Tag Archives: summer

Vintage Recipe – Lemon Ice Cream

Lemon Ice Cream - look close to see the small yellow bits of lemon rind.

Lemon Ice Cream – look close to see the small yellow bits of lemon rind.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, today is supposed to be the last day of the “dog days of summer”.  Apparently the weather in Texas does not subscribe to that kind of folk lore since we’ll still be roasting well into September.  At least.  But when it’s really hot, that just means homemade ice cream tastes even better.

Here’s another vintage “receipt” that we tried out.  It is a “Philadelphia” ice cream, made without eggs.  It’s a bit different from what we’re used to, since these days lemon and citrus flavors are usually seen in sherbets and ices – not dairy based ice creams.  But it was nicely flavored and the cream gave a little hint of a buttery taste.

Lemon Ice Cream

1 quart of cream (I used whipping cream in lieu of fresh cow’s cream)

9 ounces (by weight) of powdered sugar

4 tablespoonfuls of lemon juice

Juice of one orange

Grated yellow rind of 3 lemons (I used a lemon zester to peel off the yellow rind and then chopped the rind fine)

Mix the sugar, the grated rind and juice of the lemons, and the orange juice together.

Put half the cream in a double boiler over the fire; when scalding hot, stand it aside until perfectly cold; add the remaining half of the cream and freeze it rather hard.

Remove the crank and the lid, add the sugar mixture, replace the lid and crank, and turn rapidly for five minutes; repack to ripen.

This will serve six people.

Recipe from Ice Creams, Water Ices, Frozen Puddings, Together with Refreshments for all Social Affairs by Mrs. S. T. Rorer, Arnold and Company, Philadelphia, 1913  

**In the foreword of this cookbook, there are some tips and “general directions for all recipes”.  There is discussion of what to do if cream cannot be purchased but I chose to use readily available whipping cream.  But for those that would like to try the instructions given for when “cream” is not available – here they are:

“In places where neither cream nor condensed milk can be purchased, a fair ice cream is made by adding two tablespoonfuls of olive oil to each quart of milk.  The cream for Philadelphia Ice Cream should be rather rich, but not double cream.”

If you decide to make your own “cream”, I would recommend that you do NOT use extra virgin olive oil.  I would recommend one of the olive oils labeled “light” or “light tasting”, or maybe even one of the new butter flavored oils.  Regular extra virgin olive oil usually has a taste that is too heavy for putting into things like this.  Or homemade mayonnaise.  Yes, I know this from experience. 🙂

For info on types of cream and exactly what is “double cream” versus “cream” check out this informative link on types of cream.


Vintage Recipe – Frozen Marshmallow Pudding (Ice Cream)


It’s officially Summer now, although here in North Texas we’ve been having temps in the 90s for several weeks.  This time of year, home-made ice cream is a scrumptious way to help beat the heat.

Ice cream has been around for at least several hundred years, although until the 20th century, ice cream was considered a luxury due to the expense of ingredients (namely sugar) and the ice needed to make the ice cream.  In my reading of antique cookbooks, some of which were written in the 1700s, I was surprised to see a good number of “receipts” for frozen treats.  Considering that it was mostly the wealthier people who were able to indulge in these treats, I thought it odd that they would have so many recipes for ice creams, puddings, and other frozen goodies.  I guess they were a lot like us today – there are always more dessert recipes in cookbooks than other things.  Some of these antique cookbooks describe ice cream freezers of the time, including measurements for ice cream freezer size to ensure enough ice around the bowl that the ice cream mixture was in.

Recently I was excited to find an article on “modern” ice cream written in the May 1860 edition of Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine.  It seems that the invention of the modern ice cream freezer in the 1800s made a significant difference in the texture of frozen treats – taking the texture from grainy to smooth.  I found it especially fascinating that the accompanying sketch of the modern 19th century “Cream Freezer” looks like it could have been manufactured today.  Click on the photos to enlarge them and the article and accompanying ice cream recipes.

comIceCreamGodey'sMay - 1860_Page_1

Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, May 1860 edition with a sketch of the modern “Cream Freezer”.

Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, May 1860

Check out the highlighted recipes for 1860s version of “modern” ice cream recipes.













The first ice cream recipe that we’ve tried from antique cookbooks is from an early 20th century book.  The marshmallow flavor was quite appealing, since I had no idea what to expect from it when turned into an ice cream treat.  Another plus was that because it was from the early 1900s, the recipe actually had quantities of ingredients listed, instead of some of the more vague recipe instructions that are often found in cookbooks of the early 1800s and before.  We’ve tried this recipe twice now, once using the hand crank on our ice cream churn and once using the electric motor.  Both times it turned out delicious.  It’s definitely an ice cream receipt that we’ll use again.

Frozen Marshmallow Pudding

Place in a saucepan two and one-half cups of milk, four tablespoons of cornstarch.

Stir until dissolved and then bring to a boil and cook slowly for five minutes.

Now add two well-beaten eggs, one cup of sugar, one cup of marshmallow whip.

Stir until well blended and then cool.  Freeze, using a mixture of three parts ice to one part salt.  Let stand for one and one-half hours to ripen.

Recipe from:

Mrs. Wilson’s Cook Book – Numerous New Recipes Based on Present Economic Conditions by Mrs. Mary A Wilson; Third Printing, copyright 1920 by J.B. Lippincott Company

Tips:  Make sure you get the corn starch lumps smoothed out and keep the heat on low while stirring frequently, if not constantly, to avoid burning the mixture or having small lumps in your ice cream.  You don’t have to bother measuring the marshmallow “whip” since it’s kinda messy – just put in the entire 7 ounce container of marshmallow cream.

If you are concerned about eating eggs that are not well cooked, you can try using pasteurized eggs/egg products.  Since we use eggs from our own chickens and have healthy immune systems, we don’t worry as much about using eggs that are not cooked for a long length of time.  You may be able to add the eggs sooner and cook the mixture longer, but make sure to do so carefully so as not to change the flavor/texture of the mixture.

For more info on ice cream history, check out this article about folks who know about historical ice cream – the people who make it every day at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.  http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring10/icecream.cfm 



Vacuuming Grasshoppers

Anybody that has known us for a while, is generally aware that there is a grasshopper horde that plagues us every summer.  The grasshoppers are so thick that they jump up as we walk outside, and when they land, it sounds like rain.  While we do have some of the non-breeding Java chickens roaming in the garden for grasshopper control, we still have plenty of grasshoppers to spare.  And then some.  When walking outside and getting literally covered in grasshoppers, it is almost impossible not to think of various Bible stories involving locust plagues.

I was really getting frustrated with the windows on the back of the house being covered in so many grasshoppers that you could hardly see out.  GROSS!  While discussing the grasshopper plague, my friend Laurie up in Maine gave me an idea – get a shop vac and VACUUM THE GRASSHOPPERS and feed them to the chickens!

Upon mentioning this to the hubby, he dug around in the garage and found the small portable shop vac we have.  He promptly proceeded to the back of the house where the hoppers were congregating.  It took a bit to be able to get the rhythm down to sneak up on the hoppers and suck them up before they jumped away.  But he figured it out and was soon divesting our poor house of its obnoxious, annoying, disgusting, abhorrent hopper horde.

In the end, an estimated hundreds of grasshoppers were sucked up and then deposited into a chicken run.  At first, the chickens were really freaking out and didn’t know what to do with a huge pile of sluggish (dying) grasshoppers.  But after their initial alarm wore off – those chickens had a feast and went to bed that night with very full crops.

Moral of the story: If you find yourself with disgusting things like hordes of grasshoppers or maybe crickets, don’t underestimate the power of the lowly vacuum in your pest control plan!


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