When I grew up, my family went on vacation in August. Just like clockwork we loaded up the car on Aug. 1 and headed for Ednor, Md., to visit my Uncle Harry, Aunt Flora and my cousin Bonnie.They had a beautiful estate called Mount Pleasant Farm, complete with horses, Black Angus cows, a barn, riding trails, a creek, air conditioning, and color TV.
I couldn't wait to get to the farm - and that was the problem; My father was notorious for his slow driving. Friends even joked with him about it and his answer was always the same: "Better safe than sorry!"
Because Daddy did all the driving, the trips to the farm were agonizingly slow. Our car wasn't air conditioned, so you can imagine how uncomfortable it was on those sultry August days. I was hot, miserable, and bored. I became that really annoying kid in the back seat asking the proverbial question over and over again: "Are we there yet?"
Aside from the anticipation of getting to the farm at the end of the day, the only thing that helped me cope was knowing that we'd be stopping at a Howard Johnson's restaurant for lunch. I waited anxiously to get a glimpse of their trademark orange roof.
It wasn't the food that excited me. It was the ice cream. My favorite was peppermint. It was luscious and creamy with crunchy bits of peppermint candy mixed in it. It just didn't get any better than that.
Last year, I came across a recipe for peppermint ice cream in an old cookbook. It doesn't even require an ice cream machine. The result was a fabulous frozen peppermint concoction that made me just as happy as Howard Johnson's used to.
It's not exactly the same, but it's close enough to satisfy my craving.
Peppermint Ice Cream
2 cups milk
1 pound peppermint candy
1 pint whipping cream
In a sauce pan, combine milk and candy. Stir over medium heat until candy is dissolved. Chill.
Whip cream until firm and fold into chilled candy mixture in a metal bowl. Freeze for one hour. Stir to blend and return to freezer for another hour. Stir again until ice cream is smooth. Freeze for several hours or overnight.
Serve garnished with crushed peppermint candy. Serves six.