If you read our magazine, you already know I’m a huge fan of ice cream. I had my first spoonful as a 7-month-old infant. One taste, and I was hooked. My mom tells this story:

“I was eating ice cream, and you were really eyeballing me. So I gave you a little. You just smacked you lips … and apparently you were waiting for more, because you started kicking with those braces on” — I wore corrective shoes with braces for 5 or 6 months — “and waving your hands and crying. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong. We checked your diaper — we thought maybe you had been stuck with a pin. You weren’t wet … finally your grandmother said, ‘Give her some more ice cream.’ I did, and you were happy as a clam.”

Thus the love affair began. Mommy still uses an electric freezer, the kind with a wooden bucket, a metal canister and a motor that fits on top. I love the sound of it, because I know home-cooked goodness follows.

Want to try your hand at it? Here’s the recipe and a word of caution: my mom, like so many southern cooks, doesn’t really measure. She’s prepared this ice cream for so many years, it’s based on instinct, eyeballing the consistency and taste.

Simple Old-Fashioned Ice Cream

  • 1 3.4 ounce box of vanilla-flavored Jell-O pudding
  • 4 12-ounce cans of evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons of vanilla flavor
  • 1 ½ cups sugar, add more or less based on taste
  • ice
  • ice cream salt

Combine milk in large bowl, reserving the cans. Rinse each can with warm water (about ¼ of a can), and empty three of the cans of water into one can. Add to the milk and mix well. Add pudding, vanilla flavor and sugar, stirring after adding each. Stir until smooth. Strain, if needed. Pour into the freezer canister. Put the blade in and the top on, and plug it in. Add one layer of ice, followed by a thin layer of ice cream salt; repeat until the ice is at the top of the bucket. Freezer will churn slowly or stop when the ice cream is ready, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.