If you hold Macon, Georgia, near to your heart then you know the acronym HMFPIC from the classified ad placed in the Macon Telegraph & News each June. The ad didn’t announce a clandestine meeting, but an ice cream event – Homemade Fresh Peach Ice Cream at Len Berg’s restaurant on Post Office Alley next to the Federal Courthouse.
Macon is close to Fort Valley in nearby Peach County, home of Blue Bird Bus Company and sweet Georgia peaches from Lane Southern Orchards. When the first peaches arrived at Len Berg’s, they were churned into a creamy vanilla custard ice cream. To get the word out, each June 1, Maconites could look in the back pages of the Telegraph, not in a display ad, but the classifieds, for the cryptic message: “HMFPIC – You Know Where.”
Len Berg’s was an original – in business from 1908 until it closed in 2005. The building was small, with unusually low ceilings, but the location, especially to feed the lunch crowd, was great – in the downtown business district close to both the Federal and the County courthouses. The menu was classic meat-and-two-or-three, with excellent Southern vegetables. I managed to get to Len Berg’s a few years before it closed. I remember tasty fried chicken and a pimento cheese sandwich – this is kind of a Macon thing, like chicken and waffles everywhere else. And we concluded with HMFPIC.
Here’s my recipe for fresh peach ice cream, inspired by Len Berg’s. Get yourself some fresh Georgia peaches and make HMFPIC — You Know Where.
Fresh Peach Ice Cream (HMFPIC)
2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups cream or half-and-half
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
- In a bowl, toss together peaches and sugar. Stir in cream or half-and-half, lemon juice, salt, vanilla extract and almond flavoring.
- Put in refrigerator for about four hours or overnight.
- Churn in ice cream freezer until done. Scoop from container and serve.
- Store ice cream in an airtight container in freezer for up to a month.