Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ice cream was once a delicacy

Before 1846 making ice cream was a drawn out process.  A bowl was filled with cream, then nested in another bowl filled with ice or snow and the cream was whipped vigorously while shaking both bowls up and down.  Not only was it an arduous task but the need for ice or snow would be another detriment to making the loved dessert.

President George Washington loved the creamy dessert. $200 was spent in the summer of 1790 to keep him in ice cream. There were two pewter ice cream pots kept in the Mount Vernon kitchen to make his favorite dessert.

Even the temperance movement applauded ice cream. They thought it the perfect treat to persuade an alcoholic to stop drinking.

Godey’s Lady’s Book said, “A party without ice cream would be like a breakfast without bread or a dinner without roast.”

The treat was thought as such a treat and emotionally uplifting that the Civil War was when the military began serving it to troops to boost morale.

I think it’s sad that the woman who made so many people happy with her invention didn’t profit from it. In 1846 Nancy Johnson invented a simple hand-cranked freezer that made it easier for people to make ice cream at home. Unfortunately she never patented the invention. I've often wondered how many intelligent people who invented items we use every day never profited from their ingenuity. 

As a child we rarely made ice cream because we sold our cream to a creamery and bought 5 gallon tubs of ice cream from them. But as an adult I’ve made it several times.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Have you ever made it? 


  1. Paty--I grew up eating homemade ice cream. It was a constant until I married and left home. But when the whole family visited, Mother made ice cream.Mainly, she made vanilla because that's all Daddy would eat--he wouldn't eat anything chocolate, and didn't like we usualy had peach cobbler topped with ice cream. I have eating a truck load of that in my life.
    You banner is very nice! I like it. Thanks for the memories. My favorite ice cream? Anything with chocolate, nuts, caramel, or mint. I don't care for strawberry or cherry.

  2. Celia, Ice cream is a memory maker even it it's just a memory like going to the dime store soda counter and have a root beer float(my dad's memory not mine).

  3. fun post! shared for you (I am not an ice cream fan myself. I save all my empty calories for alcohol but I do enjoy your books!)

  4. We made ice cream a lot when our son was young. My favorite is plum, but chocolate is a close second.

  5. Hi Paty, we visited Mt. Vernon recently and I learned this about George dad had an old ice cream freezer maker deal and he'd make peppermint ice cream a few times in the summers. I remember he had to have rock salt for some reason. I'm too lazy to make it myself LOL,.

    My favorite is Cherry Garcia.

  6. I mMISS ice cream, homemade or other! Soy, almond or rice milk ice cream just aren't as good as far as I'm concerned. I'm going to buy a machine that makes ice cream from frozen bananas. I think it's called Yonanas.

    A year ago I discovered I no longer can tolerate dairy. It causes terrible heartburn, makes my arthritis flare up, and triggers psoriasis.

    My favorite flavor was chocolate, but I never made it. I'm going to try to make chocolate/banana in the machine. :)

  7. Great post. My family made ice cream when I was growing up, not often, but probably a few times a year. We still do when we all get together. My husband and I also make it when we have people over with cream from our own milk cow. Everybody's favorite, an out of this world chocolate we call "The Kind" because it is the best ice cream we've ever tasted.

  8. Hi, Paty, My favorite ice cream is vanilla with my mom's own homemade topping recipe of chocolate syrup, peanut butter and kayro. My husband and I were at a party once and the hostess had a hand crank ice cream maker. We all took turns. the Ice Cream was delicious!

  9. My sister and I used to make it a lot, buying the cream from a local farmer. I gained 10 lbs. eating that ice cream. Chocolate or any version with chocolate in it, would be my favorite.

  10. I've never made it, Paty. I don't thinks I've ever eaten homemade ice cream, either. I love French Vanilla and chocolate peppermint.

  11. I love homemade ice cream. We never make it now because we don't need that much, but I have a very good recipe that we've made in the past for parties and church events. Peach is my favorite, but I also love just plain vanilla.

  12. Making ice cream was a treat for us when we went to one of the grandmother's house. The kids took turns sitting on the freezer while the men took turns turning the crank. So yummy!

    Early in my marriage, especially when the kids were smaller, we made it when we got together with family. We tried different flavors. Big Red ice cream was one of our favorites.

  13. Liz, my husband doesn't care for ice cream either. Thank you about your kind words for my books.

    Ella, I've never had plum ice cream. Sounds yummy!

    Tanya, the rock salt is poured down between the ice to make it melt and become colder. Peppermint is my favorite ice cream!

    Hi Sarah. I hope the yonanas works for you. I can't imagine a life without ice cream!

    Susan, what a fun family tradition! We made ice cream when my daughter had a 4-H milk cow.

    Hi Diana! Home made ice cream is the best. Your mom's topping sounds decadent!

    Charlene, that's the biggest draw back to ice cream. What a fun thing to do with your sister.

    Gerri, you'll have to find someone who has an ice cream maker and try some home made ice cream.

    Caroline, Peach is one of my favorite homemade flavors. Especially when it's made with fresh ripe peaches.

    Linda, those sound like great memories around the ice cream maker!

  14. Ice cream is one of my biggest weaknesses. I especially love mint chocolate chip. When I was in college I worked in a Bridgeman's Ice Cream Parlor in Minneaplois, where I grew up. I got to eat ice cream sundaes or malts every day. Despite that. I lost weight, walking it off carrying trays out to customers.

  15. Hi Lyn, Ice cream is my weakness too!

  16. Our first ice cream maker looked exactly like your picture. I loved cranking that crank when I was a child. It was a summer ritual.

    My husband and I now have an electric one that we haven't used for at least two years. For awhile we used to make sorbet (less fattening) but even that hasn't happened.

    My favorite flavor is still plain vanilla. It goes with everything. :)

  17. Maggie,Haf the fun of eating ice cream is making it if you have an ice cream maker. Sorbet is good and you're right, much better healthwise.
    Thanks for stopping in!


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