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Island Stories: The Ice Cream Freezer

Island Stories: The Ice Cream Freezer

The Ice Cream Freezer

by Elmer MacKenzie
(RED Volume Four 2012)

When I returned to the Island with my family, in 1972, I carried back many fond memories of my childhood days in Fortune.  One thing I recalled was how much I had enjoyed homemade ice cream, so I was determined I would buy an ice cream freezer so my kids could enjoy it as I had as a child. 

One day when my wife and mother were going to an auction I said, "If you see an ice cream freezer be sure to buy it."  I was wanting one of those old-fashioned freezers that you to turn by hand.  I was sure the children would get a kick out of making ice cream that way, as I had years before.

Well there wasn't a freezer for sale at the auction.  Mother, however, was talking to a lady she knew, who in turn knew that her brother had a freezer for sale.  She told my mother and wife she was going down to her brother's house that night and would tell him to get it ready so we could pick it up the next day.  It turned out that the lady's brother was unable to communicate verbally; circumstances that greatly complicated the negotiations that would take place over purchasing the freezer. 

When we got to the their house the next day I got out of the car and went to the door and knocked.  When it opened the brother was standing there with the freezer which was all fixed up.  He had put new wire hoops on the wood bucket and it looked pretty good- just what we wanted. 

(c 1940's Cora and Floyd MacKenzie with children, L-R. Elmer, Minnie & Derald)

I took my wallet out and took out some money to show him that I wanted to buy the ice cream freezer.  There was a black-board on the wall just inside the door.  He picked up a piece of chalk and wrote 50 on the board. 

Well, I wanted the freezer, but I wasn't sure I wanted to pay fifty dollars for it, although it was a large freezer in good condition.  I thought to myself I will offer him thirty, so I held out a twenty and a ten.  He went back to the board and put a circle around the 50 on the board.  I thought this guy is driving a hard bargain, Oh well, what the hell, I will give him thirty five dollars.  I took out an extra five one dollar bills and made my offer.  He reached out and took one dollar. He then reached into his pocket and gave me back fifty cents. 

I could not believe that all he wanted was fifty cents.  I tried my best to give him more but he wouldn't take another cent.  In the years ahead we often enjoyed home-made ice cream, and I still have the freezer, which works well. 

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Lynne Powell - December 4, 2021

Thanks for a great memory. I remember the days of hand cranked ice cream. Probably the best ice cream I had was one summer in Oklahoma City. There was a family (extended) picnic in a park, it was blazing hot, & we all had to take a turn at cranking. It was hard work, but oh it was worth it. I have an electric one now, & I bought one for my adult son that can switch from hand crank to electric. He bought one for my daughter for Christmas. We are definitely blessed & ready for homemade ice cream!

Julie MacKenzie - December 4, 2021

We learned how to make ice cream, the old-fashioned way, in Home-Ec class when I was in Grade 8. We all took turns…turning the handle. It was delicious vanilla ice cream. I remember when my teacher took out the metal canister & opened the top. & the whole class had churned up the vanilla ice cream. It was an unforgettable class.

Lynn - December 4, 2021

Great story! I’ve never had home-made ice cream. Maybe I’ll have to buy one of those freezers, but I doubt I’ll get one for 50 cents!

Jack & Lillian Paul - December 4, 2021

I love this story. As a child growing up on PEI my favourite birthday gift was home made ice cream. No other ice cream compares.
Have a safe & Happy Christmas.


Marjorie Howat - December 3, 2021

I really enjoyed the ice cream story.Brought back many memories as my mother had an ice cream freezer and we kids were so happy waiting for it.Best ice cream ever!


Joe Rogerson - December 3, 2021

I fully enjoyed the ice=cream story ,since my Mom came from Little Pond ( next com.. to Fortune) I was born in 1938. Have a safe and happy xmas, J R.

Patricia Jones - December 3, 2021

Good Morning..
Great story! I still have a freezer..mine is now electric, but used an old hand crank one for years! No ice cream tastes better.
I recall in the 1950’s people saying if you ate ice cream and lobster at the same would die! My Father would say " then we’ll all die happy." as we munched lobster with home cranked ice cream for desert. Eventually he attached an electric motor to the freezer.. but because he left the crank in place..when the motor began to labour, he could unplug and finish with the crank! Too bad modern ones don’t have cranks!


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