Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We all scream for ice cream

It may look like a strange oak bucket salvaged from a well, but this intriguing object collected by the Berrima Museum is in fact an early model of an ice cream maker. It had been in use before the turn of the 20th century, but remained in popularity for some time. Manufactured in the United States, the machine was worked by the manual rotation of a side handle-an effort that for those versed in the process would be well aware- took considerable time. Perhaps the model name "Lightning" may have been a little generous.

Advertisement for the Shepard's "Lightning Ice Cream Freezer" from 1911. Source: Anthony Horden & Sons, 1911, p.600

The manual process of preparing ice-cream has attracted interest from many in the community that are attracted by the homemade method and taste. The 'return to basics' movement has captivated more than a niche circle, and is likely to continue to rise in popularity into the future. Making ice-cream from scratch is not difficult, and more importantly it doesn't even require the use of a ice-cream maker.

I remember as a child preparing ice cream in a can with ice, salt and a good dose of elbow greese. Perched over the can, the ice cream was made by rolling the can up and down an incline which in my case happened to be a driveway.

With this in mind, seeing the Shepards' Lightning Ice Cream maker at the Berrima Museum was a cruel reminder that even back so far as 1890 they had access to more sophisticated technology than what was available to me.

Berrima Museum is located southwest of Bowral in Market Place, Berrima. Its opening hours are listed below:

Saturdays and Sundays
10am - 4pm Public Holidays
10am - 4pm School Holidays daily
10am - 4pm

Closed Good Friday
Closed Christmas Day

Phone: (02) 4877 1130

For those that are interested, the Internet is a treasure trove for advice on making homemade ice-cream. A good place to start is:

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