Join the San Mateo County History Museum online for An Old-Fashioned Fourth! No reservations are needed, and admission is half-off!

Until then, enjoy this recipe for a delicious treat!

Parade gatherers in period clothing and a vintage care holding a sign for the San Mateo County History Museum
A young girl making handmade ice cream at an Old Fashioned Fourth at the San Mateo County History Museum

We All Scream for Ice Cream

We will not be serving ice cream at the Museum this year, but here is the recipe so you can try it at home!


This recipe for Strawberry Ice Cream comes from the May 1898 edition of the Ladies Home Journal. We omit the strawberries when making this at the museum, but feel free to include them! This recipe is for use with a double boiler and an ice cream maker, however after this recipe there are links to ice cream recipes using alternate methods.

Step One: Make the base

This can be done a day or two in advance. Instructions below are for a double batch. To make one batch, halve the recipe.

  • 2 pints of cream (same as 4 cups of cream) + 2 pints of cream for later
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • large plastic containers to put the bases in
  • rock salt
  • ice

Put cream in a double boiler. Add sugar and vanilla. Stir consistently until hot. Divide mixture evenly between two containers. Put in refrigerator when cooled.

Step Two: Make the ice cream

  • Add another pint of cream to each base. (So there will be 2 pints in each container total.)
  • Place the mixture in the inner section of the ice cream maker. Place layers of ice and rock salt are in the outer area. Make sure to use plenty of rock salt.
  • Crank (or mix if you have an electric one) consistently for about 30 minutes, adding more ice and rock salt as needed.
  • When it becomes difficult to turn the crank, check the ice cream. When done, it will be a little firmer than soft serve ice cream. Stir in the strawberries (sliced or mashed) if you want to include them.
  • At this point it is ok to serve with your favorite toppings. If you desire a firm consistency, place in the freezer for another 1/2 hour.
A hand holdi