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A Favorite Summertime Memory

Cabin life

There were many amazing things about growing up in South Carolina. I learned to hunt and fish early in life. My best friend’s family had a 300 acre farm that we loved to roam and explore. But I think most of my memories of those days center around a cabin our family had at a large lake about 25 miles from our home.


The cabin was pretty unique. Someone had parked a school bus on the property and then built the cabin around it. They stripped all of the seats out of the bus and put in 10 or so single beds. We called it the sleeping bus.


The cabin also had a small master bedroom, one rustic bathroom, a small kitchen … and a wrap around screen porch with an amazing view of the lake. We spent as much time as we could at the cabin - fishing, swimming, skiing. I was a childhood that would have been hard to beat.


One of my favorite memories at the cabin is when we would pull out the ice cream churn. South Carolina summers can be hot and humid (who am I kidding - they are hot and humid, not can be). I can’t think of any better way to beat that heat than fresh churned ice cream.


My first memories are of a hand-cranked ice cream churn. The outer ice bucket was made of wood. We would fill that about ¾ full with ice and pour on about a half box of rock salt. Then we would put the ice cream mixture in the canister, nestle the canister down into the ice and salt, and affix the hand crank to the top.


Usually at first there were a lot of volunteers to turn the handle. But as time went on, we kids would disappear to other things, and it was left to the adults to finish the cranking. But we kids had an inner clock to know when the ice cream would be done, and we were right there waiting.


Later we had an electric churn. I remember the steady drone of the small electric motor at the beginning of the churning process as the paddles turning inside the canister met very little resistance. Later you would hear that motor start to labor as the ice cream mixture inside performed its magical transformation. When the paddles could no longer turn, the ice cream was ready.



I’m sure we experimented with different flavors of ice cream, but all that I can clearly remember is a deep, rich vanilla - often with chunks of fresh strawberries or peaches. I’ve eaten a lot of ice cream in my 50+ years since those days, but never any that I enjoyed more.


I am so thankful for my memories of that cabin at the lake, and the homemade ice cream! Let me ask you, what are you doing to build memories for yourself, for your kids, and for your grandkids. A life without memories would be pretty bland.

grandsons and ice cream
Ice Cream Memories Continuing Through the Generations

By Robby Richardson
 
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