Smiles and sweet memories are easy to come by in summertime. With the sun sinking down over the horizon and the glaring heat seeming to disappear with it, relaxation kicks in. With that usually would come a treat in the evening.
Sometimes this treat would be cold watermelon or fresh berries with whip cream, but my favorite was when mom would make homemade peach ice cream.
I remember mom would mix up her concoction by first pealing the fuzzy peaches. Sometimes we would help, but not till we were old enough to work a knife. Since I was the youngest by several years, I don't remember getting to do this much. Next, she used fresh cows milk and cream mixed with sugar, vanilla, some eggs and a dash of salt.
Mom would put all of this in a metal cylinder shaped container and that would go in a bigger wooden container. Dad would fill the space between the containers with lots of ice and rock salt. The next step is where all the kids came in to crank the handle.
I look back now and laugh because I don't know how many kids nowadays would do this to get this wonderful ice cream. I have a feeling quite a few would just say no and tell their parents they can buy ice cream at the store. If they chose to opt out on this experience, they would have no idea what they would be missing out on.
I remember cranking on that ice cream churn for what seemed like hours, but in all reality was only five minutes, maybe ten. Then, someone else would take over and this would go on for about an hour. We even had arguments over who got to turn the crank next. We knew it was worth the hard work.
In the mean time, all the kids were near this machine, playing Monkey In the Middle or hide and go seek. We just didn't want to be too far away when this cold, delicious dessert was ready. We knew it would all be gone fast if we weren't paying attention.
Mom or dad were always the ones to check and make sure after all out hard work that it was frozen to perfection. We would wait in a line with a spoon and a bowl to make sure some of that creamy goodness was ours. There were never any leftovers of this peachy excellence.
I can still taste that cold, sweet, yet tart, creamy deliciousness on my lips. Nothing in summertime helped end a hot, hard day like mom's hand churned ice cream.