Peachy keen summer ice cream

One of summer’s greatest culinary pleasures has to be a fully ripe, juicy peach, sweet and aromatic, eaten out of hand with the juice running down your arms. Fresh, homemade peach ice cream is near the top of the list, too.

I still remember the childhood pleasure of a generous bowl of peach ice cream at my grandmother’s house. I’d like to tell you she made it in a wooden ice cream maker that we cranked by hand, but to be honest, she ran across Bardstown Road to Cherokee Dairy to pick up a tub.
It hasn’t been easy to replicate this pleasure over the years, although the arrival of Graeter’s Ice Cream here years ago brought us pretty close. We watch our nearest Graeter’s (140 Breckenridge Lane, 896-9952, like a hawk in midsummer, waiting for the “Peach is here!” signs.
The other day, I brought a carton home. My wife pried it open and eyed it suspiciously. “This looks different,” she said. Sure enough, this year’s batch lacks the peachy creaminess of past vintages. The remembered tidbits of fresh, juicy peach were replaced by hard, frozen chunks that tasted like canned fruit. The remainder abides uneaten in the back of our freezer, taking up space.
This week, I was delighted to hear The Comfy Cow (1301 Herr Lane, Westport Village, 425-4979, was making peach ice cream. We rushed over to check it out. OK, it’s good ice cream — rich and creamy. I’d expect no less from The Comfy Cow. But I couldn’t find any peach chunks, and the peach flavor was subtle. I’d call it an adult ice cream, not the childish pleasure I wanted to remember.
I guess my grandmother’s peach ice cream will have to remain one of those golden memories of childhood. —Robin Garr