Growing up in Ohio, the daughter of a Preacher Man and his school teaching wife, we didn't have much money at all. But my parents were masters of creating fun with activities that didn't cost much. Making ice cream on a summer's night was one activity that always seemed to work.
After supper, we'd go up to the neighborhood pool, swim for an hour or two (we spent the entire day there as well, but all three of us were water rats), and come home just as the sky was starting to darken. By that time, Mom had whipped up a container of ice cream stuff and Dad would be out in the driveway, packing rock salt around the outside of the canister. We'd change clothes and head out to help churn. There were no electric ice cream makers for us--at first because they'd not been invented, and later because we couldn't afford one, I suspect, although Dad always said it was because the electric mixed ice cream didn't taste as good. (I asked him about that last summer as he used an electric ice cream maker and he just grunted and gave me a blank look, as if I were crazy.) We'd each take turns churning while the other kids got over-the-head-pushes on the monkey swing from dad and then the entire family would sit on the front porch and eat huge dishes of homemade ice cream.
Mom's recipes always included raw eggs and other extremely dangerous things. Those things were OK for her kids but they are decidedly NOT OK for her precious grandchildren. One of the few recipes from my childhood that still in the active rotation is Orange Crush Sherbet, and it's still one of my favorites:
1 two liter Bottle of Orange Crush
2 cans Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
2 cans evaporated milk
1 small can of crushed pineapple, drained
Combine Eagle Brand, evaporated milk and pineapple; mix well. Pour into ice cream freezer container. Slowly add Orange Crush. Make ice cream as usual. Enjoy!
I should also point out that there's no longer a monkey swing. One night, my dad gave my sister the over-the-head push and the rope broke. She landed back of the head first on the asphalt driveway. Concussion. Dad fixed the rope and we continued the over-the-head pushes until we outgrew them. No monkey swing for the grandkids, however. It's too dangerous.....