Thursday, July 3, 2014


Tomorrow, Friday, July 4th, we celebrate our country’s birthday.  A major part of that celebration involves food.  There will be gatherings with family and friends, grilling hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, or ribs, and enjoying special desserts, especially ice cream.

As part of my fun childhood memories of the Fourth, homemade ice cream  on this special day comes to mind.  Such memories evoke joyous, reflective emotions.  We did not have the treat very often, but the Fourth was the exception.  

Making ice cream did involve work.  Packing the ice cream maker with ice and salt, turning that crank until it could not turn anymore, and letting the ice cream set for a while before opening the top of the container were all important steps to perfection.  Wow!  That vanilla ice cream was the best on a hot summer day.  It was much better than any you might buy in a grocery store.

There are other ice cream memories as a child in the Kilgore household—mainly, when it came a winter or a spring snow.  When those rare weather snows came, it was an exciting time for us children. Nature had provided the frozen base for those exciting activities, that of building snowmen, making snowballs, and eating snow cream.  The snow ice cream was  truly special.  We did not have to turn a crank for an hour.  We did not have to add salt to the ice.  We did not have to let the cream set.  Mixing the needed ingredients of milk, sugar, and vanilla flavoring provided  a magical wintry treat.  Wow! It wasn’t even the Fourth, but it was a time of fun and celebration.

But during normal everyday times, I can also recall homemade chocolate ice cream mixed and placed in ice trays to freeze in the refrigerator.  We did not have to get out a hand-cranked freezer, bother with ice and salt, and work at making it freeze.  The refrigerator did all the work for us.  My mother would mix all the needed ingredients together to create something wonderful—homemade chocolate ice cream.  Wow! It tasted like those chocolate ice cream bars on a stick one could buy during those days.

And now, as a mature seasoned adult visiting the home of my roots, there is always available  for my consumption, store brand ice creams, all kind of choices —chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, black walnut, or any combination thereof.   Love those Snicker ice cream bars. But none of those offerings compare to the ice creams of my boyhood days made by the hands of a mother who knew how to mix it all together to make “homemade”.   Tastes change and ice cream recipes come and go, but the memories do not.  

In carrying on the family tradition, my wonderful wife has some tried-and-true ice cream recipes that I truly recommend for any occasion.  Those recipes are followed by some personal remarks in italics.   They are quite tasty, and any guest will be impressed when you serve them ice cream made by your own hands. The first three recipes are not my wife's, but I thought they sounded good enough to try, so I've added them to the list.  They all use the refrigerator to freeze the cream.  Enjoy, and have a happy Fourth of July 2014.


1 1/2 cups half & half cream or whipping cream
1/2 cup white Karo syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 can evaporated milk (chill in freezer until partially frozen)
1/2 cup sugar

Mix cream, Karo, vanilla and salt in large bowl.  In small bowl, beat eggs and sugar until light.  Add egg mixture to cream mixture and stir.  Beat evaporated milk until thick like whipped cream.  Fold into egg and cream mixture.  Pour into a plastic container, cover and place into freezer.  When partially frozen, beat again and return to freezer, “Frozen” add grated chocolate to taste.  “Fruit” add fresh or canned fruit to taste.


1 pint fresh strawberries
1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk (such as Eagle Brand)
2 cups heavy cream, whipped

Line a loaf pan with aluminum foil.  Wash, hull, and pat strawberries dry.  Puree in a blender.  Combine strawberry puree with milk in a large bowl.  Fold in whipped cream.  Pour into foil-lined pan.  Cover with aluminum foil and freeze 6 hours or until firm.  To serve, peel off foil and slice ice cream with a large sharp knife—or scoop from pan into dessert dishes.  Makes 1 1/2 quarts.


1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 cups half & half cream
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed mile (such as Eagle Brand)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
2 cups finely chopped fresh peaches (about 1 pound or 4 medium peaches)

In a medium saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over half & half.  Stir over low heat about 3 minutes or until gelatin dissolves.  Cool slightly.  In large bowl, combine gelatin mixture with remaining ingredients.  Blend well.  Turn into a 13 X 9 inch pan.  Freeze about 1 hour or until a firm mush.  Break into pieces and turn into a large chilled bowl.  Beat with mixer till smooth.  Return to pan.  Cover and freeze until firm.  Makes about 5 cups of ice cream.


1 large can evaporated mile
1/2 of a 6 ounce can of limeade concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup toasted sweetened coconut
1 1/4 cups mashed bananas
few drops green food coloring

Pour milk into an 8 cup container.  Freeze until ice crystals form around the edges.  Transfer milk to a large chilled mixer bowl.  Whip until stiff peaks form.  Combine limeade concentrate, sugar, coconut, bananas, and food coloring.  Fold in whipped milk.  Turn into pan.  Freeze until firm.

(This is a good, unusual recipe to serve special guests.  Add a cookie to finish it off as a special treat!)


1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 eight ounce can crushed pineapple
1 1/2 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 envelope Dream Whip

Combine sugar, salt, juices, and pineapple in a bowl.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  In another bowl, gradually stir milk into Dream Whip.  Stir slowly.  Slowly stir Dream Whip mixture into the fruit mixture.  Freeze until mushy.  Place in a chilled bowl.  Beat well. Freeze until firm.

(Thelma Colvin, Pat’s mother made hundreds of makings of this while Pat was growing up.  It was always frozen in an aluminum double ice tray without the ice cube inserts.  Pat has lots of memories with this recipe and has made it for us through the years.  It is a very refreshing dessert.)


3 egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand)
2 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup coarsely crushed Oreo cookies
2 cups whipping cream, whipped (do not use cool whip; it must be real cream.)

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks.  Stir in milk, water, and vanilla.  Fold in cookies and whipped cream.  Pour into aluminum foil-lined 9 X 5 loaf pan, or other 2 quart container.  Cover.  Freeze 6 hours or until firm.  Scoop ice cream from the pan to serve.

(This ice cream is wonderful and great for company.  It is my favorite.)


2 ripe bananas, mashed
juice of 2 medium oranges
juice of 2 medium lemons

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
3 tablespoons cherry juice

Combine bananas with the orange and lemon juices.  Add sugar, milk, water, cherries, and cherry juice.  Mix well.  Pour into a loaf pan and freeze.  Remove from freezer and break into chunks in a large mixer bowl.  Beat until smooth.  Return to freezer, covered, and freeze until firm.

(This is a very festive cold dessert.  I truly love the cherries in this.)


2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1/2 cup sugar (or 12 packets of sugar substitute)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Whirl all ingredients in blender or food processor, or you can mash until smooth.  Pour into freezer tray or an 8 inch square metal pan.  Freeze 3 hours or until firm.  Refrigerate about 30 minutes before serving.

(This is very good when you are watching calories.  It can be made with a sugar substitute and it is still good.  This is one of my favorite desserts.  It tastes like one of those expensive strawberry fruit bar popsicles.) 

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