Simple Strawberry Ice Cream

When I was a very little girl, perhaps two or three, we moved to a small house in Dog Creek, N. C. On one side was the garage where my father was to work by himself, repairing trucks and old cars, usually in exchange for potatoes or onions or a chicken, since hardly anyone had money in the early days of the depression.

I remember the ice bin which sat outside containing CocaCola in thick little glass bottles, Orange Crush, Dr. Pepper and NuGrape soda. There was a rack with Baby Ruths and Butterfingers and packages of peanut butter crackers.

I don't know who owned the property and rented it to my parents but it may have been the Sturgills, mother and two grown daughters, who lived in the big house on the other side. They made gorgeous loaves of "light" bread which they shared with us, warm out of the oven and smelling of heaven.

Their wide wraparound porch was the site for summer Sunday afternoon ice cream parties, the men taking turns to crank the noisy machine with the mixture of salt and ice. Imagine the flavor of wild strawberries and how long it took to pick enough of those tiny wonders for just one batch. There were still some around when I moved back to Grassy Creek in 1973, along with dewberries, but I haven't seen any of either in years. I have even tried to grow the uppity "fraises du bois" to no avail.

So settle for the best ripest strawberries you can find when they are in season and sigh for the old days.

Simple Strawberry Ice Cream

Mash (ahem, coarsely purée) a quart of ripe strawberries. Mix with 2 cups of sugar and a quart of heavy cream.

Add a bit of fresh lemon juice if the strawberries are too tame.

Chill, then freeze in whatever ice cream maker you have, with or without the guys on the porch.