Mark your calendars! Ice Cream Sunday is slated for July 15 this year!
Written by Cassie McClure
Photography by Robin Zielinski
Ice cream allows many to recall the nostalgia of childhood, a carefree time with a sweet, cold treat. The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum’s Ice Cream Sunday is a way to bring children and adults back into the past, when ice cream was made at home, turned by hand in a churn or rolled in cans between two people.
Dr. Jerry Schickedanz flashes back to sitting on top of a churn when he was a child. He had an important role for ice cream making, to help keep the lid down. “When I was little it was always the little kids’ duty to sit on the bucket and the men would crank the churn,” he recalls. “Every house seemed to have their ice cream churn.”
For Ice Cream Sunday, Jerry brings out his 1931 Maytag two-cycle motor to power a small ice cream churn to make gallons of ice cream in about 20 minutes. “It makes quite a bit of noise and smokes, so it tends to attract the little kids right away,” he says.
Jerry admits his maker is a novelty for the crowd, and he thinks the event’s main activity, which lets visitors make their very own, is more appealing. “Some children have never seen ice cream made by hand, and here they get to,” he says.
LuAnn Kilday, the museum’s education curator, oversees the small crowd of volunteers on-hand to help pack ice cream ingredients in one tin can and rock salt with ice in another. It’s then up to visitors to head off into the courtyard to roll or kick their can for the 20 minutes it’ll take for the ingredients—sugar, cream, and milk—to become ice cream.
LuAnn says the challenge has been finding tin cans to use. “We have 100 sets that we use, but every year more get dented beyond use and now all the coffee comes in plastic,” she notes, adding that another version using plastic sandwich bags isn’t quite as popular. “It’s cold and you use your hands to work it until you’re frozen. Even with the extra work required, the tin cans are a hit. In today’s society, when we want ice cream, we go buy it. When the kids first see the ingredients and then open it to taste what they made—their faces just light up.”
Early bird visitors to the event get an extra special treat—a free scoop from Caliche’s. The first 600 entrants get a coupon for a free four-ounce cup of their product, and after those run out, they’ll have more available for purchase.
After gearing up with an appetizer, it’s then off to the races with the ice cream eating contest. Last year, Eva Marie Shipley had her free scoop before she signed up for the contest on a whim. She had left her kids with their father for a chance to explore the museum. She ended up second in the above 18 contest, won a grill that has seen a lot of use, and realized she was only bested by the running champion. Her kids are training to join her this year and maybe beating her record.
Her secret? “Eating as much of it whole as possible!”
Early bird visitors to the event get an extra special treat—a free scoop from Caliche’s.
TRY IT AT HOME!
METAL CAN ICE CREAM
– Two metal cans of different size
– 1 ½ cup whole milk
– 1 cup whipping cream
– ½ cup sugar
– Ice cubes
– Rock salt
– Duct tape
Mix together the whole milk, whipping cream, and sugar in the empty smaller can. Close the lid securely and shake vigorously. Place the coffee can containing the ingredients into a larger coffee can. Pack the empty space with ice cubes and rock salt, close lid and secure with duct tape, and roll the two cans back and forth on a flat surface for 10 minutes. (Best done with two people!) The rock salt and ice combines to create a lower, freezing temperature. If you want, open up at 15 minutes, add toppings, then close and roll for another 10 minutes.
F Y I
15th Annual Ice Cream Sunday
The 15th Annual Ice Cream Sunday will be held July 15, always the third Sunday in July to coincidence with National Ice Cream Day. It runs from noon to 4pm and admission is the same as regular admission to the museum: $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, $3 for children ages 4 to 17, and free for children 3 and under. Nmfarmandranchmuseum.org