My family has created many traditions through the years. This is mainly due to our mother. She has always been the kind of person that likes to entertain and likes to have her family close at hand. She would create projects and events that were so much fun to do that everyone involved would want to repeat the experience; as a result traditions were created.
In addition to being a great planner and coordinator my mother was an awesome cook. Now that she is older her health has greatly impacted what she is able to do, but she has passed many of her recipes and cooking techniques on. Because of her cooking skills most events that were planned included some type of food. Our family enjoys eating sweets so one of our favorite activities included bringing out the ice cream machine and make homemade ice cream. When I was very young the ice cream machine was one that was hand cranked. The ingredients were mixed and placed into a metal cylinder. A wooden mixer that was attached to the lid of the cylinder was placed in the mix. The cylinder was placed inside of a larger container and a wooden crank was attached to the top. The crank would turn the wooden mixers. The cylinder with the ice cream mixture was surrounded by ice that had salt placed in it. The salt made the ice slushy. You then turned the crank so the mixers would beat the mixture in the tube and at the same time the ice would slowly freeze the ingredients creating ice cream. Once the mixture was well beaten the entire cylinder was placed in the freezer so that it would harden more. The result was wonder ice cream that we would eat with fresh strawberries or raspberries.
As I got older my parents bought an electric ice cream machine. The ice cream tasted the same, but it was not as much fun as cranking the old ice cream maker. Our tradition was to make homemade ice cream for my father’s birthday as well as on father’s day. After my father passed away we convinced our mom that we should still bring out the ice cream machine on his birthday and make the treat in his memory. He has been dead for fourteen years, but we still get together and make the ice cream each year. I think it would be very pleased that we remember him in this way. It is a great way to keep his spirit alive for our children. They enjoy making the treat as much as we did as children.