Enjoy these Front Porch Moments from Bill and share your favorites with your family and friends. He'd love to meet you at Front Porch ice cream events. Oh, and by the way, his favorite flavor is Sweetie Tea.
Southern Memories and Southern Dreams Part 1
As I have gotten older I have come to believe that Southern dreams are just projections of Southern memories. We want those things that were such a wonderful part of our lives to continue into the future. It applies to our tendency to hold on to all that happens, particularly the good things…like ice cream socials.
Ice cream socials were a big part of my growing up in North Carolina. In the small, rural community of Hallsboro there were not a lot of social outlets other than those connected with school or church. Our little Baptist church held Training Union every Sunday night. It was a Bible study and leadership program but it also provided the opportunity to gather occasionally in the summer at someone’s house, usually out on a farm, and socialize. The making of ice cream was the theme, if not the excuse, for us all to get together outside the boundaries of the church building, to play games like Red Rover and Kick the Can, to catch lighting bugs (fireflies) in a glass jar and for the older kids to talk to each other to the verge of, but not beyond innocent, flirting.
In between all that was the shared task of turning the handle on the ice cream churn. The older boys took great pride in being able to turn the handle one more time after everybody else had given up.
Then came the time to taste the result of all the effort and preparation. There was never any ice cream left. We ate it as quickly as we could, not giving it a chance to melt and waste a single spoon full. Usually we ate plain vanilla but sometimes we’d add a fruit like strawberries or peaches in season. Scripture and homemade ice cream: a good combination…
To be continued
About Bill Thompson
For over 40 years, Bill Thompson has traveled the Carolinas delighting folks with his commentary on Southern staples: food, farming, music, family and neighbors. He's been the master of ceremonies for hundreds of events celebrating the things that make the South special - from the Hollering Contest in Spivey's Corner to the Wolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, the Grits Festival in South Carolina, and he's even judged a sweet tea contest in Georgia. In the process, he's had the chance to meet some fine Southerners and hear their own stories. He's authored three books, one named, "Sweet Tea, Fried Chicken and Lazy Dogs: A Reflection of North Carolina Life."