Ice cream is one of my earliest food memories. One of the best is my grandmother feeding me homemade peach pie with vanilla ice cream on top – for breakfast.  My mother, of course, was not pleased.  My grandmother just looked at her sternly and said “peach danish and a glass of milk.”  Grandma always won.

There was a family gathering at Auntie Sis’s house in Bakersfield  circa 1955/56.   Auntie Sis was my maternal grandfather’s aunt, and if grandpa seemed old to me, Auntie Sis was downright ancient.

I remember a huge block of ice in the back porch sink and an ice pick. My brother and I just broke off huge chips of ice to suck on.  No one screaming that we were using dangerous implements.  No hovering parents trying to control our every movement or trying to ensure we were experiencing the day the way they wanted us to.  Kids were kids back then.

And sometimes we had to work.

Back in those otherwise idyllic days, ice cream was made by hand.  No Cuisinart ice cream makers, no plug it in and come back in 30 minutes.  It was all hand-cranked.

And that was the kid’s job.

Ice and rock salt and grandpa yelling not to get the salt on top and ruin the ice cream.

And cranking and cranking and cranking until I thought my arm would fall off.  And then cranking some more.

The work was hell but oh, was it worth it!  Rich and creamy – almost buttery.  It was summertime perfection – even better than spitting seeds from hunks of ice-cold penny-a-pound watermelons.

Idyllic, indeed.

Peach Ice Cream

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup peach puree (from about 3 peaches)

Mix milk and sugar until sugar dissolves.  Add peach puree and heavy cream. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and mix according to manufacturer’s instructions.

One note…  If you’re going to take the time to make your own ice cream – use the best ingredients you can.  Look at the ingredient list on your carton of heavy cream.  If there is anything in it other than “cream” put it back and go to another store.  (You wouldn’t believe the things they put in something as basic as whipping cream!)