I grew up in the tiny blink-and-miss-it berg of Willard, Co. Population, maybe 20. My paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, plus their siblings, all lived a few miles apart on their own farms and ranches. I have many warm memories of community and family gatherings in the basement of the little country Methodist Church. Easter sunrise breakfasts, Christmas with “Santa” [who seemed to resemble the neighbor a few doors down], funeral dinners, wedding and baby showers, and best of all, homemade ice cream socials. Every family brought their favorite recipe which in those days was made with fresh milk/cream and fresh eggs. I can taste it now…can’t you? Y.U.M.
You can read about our ice cream tradition here at J’s Coffee Cafe blog post.
The family history and recipe below came from my cousin Dan Leis’s wife, Cindy.
My recipe comes through my husband’s family, actually his grandfather, Scott Russell Wolever. Grandpa Scott was one of the warmest people I ever knew but he made the “coolest” ice cream ever. He brought it to every family gathering and there was never any left over. Grandpa Scott told about cutting ice from the South Platte River with his brother, Roy Wolever when they were boys. It was packed in straw in the ice dug-out. After a hot summer day’s work his father, Lemuel, would say, “Better go chop some ice, boys.” They hurried to comply as they knew what was coming…
Grandpa Scott’s Ice Cream (only name we ever knew it to be called)
6 fresh eggs beaten*
2 cups brown sugar
Dash of salt
¼ cup REAL vanilla
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 to 1 ½ quarts heavy whipping cream
(depends on the size of your ice cream freezer)
1 to 1 ½ quarts of half and half
Fill the freezer with whole milk
Freeze according to the directions of your individual ice cream freezer.
*Due to some risk in consuming raw eggs, only use the freshest you can find.
There was never any written recipe until I watched him make it and knew we better keep track of the details. Grandpa Scott was particle about the size of the ice chunks as well as the salt and ice ratio. He had a technique of pouring a large glass of hot water over the ice when you first started churning. It “helped get things started”. It will definitely be ready to eat right away but can be frozen and stored in another container. He was in his 80’s before it became an electric mixer. I can’t convince Dan that it should still be hand-churned. 😊