Sunday, January 27, 2013

Homemade Banana Ice Cream

Just watched an hour of test kitchen chefs making ice cream.  While I am certain that the ice cream was good it in no way would compare to my mom's home made banana ice cream.  Every other Sunday my two older sisters, their families, Aunt Opal and family and Grandma Chandler were at our house for the day.  I first remember the tradition of Mom whipping up some ice cream after Sunday dinner at the Farnsworth house.  It seemed so effortless for her which we sisters all know now was an illusion.  

Momma making something in the ice cream mixing bowl
Mom never cooked her ice cream.  She would beat with an electric mixer 8 eggs until they were thick and the color of butter.  She may have put sugar in the the eggs while beating.  Best I can remember she would then add two cans of Eagle Brand Milk, 6-8 mashed, ripe bananas, some vanilla flavoring and enough whole milk to fill the ice cream bucket.  The dasher was placed in the bucket, lid placed on it and handed off to Daddy.



Crazy strong and just crazy Daddy wearing my sister's fall.
The freezer was one of the old hand cranked jobbers set in a galvanized tub.  Grand kids took turns sitting on the unit while Daddy would crank.  Someone would chop the ice off the block that had almost magically appeared.  Salt had to be added to help reduce the temperature of the brine.  The cranking job would be attempted by each grandson, a SIN (snicker, son in law is sin) might help for a while.  Daddy would be the last to crank the mixture as he was crazy strong.

Have I ever mentioned Daddy lifted weights to increase his strength?  Oh, the "weights" were actually his dad's model T bumper still attached to the model T.  He worked up to lifting one side of the vehicle enough for a tire to be removed.  Crazy strong.

My son feeding my dad store bought ice cream.
Eventually the gallon bucket hand crank unit was replaced with a gallon and a half electric unit.  We lived "in town" by this time with "indoor plumbing".  That unit would sit in the kitchen sink while running.  Still someone was adding ice, salt, tamping down with a wooden spoon handle and checking the overfill hole to make sure the brine was pouring out and not seeping under the lid of the ice cream bucket.  Once the electric motor would almost stall, everyone knew it was almost time for the treat of the day.

After a little firming time, the bucket would be pulled partially out of the brine.  Had to get it far enough out to keep the salt away from the ice cream!  Without question, Daddy always got the dasher.  The the ice cream was served to all present.  Some folks thought they could tell the difference in taste and texture between the hand cranked and electric varieties.  Those folks needed to just let the kids have their portion cause we Loved it all.

As we four sisters families moved away from the area where the folks lived the tradition faded.  The folks did have a small refrigerator version for freezing ice cream.  It has been many years since Momma has been able to make that glorious ice cream.  If you want to see a room full of old people roll their eyes and swoon, just mention Granny Mary's homemade banana ice cream.

Family including two SINs gathered around Momma's table in December cause there are decorations in Mom's hutch.  That would be iced tea in most glasses in December.




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