Friday, July 14, 2017

You Scream, I Scream... by Loree Lough and Cerella Sechrist

July…hot, humid, and filled with fun mid-summer activities…like enjoying ice cream!

We tip our paper hats to President Ronald Reagan for designating July as National Ice Cream month. (National Ice Cream Day is July 15th, for those who might prefer to celebrate all at one time!)

And did you know that thousands of years ago, people of the Persian Empire put snow in a bowl, poured grape juice over it, and ate it as a treat? Believe it or not, they did this in hot and cold weather, by saving snow in underground chambers known as yakhchals. Quaker colonists brought their ice cream recipes to their new land, and before long, ice cream was sold in shops throughout the colonies. It’s no surprise to us that the idea took cold…we mean hold. For example:


  • Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson all made journal entries, singing the praises of ice cream.. (As a matter of fact, Cerella just recently visited James Buchanan's Lancaster, PA estate and saw an antique ice cream maker along with a recipe from Thomas Jefferson.)
     
  • First Lady Dolly Madison served the sweet treat at the Inaugural Ball in 1813.
     
  • In 1832, Augustus Jackson, African American confectioner, created multiple ice cream recipes and an innovative manufacturing technique.
     
  • Philadelphian Nancy Johnson received the first U.S. patent for a small-scale hand-cranked ice cream freezer all the way back in 1843.
     
  • And in 1920, Harry Burt put the first ice cream trucks on the streets. (Did it have bells, we wonder, or a recording that played nonstop?)

Vanilla remains America's flavor in supermarket and foodservice sales. However, ice cream flavors are only limited by the imagination. Manufacturers, “scoop shops,” and chefs are constantly coming up with new and exciting flavors such as Strawberry Rhubarb, Honey Roasted Peanut Butter, Cool Mint, and even smoky and spicy flavors! Due to ongoing technological advances, today's total frozen dairy annual production in the United States is more than 1.6 billion gallons. And would you believe that the average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream per year?

What does any of this have to do with Heartwarming novels, you ask? Well, let us tell you! We interviewed a few of our characters to find out how they feel about ice cream. And here’s what they told us:



Q: If given just these two choices, which do you prefer, chocolate or vanilla?

Ian Sylvestry, bistro owner, Baltimore’s historic Fells Point: “Chocolate, every time!

The love of his life, Maleah Turner, agreed…sort of: “Chocolate starts out as vanilla, so I guess I have to say both!”

Little Alyssa, whose dad escaped a villainous bad guy through the witness protection program:: “Mostly, I love chocolate, and sometimes I love vanilla. I can’t pick a favorite!”

When interviewed, country music superstar, Sawyer Landry, answered, "Vanilla, especially when it has flecks of vanilla bean in it. I gotta admit, after a show, I sometimes crave something a little sweet, and vanilla ice cream fits the bill just fine."

Sawyer's longtime love, Rory, agrees. "Sawyer and I spent some of our best dates at the local ice cream shop in Findlay Roads. Sometimes, we'd share a sundae, but most times, we each would get a vanilla cone. I especially love vanilla ice cream when it comes in one of those sugar cones. Mmm..."

Rory's niece, Molly, has a bit of a sweet tooth but also a decidedly chocolate bent. Her stepmom's, Harper, influence is evident in her answer. Molly responded to our question by saying, "Chocolate. Harper and I sometimes get ice cream without Dad knowing."

Harper was unavailable for comment. ;)

Q: What’s your go-to flavor?

“Chocolate marshmallow, hands down,” says Ian.

“Chocolate malt. My biggest dessert-regret,” admits Maleah Turner, “is that most stores don’t carry it!”

Alyssa smiles and says, “Mint chocolate chip, in a great big bowl!”

"I love peppermint ice cream," Sawyer says, "but it's a little difficult to find it outside of the holiday season."

"Easy. Cookies and cream. I love those little bits of cookie mixed in," Rory votes.

"Oh, cookies! Chocolate chip cookie dough!" Molly chimes in.

Sawyer tousles her hair. "That might change next week! Last time we had ice cream, you said strawberry was your favorite."

Molly shrugs. "It's hard to pick just one flavor!"



Q: Which are your favorite toppings?

“Call me a purist,” Ian says. “I like my ice cream plain.”

“Not me,” Maleah puts in. “Give me chocolate sprinkles. Lots of them!”

“I’ll take hot fudge sauce every time,” Alyssa says. “Two ladles of it, please!”

"Maraschino cherries," Sawyer decides. "I love those things."

"Coconut shavings, and if there are none of those, more cookies crumbled on top," Rory replies.

"Gummy bars. Or gummy worms. And M&Ms. And sprinkles."


Rory puts an arm around her niece. "Okay, Molly, we get the idea."

Q: Do you prefer soft ice cream or hand-dipped?

Ian: “Hand-dipped, for sure.”

Maleah: “I’m with Ian…because hand-dipped lasts longer!”

Alyssa: “Waffle cone bowl, please?”

Sawyer shrugs. "I'll take either."

"Hand-dipped is the best," declares Rory.

Molly pipes up, "Can we go for ice cream now?"


***

We’re sure all of our characters would enjoy a bowl of homemade ice cream, using this tried-and-true recipe, and we think you will, too!






***


About Loree:

With nearly 6,000,000 books in circulation, best-selling author Loree Lough's titles have earned numerous 4- and 5-star reviews and industry awards. She splits her time between her home in Baltimore and a cabin in the Alleghenies (where she loves to show off her “Identify the Critter Tracks” skills). The release of The Man She Knew (the first title in her “By Way of the Lighthouse” series for Harlequin Heartwarming) brings Loree’s number of books in print to 112! Loree loves to hear from her readers and answers every letter, personally. Visit her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and www.loreelough.com!


About Cerella:

 CERELLA SECHRIST lives in York, Pennsylvania with two precocious pugs, Darcy and Charlotte, named after Jane Austen literary characters. Inspired by her childhood love of stories, she was ten years old when she decided she wanted to become an author. These days, Cerella divides her time between working in the office of her family’s construction business and as a barista to support her reading habit and coffee addiction. She’s been known to post too many pug photos on both Instagram and Pinterest. You can see for yourself by finding her online at www.cerellasechrist.com. A Song for Rory, Book #2 in her "A Findlay Roads Story" series, is her fourth Harlequin Heartwarming novel.

56 comments:

  1. Great post, ladies! Who doesn't love ice cream when the temps are in the 90's with 100% humidity? I'm with Ian...chocolate rules!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jill, and how right you are: Who doesn't love ice cream, especially during these crazy, lazy, hazy days of summer! I'm with you and Ian: Pass the chocolate! Have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend!

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    2. Agreed, Ian! Ice cream and summer - a match made in Heaven. ;) And despite anything my characters say, I prefer chocolate over vanilla every time!

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    3. You can say that again, Cerella!

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  2. I've never had ice cream for breakfast before, but your post is tempting me! My favorite is pralines and cream, in a sugar cone. Yum!

    Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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    1. Oh, I've had ice cream for breakfast plenty of times! (I tell myself it's eggs and milk...just like scrambled eggs. And if it's in a cone...'toast', too! LOL) You'll love that recipe, Kate! Here's hoping your Friday will be fantastic and your weekend wonderful!

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    2. Mmm, Kate, I love that you always think of our posts in terms of breakfast since you read them so early in the day. lol! And Loree...well, I love how you justify eating ice cream first thing in the morning. ;)

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    3. Starting the day with a sweet treat IS a good thing, Cerella! FYI: My dad always said I should have been a lawyer, because I had a gift for justifying just about anything I did/wanted to do! (Maybe that's why character conflict has never been a huge challenge for me? Maybe?) LOL

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  3. Oh, yum. My go-to is butter pecan, but I've never turned down...anything else.

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    1. LOL Liz! Larry's favorite is butter pecan, but like you, he'll eat just about any flavor! Hope your Friday is fabulous and your weekend is wonderful!

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    2. LOL, Liz! Butter pecan is actually not one of my favorites, but like you, I'm not inclined to turn ice cream of an flavor down. ;)

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    3. I'm a bit quirky: I love nuts. But I don't love them in brownies, cake, candy, or ice cream. If you find an ice cream bowl that's empty...except for some nuts...it's probably mine! hahahaha

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  4. What a way to start the day! It's hot already and vanilla ice cream with some berries for breakfast, why not? Thanks for a great post. My favorite is peppermint with real candy canes it around Christmas time and when I can find it, Black Walnut. I know. Strange.

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    1. Oh wow...peppermint with candy canes... You're making my mouth water, Catherine! I'm aligned with Maleah, and salivate just thinking about chocolate malt flavor. Sadly--like your Christmas ice cream--it's rarely available, anywhere. Happy Friday and wonderful weekend wishes to you!

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    2. You and Sawyer have the same tastes, Catherine, with the peppermint! I only crave that kind around the holidays. Black Walnut is an unusual one - it's so hard to find! You have rare tastes. ;)

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    3. Funny thing...my mom hated the smell and taste of peppermint. Spearmint was another thing entirely. She loved those sugar-coated green leaf candies. I blame her for the fact that, every time I see a bag (which isn't often in stores these days), I have to buy it!

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  5. Here I was, content with my morning treat of a scone until I read your post, Loree and Cerella, and realized I could be having ice cream instead! My fave ice cream is anything with nits and/or caramel but our local ice cream place has a yummy burnt marshmallow. I will have to try your recipe - I have a great one for salty caramel that also doesn't require an ice cream maker. Very convenient for cottage. Thanks for this fun and perfect summer post!

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    1. Haha - no nits in my ice cream.....nuts.

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    2. LOL, Janice! I hadn't noticed you wanted nits in your ice cream until you pointed it out! Then I thought, well, that's one way to add a little protein to your diet! LOL (I can't stand autocorrect, either!) If you do try the recipe, I hope you'll drop us a note to tell us how much your family enjoyed it! Wishing you a wonderful week's end and weekend!

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    3. Oooh, toasted marshmallow sounds amazing, Janice! I wish I could try that one! I hope your scone was delicious. :)

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    4. Toasted marshmallows have gotten me in trouble too many times to count. Once, it took weeks to clean the goo off my front-right burner...evidence that, in the middle of the winter, I'd satisfied my craving for the naughty things by holding a few over the stove.

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  6. Great post from fellow Pennsylvanians! My siblings and I used to buy a pint of ice cream from the milk man in the summer and have for breakfast. My 6th grade teacher told his class once he remembered the advent of cones. The first time he had one he threw the cone away because he didn't know it was edible!

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    1. One Pennsylvanian, one Marylander (although our cabin is in Bedford County!)... Your teacher's reaction to cones made me cringe: I sometimes buy cones JUST to eat them, plain! LOL Wishing you a grand weekend, m'friend!

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    2. Yes, T.R., I'm excited you're a fellow Pennsylvanian! In fact, when Loree and I were writing this post, I wanted to mention Teaberry ice cream, but I read it's only a Pennsylvanian thing so I left it out of the post. But it is one of my favorites!

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    3. I need to try Teaberry! And all the other scrumptious flavors mentioned in this blog! (Waistline and scale...cover your ears!)

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  7. Ice cream is hands-down my favorite treat. There's an ice cream shop in Portland (about 1 1/2 hours away from me) called Salt & Straw. They have the most unusual flavors like olive oil, goat cheese marionberry habanero, honey lavender, and pear and blue cheese. Many of them are shockingly delicious. Ingredients are mostly local and they will let you sample as many flavors as you want. It is one of my favorite places to visit.

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    1. I'm with you, Carol! Larry and I have a small serving of the stuff nearly every evening, digging into containers from the freezer. We have to favorite ice cream stands: Soft Stuff and Rita's. And near the cabin? The Alley Cat, so named for the dozens of feral cats that wander around, hoping someone will drip or drop something they can lap up! Those flavors you mentioned...I'm game to sample anything with 'ice cream' in its title! LOL Have a beautiful weekend, m'friend, and may it be filled with ice cream!

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    2. Carol, I love the name of that ice cream shop! I just found out about one in nearby Lancaster, PA that has a honey lavender that I've heard is delicious. They also have unusual flavors like these. I love trying out those kind of unique treats! If I ever get to Portland, I'm going to have to look up the Salt & Straw!

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    3. Salt and Snow IS a great name! Maybe one of us should include it in an upcoming Heartwarming story!

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  8. Thanks--what a fun post. I recall my mother shooting her mother a distinctly disapproving look when my visiting grandma and and my father cooked up a scheme to have chocolate cake with a scoop of ice cream for breakfast. My mother just shook her head as if to say to her mom, "There goes one argument against sweets for breakfast out the window."

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    1. LOL! I pity your mom, because I've often given a nod of approval to the kids AND the grandorables when they suggested cake and ice cream for breakfast. Or lunch! LOL Not every day, of course, but now and then, I say, why not, right! Enjoy your weekend, Virginia, and here's hoping there will be some ice cream in it for you!

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    2. lol, Virginia, my nieces love their sweets, and they would have adored your grandma. They're always looking for ways to justify dessert for breakfast. Obviously, Loree is very good at that so I can never let them meet her or she'll give them all sorts of arguments on the subject. lol!

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    3. The rule around here is...all things in moderation. If we have dessert for breakfast on, say, Tuesday, we can't repeat it again until Thursday at the earliest. If you're thinking I'm not exactly the strictest grandmom, you're right!

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  9. A guy I once knew quipped: Ice cream is the one food I'll eat whether it's 40 above (Celsius) or 40 below. Right now, my evening dessert is vanilla ice cream topped with my homemade sauce of rhubarb, strawberries and whatever other frozen berry shook out of the bag into the pot.

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    1. That sounds delicious, M.K.! I usually prefer chocolate, but I do admit that if I can have a sauce like that, I'm just as happy with vanilla. This sounds so good!

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  10. Love the post! Love ice cream!!😃

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    1. You're in good company, Melanie! We all love it, too! :) Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great weekend!

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    2. Glad you stopped by, Melanie, and glad you enjoyed the post. To be fair, Cerella and I had an automatic hit on our hands, because as someone said earlier...who doesn't love ice cream! LOL Wishing you plenty of the sweet stuff in your weekend!

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  11. Love this. Did you know they now make an ice cream loaded with protein? Not sure how I feel about that.

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    1. Well, Patricia, if the protein is in the form of peanut butter, I'm all in. :D

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    2. LOL Cerella! I can get on board with the peanut butter, too! On the other hand, with all the other healthy foods on the market, why put something like protein powder into ice cream!? LOL

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  12. I once worked a summer job in an ice-cream store. It's a fun job because nobody is in a bad mood when they're buying ice cream. Plus, I got a free cone every evening. I fell in love with mocha almond fudge.

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    1. Ooooh, Beth, that sounds great!! I love almond flavors. This had to be a fun job!

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    2. I'm sure that WAS a fun job, Beth! And now that you mention it, I've never stood in line at an ice cream shop with grumpy people. Maybe we should find a way to offer the sweet treat on Facebook, to discourage grouchy political posts! LOL

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  13. What a sweet post!
    My personal favorite is vanilla (pour some caramel over it and add some chopped pecans, yum). My hubby loves anything chocolate, so chocolate ice cream for him...mint chocolate chip, double chocolate, moose drop chocolate, etc.
    Blessings, Tina

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    1. Pour caramel on anything and call me There! LOL I'm thinking your husband agrees with the "Forest Gump" ice cream list: Chocolate, chocolate marshmallow, chocolate chip, chocolate fudge, chocolate mint, chocolate swirl..." LOL

      Have a super Sunday, Tina!

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    2. You definitely understand the importance of ice cream toppings, Tina! I'm more with your husband, though - I'm a bigger fan of chocolate than caramel. And you've given me LOTS of chocolate options to think about here! ;)

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  14. So many favorites to list! I like Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookie Dough w/chocolate ice cream and Peanut Butter w/chocolate all loaded with whipped cream , chocolate syrup and cherries. Those are my top favorites. Yummmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!

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    1. I have to agree, Jennifer, there are too many favorites to settle for just one! Reading all these comments woke a craving for a chocolate malt shake. I'll be back in...two 'shakes' of a Sonic's tale! LOL

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    2. Was it good? I had a Reece's sundae from Baskin n Robins

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    3. It WAS good! The servers forgot to add the malt flavoring, but we enjoyed every thick spoonful! Now guess what I'm craving? In icy sundae glass filled with chocolate ice cream smothered in hot fudge and peanut butter sauce! Thanks a lot. (No, really, thanks! LOL)

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    4. Mmm, I love all these choices, Jennifer! If I had to choose just one of the ones you named, I'd likely go with Peanut Butter and Chocolate. I can never resist that combo! Reese's PB cups are one of my fave candies!

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  15. Ah, and a treat for those who gather maple from trees is to eat snow covered with syrup. Yummmmmmmm
    Me? I'm a chocolate chip kind of girl.

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    1. Funny you should mention chocolate chips, Pamela... I had a handful, straight from the bag, just ten minutes ago! Now, if I'd had some creamy home-churned vanilla to eat with them...

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    2. Oh, Pam, that is a whole 'nother post, with the maple syrup! ;) My mouth is watering...

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  16. Ooooh I have an ice cream maker and make homemade batches every summer. I even use fresh mint from the garden and such. But I've been so busy that I haven't made any this year (yet)! You gals have inspired me! I'll be trying your recipe too!

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