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Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social

Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social
A hot summer's day fading to evening. A churn on the back porch, laboriously cranked in its bed of crushed ice and rock salt. The incomparable delight of scooping thick, creamy frozen vanilla custard off the paddle just an instant after it has been pulled from the tub.

Even if we've never made ice cream the old-fashioned way, such snapshots of memory are embedded in our consciousness, so elemental are the pleasures of good ice cream. And today, electric ice cream machines make it possible to achieve those pleasures without aching arms or mounds of ice and salt.

Whether churned by hand or prepared in a machine, ice cream always seems to taste even better when shared with friends. This summer, why not host an ice cream social? You can prepare the ice cream in advance, then take it out of the freezer when your guests arrive. Set out homemade waffle cones and colorful candy toppings, and you've got the fixin's for a party that will please guests of all ages. For something extra special, pass around ice cream sandwiches—who can resist bing cherry ice cream tucked inside rich chocolate brownies!

We've selected some favorite recipes that are easy to prepare. You might want to make a batch or two of ice cream while the party is under way, just so everyone will have the pleasure of eating fresh-churned ice cream right off the paddle the moment it's ready!