Flavor #32

A local ice cream parlor invites you to create a new wacky flavor. It needs to channel the very essence of your personality. What’s in it?

Daily Post
27 June 2014

What do I know about the manufacturing of ice cream? Not a great deal, but I accepted the challenge of a friend – invent flavor #32, and let people guess the secret ingredient. The person who guessed correctly would be awarded one gallon of ice cream each month for one year.

Stanford’s Ice Cream Parlor remained closed each Monday, had for years, so it was a given that Paul, the owner, should allow me to use his store and equipment to whip up a new flavor on that day. I pondered the question as to the quantity. How much should I make. Since this was going to be a contest, and there would be no charge for a small cup, a few spoonfuls, I decided on twenty gallons to be served up the next day, Tuesday.

Tad, my four-year-old great grandson, often accompanied me. When he heard about the ice cream he became my shadow. Where I went, he went, especially to the ice cream parlor.

Paul already made nearly every flavor I could imagine, but then I remembered a bottle of mint oil I’d bought from a local grower who distilled his own product. “Be very careful with this stuff. A spoonful can put an elephant in sickbay,” he cautioned. To one gram of mint oil I added four ounces of licorice flavoring, and put the mixer into action. At that moment the phone rang. It wasn’t my phone, and I debated whether I should answer it. On second though, it might be Lois. It was.

“Tom, have you seen the Rosemary Garlic?” she asked.

“No, I haven’t. Maybe you’re overlooking it?”

“That’s impossible. I just bought a 28-ounce container of it yesterday at Costco.”

“Well, I’ll be finished in an hour. I’ll help you look when I get home,” I said.

“Okay,” she sighed. “How’s Tad doing?”

“Great. He’s staying out of the way. A real gentleman, he is.”

I hung up and returned to the kitchen in time to see Tad emptying the last of Lois’ Rosemary Garlic into the ice cream. I already had a small fortune invested. There was no way I could afford to start over.

I waited, and when the ice cream was ready I tasted the mixture. It was different, very different. It was what it was, and there was no point in saying anything. I simply shoved the twenty-gallon container into the freezer, dropped the recipe off at Paul’s house, and then went home to tell Lois she could stop searching for the Rosemary Garlic.

Customers flocked in for the free taste. Everyone was required to write their guess on a slip of paper

Wednesday morning Paul brought the receipt from a safe-deposit box at the bank and opened his store.

He had no winners.