Last updated: July 24. 2013 1:40PM - 197 Views

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PDT Staff Writer

LUCASVILLE — Bob and Joanne Thomas, a retired couple from London, Ohio, can now choose where they go and what they do, and they choose to attend a few special events, such as the Scioto County Fair, and what they choose to do is create homemade ice cream the really old fashioned way.

“We kind of pick and choose, now that we are retired,” Bob Thomas said. “We do this a lot for the fun and we meet different people - a lot of nice people.” Bob Thomas did construction work and Joanne worked for a Medicare unit.

The two sit under a canopy in an attempt to avoid the heat of the noon-day sun. There is an old green motor bearing the name John Deere, a wheel that spins, and a spigot where water from the melting ice drips out onto the hot pavement.

“This was my grandfather’s old hit-and-miss engine,” Bob Thomas said, “and then a neighbor fellow and I just decided one time for the church ice cream social, we’d get a five-gallon maker. Then we got the idea that it was too hard to crank. So we decided to put the old engine on it. It all developed from there. It was just kind of a fun thing, and then people from one event would ask you to go to one place or another.”

Most people probably don’t know what the ingredients are for real homemade ice cream.

“Basically we use a real simple recipe, which is sweetened condensed milk, and pure vanilla, and then a lot of whole milk,” Thomas said. “Then when you have other flavorings, you just add the different flavorings to it.”

Thomas said he orders the flavorings from a company in Savannah, Georgia, and while they are fairly expensive, not much flavoring is needed per gallon.

“We use ice, and then we put rock salt on it,” Thomas said. “The rock salt brings the temperature down by about eight to nine degrees.”

Thomas said he and his wife do a lot of ice cream socials for churches, three fairs and a few festivals.

“It’s a fun thing. We make a little bit of money, so we can go from one spot to the other,” Thomas said. “But our main goal is just to have a good time and enjoy the places where we go.”

Folks seeking to get some relief from the sweltering temperatures were glad they chose to come to the Scioto County Fair.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com.

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