that yes there may be a lot of ice cream shops with high overhead going out of business. At the same time I came to find out that rarely can you find a used old style 5 gallon (20 quart) machine available. White Mountain used to make them but they sold out to Rival and discontinued making the larger machines now only concentrating on small consumer products.
Then I did some taste testing and comparing a lot of different ice creams. The conclusion was I personally like the old style of making ice cream the old fashioned way with rock salt and ice…..to heck with the technology.
I wondered how many young children would like the old style of ice cream….and, I have been pleasantly surprised that they do ! And, they are especially intrigued with all the colors and flavors we can get by doing it the way we do.
The way we make ice cream produces a taste and texture that I remember as a kid – Richer, creamier and full of flavor. We use our own recipes and are only limited by our own imagination.
Yes, we could buy commercial ice cream (for less money than it costs us to make it) and put it in our dipping cabinets, but it just wouldn’t be as good.
There is much more to learn and we are having fun in the process as well as leaving a lot of smiles on our customers faces…………
SO, why do we make our own……..basically our ice cream reminds me of the good ol’ homemade ice cream that we made on my grandparents farm 50 years ago & you just can’t buy this in the store anymore.
So there you have it……….biting my dunky, Licking Licking.