Fun spin on old time ice cream: "Along the Way"

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When most of us want ice cream, we go to freezer section in the supermarket, or maybe our favorite ice cream shop.
But a couple local guys have built a machine that puts a new spin on old fashioned homemade ice cream.
So how does it work? The delicious details as we go "Along the Way" in Rapid Valley.

It's not the sound we think of, when we think of ice cream.

Dave Grimm of Rapid Valley says, "1 and a half horsepower." He's referring to the engine.

Keith Grimm says, "They're not like your car where you hit the remote and start 'er up."

It looks more like joint effort by Dr. Seuss, Willie Wonka, and an auto mechanic, than a gasoline powered ice cream maker...with wheels and belts and buckets and more.

Keith Grimm of Rapid Valley says, " It's kind of expensive to make the ice cream. It's not like going to get a bucket of ice cream for 4 or 5 dollars. "...

With 2 buckets on this one you can make 2 batches at a time, which Keith says can cost 15 to 20 bucks.
57 year old Keith Grimm and his 82 year old father Dave, did this project together. The key is a 1920's era one piston power source.

Dave Grimm says, "This is the motor. This does the turning. Those belts up to the shaft turns the ice cream machine.
Reporter Steve Long says, Oh so those are replacing the old hand cranks.
Dave responds, Yeah."

So that's the objective. Smooth creamy fresh ice cream. But how they got here is another story.

Keith says, "This here machine was my Uncle Bob's and I always wanted to get one, just to have one, because it's something different."

Dave says, "It was all rusty and the piston was stuck in it solid. I had to heat it and to get it loose from the cylinder it was all rusted in there."

It's called a hit and miss engine, and originally Keith didn't know what he was gonna do with the rusty old thing. Now it sounds just like it's supposed to.

Dave says, "See, you hear it hits and then it slows the governor down until it slows down and then it fires again."

And, believe it or not, this father- son team are not the first ones to build one of these ice cream makers...if you look on the internet you can find other ones. But by fast forwarding through their pictures you can see how much work it takes to make one."

Keith says, "We finally got the timing and everything working right and it works pretty well now. I mean it, they are pretty temperamental though."

They don't know what this particular little engine was originally used for. They could be used for a lot of things.

Dave says, " run like a little feed mill, or a water pump, or anything that needed, on the farm and stuff, that needed a little power of some kind. They didn't have electric motors in those days."

Who knew when this engine was built, that darn near a century later, it would give a father and son time together, it would power an ice cream maker for their whole family to enjoy, and that one day a reporter would be sitting on their step, savoring the fruits of their labor

They built it about a year ago, and first used it at Keith's daughter's wedding.
Keith says it took them about a month or so, off and on to make.
By the way, the flavor they made that day was cherry nut, and it was delicious.

The Grimm's did not invent the concept of using a hit and miss engine to power an ice cream maker, but they're seldom seen in our neck of the woods.

If you've met someone cool "Along the Way" please call us or e-mail me at to let us know.