By Ahmet Abdulaziz….
Last weekend we were sitting at home, before television time, and from somewhere the idea of eating ice cream was suggested.
The weather was quite hot, and ice cream was the obvious choice for all of us. However, none of us wanted to go out to the market to get the ice creams, so what choice did we have?
There were two choices, go to the market, buy ice cream and eat it at home, or go out to eat ice cream somewhere. Interestingly none of us wanted to go out, we all wanted to eat ice cream while watching television at home but none of us wanted to go to the market either.
In the end my daughter went out, drove to the market and brought home ice cream, which we all enjoyed eating.
This particular family event, however, took me back to the 1960s. I remember eating ice cream for the first time, when I was about 6 or 7 years old. The year must have been 1961 or 1962, and we were living in a small locality in Karachi city, Pakistan. As I remember, one day my father brought home an ice cream making machine, which he had borrowed from one of his friends.
Ice cream must have been very rare in those days in that area, as I remember that our close relatives, living in the same locality, were also invited to the ice cream party by my father. That was the first time when I had not only eaten ice cream, but had also watched it being made.
I remember it was a bucket made up of hardwood, with a tin capped can in the middle. This can was filled with milk and put in the middle of the bucket. The area between the can and the walls of the bucket were filled with crushed ice. There was some salt also spread over the ice. Then an apparatus, as can be seen in the attached photo, was put to revolve the tin repeatedly. I do not know how many times the tin was to be rotated, but ultimately with the below freezing temperature of the bucket, the milk inside the tin took the form of liquid ice cream. Ultimately, the tin was opened and the ice cream was distributed to all of us in small cups. We all enjoyed eating the ice cream. That was the first time I remember eating ice cream. It was simply made up of milk and sugar. But I liked it very much.
However, even though more than half a century has passed, I still remember the taste of the ice cream that I ate that particular day. It was really fantastic and of course unforgettable.
As time passed, the ice cream also became an industry, and during the late 1960s I remember visiting shops where ice cream was sold and eating it. It used to be a routine of a once a month family visit to the ice cream shop, throughout the summer. However at all those shops the ice cream used to be manufactured in the same wooden buckets.
After sometime, ice cream machines were introduced, and more shops were opened. I remember my father used to offer me a fresh ice cream cone, from a particular shop, whenever we went to that area.
I remember the phase when brand names of ice cream came into the market. Different ice cream manufacturing units emerged in the market, and different brand names and tastes of ice cream were introduced. In the same period the different forms and shapes of ice cream were introduced.
Ice cream had started in the forms of packed cones, with different packing materials.
Now I see each of my children preferring different brands and flavours of ice cream, but my favourite is still plain white coloured ice cream. I usually do not go for flavours. I am still a very straightforward person when the question of selecting the ice cream comes up.
However, as I write the above lines, I still feel the taste of the ice cream that I had eaten for the first time, made by my father, over 50 years ago.