Today, an intro to Tandy’s favorite ice cream flavor….
Watching him work was both hypnotic and stimulating. He was the most methodical man she’d ever been around, which was saying something since her father invented the word.
While he’d removed the back and front panels of the machine, Deacon had asked, “So why an ice cream shop?”
“What do you mean?”
“Why do you own this place? I meant to ask yesterday but you got called away before I could. Hand me the Phillips head, please.”
She did. “My family runs a dairy farm. Have for three generations. My grandmother used to make her own ice cream from the fresh milk when we were kids and I loved watching and helping her when I was old enough. She only shared what she made with the family, though. When I decided to branch out on my own and leave the farm, making ice cream was the first thing that popped into my head.”
With the panels off, he crouched behind the machine, a different tool in his hand.
“Did you work on the farm, too, when you were a kid?”
“Not as much as my brothers. The physical work of running it, according to my father, was a man’s domain. The females were relegated to the house and allowed to tend the smaller animals like the chickens.”
Tandy rolled her eyes at the antiquated notions she’d been reared with.
“Sounds a little, I don’t know? Chauvinistic maybe, in this day and age?”
“Did and still does. My brothers manage the farm now and they would never think of letting a woman help out, no matter that I’m strong and can hold my own, physically. It’s all men’s work according to them. Their attitude was one of the reasons I left home. The idea of cooking, cleaning, and waiting on my father and brothers and not do anything productive with my life was a motivating force in propelling me into business.”
She held back the secondary reason. He didn’t need to know anything about that.
Deacon reached out a hand and said, “Can you hand me the wrench?”
Once he had it, he said, “Good for you. You’re able to run a successful business doing something you love, which is rare. Not everyone can.”
His words and affirmation warmed her. She did love it and told him so.
“It’s cool coming up with new flavors, trying them out, seeing if they’ll be a hit or a miss. Ice cream is much more versatile than most people think.”
Gah. She sounded like she was giving a sales pitch.
If Deacon though her comments dry and boring, he gave no indication.
“What’s your favorite?” he asked as he continued to work on the underside of the machine.
“I’ll give you one guess.”
His quiet laugh flowed upward, tickled her ears – and a few other places as well.
“Got it in one. It’s the all-around easiest taste to combine with.”
“So tell me the flavor combo you love most.”
She didn’t even need a moment to consider. Tandy had devised hundreds of combinations over the eight years she’d owned the shop and she’d forgotten more than she remembered. But her all time favorite was one she’d devised on a whim one rainy Saturday night when she was feeling blue.
“Nutty ‘Nilla,” she told him.
There was a smile in his voice when he said, “I love alliteration.”
“Me too, because it’s easy to remember.”
“So what does Nutty ‘Nilla consist of? Vanilla for sure, right?”
“Yeah. I combine crunchy peanut butter with vanilla ice cream, then add in crushed shelled peanuts, a flavor shot of peanut oil, and top it off with salted popcorn kernels. One spoonful and I feel like I’m sitting at a big top circus.”
She closed her eyes and sighed. “One taste and you can hear the excited rumble of the crowd as they watch a trapeze act, or the roar of the lions as they’re put through their paces by a trainer. I haven’t made it yet this summer because I’ve been so busy. Plus, when I do make it, I tend to eat more of it than I sell, so there’s that.”
Deacon sat up and tossed the wrench into the box. A streak of oil slashed across his cheek and his shirt was a mess of dust and grime. He was dressed in preppy vacation clothes, but right now he looked more like a hot car mechanic than a Wall Street businessman. Tandy found that although she liked the successful corporate guy, she preferred the laborer.
Intrigued? You can get your own copy here: Universallink
Until next time, peeps ~ Peg
Follow me here: Find me