By Terrie Todd
As a kid growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s, one of my dear friends was my pastor’s daughter. Although Sharon is older by two years, she and I shared vivid imaginations and a love of cats. What she may not have realized was how much I longed to be a guest in her home on Sunday evenings.
Sunday supper at the pastor’s house consisted of popcorn and home-made ice cream. Their ice cream maker was hand-cranked and a ton of work, but no one seemed to mind. Of course, that’s easy for me to say. If I ever took a turn at cranking that handle round and round, it was for short bursts at a time. The waiting seemed endless. What I remember most is that unique flavor I’ve never tasted in any store-bought ice cream, plain vanilla though it most often was. Requiring much time and effort, too soft to scoop into a cone, and melting far too quickly, that bowl of creamy delight was totally worth the wait.
|Licensed Canva photo|
Ever since God created snow, humans have been creating frozen treats by mixing ice with honey, fruit, and juices. As dairy was added somewhere in the 1500’s, the evolution of “cream ice” began, remaining for centuries a treat only for the elite. The French and Italians are credited with perfecting the dessert and eventually making ice cream more available to the general public in the 1600’s. During the summer of 1790, President George Washington spent approximately $200 for ice cream, according to the records kept by one New York merchant.
It shouldn't surprise us that a woman--American Nancy Maria Donaldson Johnson--was awarded the first U.S. patent for a hand-cranked ice cream freezer in 1843. She made it possible for anyone to make their own.
|An antique ice cream maker. Public domain.|
In 1946, one way that Americans celebrated the end of WWII was by consuming over 20 quarts of ice cream per person! According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the average American today consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream each year. At what point do you suppose they stopped measuring ice cream by the quart and changed to pounds?
Even among the hundreds, possibly thousands, of creative ice cream flavors, good ol’ vanilla remains the most popular.
|North Pole Freezer, Patented 1910 Public Domain|
You can still make your own ice cream, and with a lot less effort, using an electric ice cream maker. This recipe is adapted from one in my mother-in-law’s 1934 cookbook.
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
½ cup cold water
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups (1-lb. can) chocolate syrup
2 cups (1 pt.) light cream
2 cups (1 pt.) whipping cream
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand 5 minutes. Add milk and sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat; add salt and syrup, stirring until well blended. Cool. Refrigerate until cold. Stir together chocolate mixture, light cream, whipping cream and vanilla; pour into 5-quart ice cream freezer container. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. (Makes about 4 quarts.)
On the cusp of World War II, a seventeen-year-old farm girl finds herself alone and carrying a heavy secret. Never telling a soul, Cornelia pours out the painful events in her diary. Decades later, Cornelia’s granddaughter, Benita, is in the midst of her own crisis, experiencing several losses in the same week, including the grandmother she adored. On the brink of divorce, she discovers Cornelia’s diary. Now the secrets of her grandmother’s past lead Benita on an unexpected journey of healing, discovery, and faith.
A 1910 ice cream maker plays a unique role in Terrie Todd’s debut novel. You can read about it in The Silver Suitcase. She’s also the author of the award-winning Maggie’s War and Bleak Landing. Her fourth novel, Rose Among Thornes, releases from Iron Stream Media this August. Terrie is represented by Mary DeMuth of Books & Such Literary Agency. She lives with her husband, Jon, in Manitoba, Canada where they raised their three children and where her novels are set. They are grandparents to five boys.
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