PLEASANT VALLEY - Every New Year's Day Angie Bowersox and her family would make homemade ice cream, she said.
The tradition has been long lasting, to her grandchildren as well, the owner of Leister's Store Museum said. The time-honored tradition is remembered by many families in Pleasant Valley, who created their own memories making ice cream every winter.
On Sunday, Ed Leister and other friends from Pleasant Valley gathered to make homemade vanilla ice cream in a hand-crank ice cream maker and an electric ice cream maker.
Why make ice cream in the winter?
"Normally we'd make it with snow," Leister said.
Families couldn't afford to buy the ice needed to make the ingredients cold enough to form ice cream, he said. The ingredients sit in the center of a closed freezer, and around the freezer, ice, salt and water is added to make the cream cold enough to transform into ice cream.
Leister said his parents usually put fruit in their ice cream right at the end to make different flavors. The homemade ice cream doesn't have any preservatives, meaning the ice cream melts fairly quickly, and tastes fresh, he said.
Making ice cream takes about 45 minutes, Leister said. He was around 6 or 7 the first time he made homemade ice cream, he said. At the event, Jacob, 7, and Luke Etter, 3, of Hampstead, worked to crank the 1950s hand-cranked ice cream freezer.
The wooden bucket the hand-cranked maker sat in would release a little bit of water, not ideal for keeping the ice cream cold enough. While the electric ice cream maker cranked away, the hand-crank maker took a little longer.
Approximately 45 minutes after the electric ice cream maker began, the paddle inside stopped cranking. It was done. Volunteers Ed Leister, Donald Leister and Melvin Starner peered into the freezer and declared the ice cream ready. All three remember making ice cream as kids in Pleasant Valley.
Ed Leister began doling out scoops of ice cream to adults and children alike. The taste was vanilla and creamy - far different than any ice cream from Coldstone's.
"I can't describe the taste because it's nothing like what you're going to get in a supermarket," he said.
Since opening the Leister's Store Museum in November 2007, Bowersox said the museum has enjoyed developing the rich history of the store and area. As people have passed away in the community, families have thrown away rich pieces of history that Bowersox is interested in.
The store museum was set up in eight months, she said. The museum has a plethora of volunteers who help rearrange and set up different events, including an annual strawberry social and Christmas oil lamp night.
At the event Sunday, around 15 residents came to taste the rich vanilla ice cream.
"This is the best ice cream I've had in 60 years," declared Rebecca Orenstein, after taking her first bite.