Memories of a rural childhood – I is for icecream and inky fingers



Homemade icecream was a regular part of our diet, by itself or as an accompaniment to stewed fruit, pies or fruit salad. Unfortunately, I don’t have the recipe but think it was similar to this one and involved dissolving gelatine in hot water then mixing it with powdered milk, sugar and vanilla extract. I suspect that Mum used less water than the linked recipe and added fresh cows milk instead (but I could be mistaken!). The mixture was poured into two flat metal “icecream trays” and placed in the freezer. Once the mixture had solidified, it was whipped till fluffed up then returned to the freezer until serving time. There was always a scramble for the privilege of licking the beaters clean!

Inky Fingers

Being left-handed, the transition from pencil to fountain pen was fraught with challenges. It was quite difficult to form the letters and words close enough to the way that “normal” ie right-handed people did whilst avoiding smearing the damp ink on both my hand and the page. I was very glad to be able to use biros in high school.

4 thoughts on “Memories of a rural childhood – I is for icecream and inky fingers”

  1. I found a number of recipes for ice-cream in Mum’s recipe book recently. I remember it as much icier than store-bought ice cream, but with very limited freezer space, we had to make do.
    As for the transition from pencil to pen (and also being a cack-hander), it was never easy, especially if blotting paper wasn’t available to quickly dry your words before moving on. And if the District Inspector happened to visit when doing writing practice, he wasn’t averse to ripping out any “sub-standard” work, and making you do it again! Like you, I was glad when we went to biros.

    1. Bryan, I don’t recall any specifics about visits of the inspectors, other than a bit of a bustle to tidy up the room.
      Would be interested in having a look at your Mum’s recipes to see if any are familiar.

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