Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Trip to the Ice Cream Parlor

Ice cream season is winding to a close, even here in South Carolina and finally last week I got my husband to take me to "The Village" so I could try the amaretto cherry at their ice cream parlor.  It had chunks of chocolate in it and I anticipated it satisfying me on many levels.

I stepped up to the counter and ordered a scoop of my  new flavor of choice.  I had eaten lunch at this shop earlier in the summer, tried a sample of the amaretto and fantasized about having a serving of it ever since.  (My mom used to say that when you're young, you talk about guys; when you're middle-aged, you talk about food; and when you're elderly, you talk about aches and pains.  It's clear what category I fit into these days!) 

Tonight was my night. Immediately I was handed a generous scoop of pink sweet stuff and I took a teeny tiny white sample spoon to eat it with so I could savor the experience longer.

Meanwhile, Jerry ordered a hot fudge sundae.  The clerk was youngish - maybe in high school, maybe in her early 20s, it's so hard for me to tell these days -but suffice it to say that she was definitely in the "talking about guys" stage of her life.  Still, one would think that she would know what a hot fudge sundae is, especially considering that she works in an ice cream parlor.  An odd look crossed her face though and she sort of fumbled around behind the counter for a couple of minutes.  Then she vanished into the back room and came back holding - and I am not kidding - a recipe card.

A little more uncomfortable silence elapsed while she stared at the card and then she left to go back into the kitchen again.  This time a lady came out and said, "We have a designer menu of sundaes.  Would you like to look at it?  What  options would you like?"  Jerry replied, "Ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream."  She said, "No nuts?" he shook his head and that was that. 

The girl came back.  She danced nervously behind the counter a little more and then came out from behind it, looked squarely at Jerry and said, "What kind of ice cream do you want?"  Jerry replied, "Vanilla. Vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream."  My husband is not known for his patience but sounded  pleasant and calm when he responded to her. For that, I was grateful. 

So I'm standing in front of the counter, taking itsy bitsy bites of my delicious ice cream while we are waiting and waiting and waiting.  We are the only customers in the shop so it would seem like making a simple sundae wouldn't be this time consuming, but it was.  The lady came out from the kitchen again and said, "Y'all take a seat and we'll bring the sundae out to you."

We went outside on their patio and I was eating away while Jerry watched.  Normally I would wait for him to be served too, but it was a warm night and ice cream melts.  A couple more minutes and his sundae arrived.  The whipped cream on it looked delicious and Jerry put a giant spoonful on top of my diminishing cup of ice cream.  He then swirled his whipped cream right into his sundae, mixing everything up making a smooth sweet chocolate dessert of soft serve consistency. 

I put the huge spoonful of the whipped cream in my mouth all at once and instantly regretted it.  This was horrible!  I could feel the globs of fat on the roof of my mouth. Yuck. Thank God there was only one spoonful.  I wasted several bites of my precious ice cream washing that feeling out of my mouth.

I told Jerry that the whipped cream was disgusting, but he'd already stirred it into his sundae so it was a moot point.  "It's fine," he said.  As we sat enjoying our evening, the lady from the kitchen appeared yet again. "How is your sundae?" she asked.  (At first, I thought it was a little odd she singled out his sundae and didn't mention my ice cream but on second thought realized it was obvious to her how my ice cream was, because it was gone.)  "Okay," replied Jerry.

The lady continued, "We make our own whipped cream here and we ran out earlier.  When you ordered your sundae, the cook made more but he forgot to add the sugar.  He's back there making more right now and we'll bring it out for you when it's done."  "Nah," said Jerry, never one to make waves.  "I'm almost done anyway.  This is fine."  "Are you sure?"  "Yeah."

My amaretto cherry ice cream with large chunks of chocolate surpassed my expectations and achieved number one status on my list of favorite flavors.  Jerry's sundae was, to be quite frank, not so stellar.  It cost roughly three times what my single scoop sold for, disproving once and for all that old adage, "You get what you pay for." 

We went back for ice cream again last night.  I got another cup of amaretto cherry but Jerry chose to go a totally different route, this time making himself a little sundae at the yogurt bar.  So, in fact, "you can teach an old dog new tricks."  He skipped the whipped cream too, which confirms it.

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