Probably one of the favorites of the annual Albert City Threshermen and Collectors Show again this Aug. 12-14 will be the Swedish ice cream booth, featuring ice cream "made by shiftless Swedes".
Merrill and Phyllis Rehnstrom of Alta have run the homemade ice cream concession for the past four to five years, or "ever since I was foolish enough to help," said Merrill.
The Rehnstroms make ice cream the old-fashioned way, and in high volume. The ice cream booth can turn out three, five-gallon batches every 20 minutes, or up to 200 gallons a day. They have sold up to 2,600 servings a day.
The recipe is no secret, but it might require a little math to break it down to a smaller level. The recipe for a five-gallon batch of ice cream is as follows:
One and a half cartons of Easy Eggs
Five pounds of sugar
A quarter cup of vanilla
Two quarts of whipping cream
Two gallons of whole milk
A dash of salt
Merrill said it takes 400-500 pounds of salt mixed with the ice in the ice cream machine to make the cold, creamy confection. The salt mixed with ice makes a cold brine that gets down to about 8 degrees.
Power in varying forms is used to run the machines, including an electric motor, tractor power takeoff, or a one-cylinder gas engine.
One secret to the taste is the quality of ingredients. Merrill said it costs about $127 a gallon for the Watkins vanilla used in the ice cream.
"It's pretty near the same recipe my mother used 45 or 50 years ago," Rehnstrom said. "We've never had nobody complain about it. People will stand about 20 to 25 deep and not complain about having to wait for the ice cream."