Vanilla Ice Cream/Dirt

When my parents got married, they did not have much in the way of belongings. He worked for General Foods and their first location was in Memphis Tennessee. They had a small one-bedroom apartment and a card table with lawn chairs for a kitchen table. I have seen pictures. It was home to them and soon after he was transferred to Mobile Alabama, where they bought their first house and I showed up to make things more exciting.

When they were in the south (not sure in Alabama or Tennessee) the newlyweds went to the grocery store to buy food and were going to get ice cream. I remember her telling me that the did the whole “what flavor do you want?” “No, you pick, what flavor do you want?” I guess this went on for a bit until they landed on vanilla. Now I know my mother’s favorite flavor was Butter Pecan and while I am not sure my father’s favorite flavor, pretty sure it was not vanilla. He always struck me as a man who needed more going on with his ice cream, unless it was on a fruit cobbler, then vanilla was just fine.

Vanilla Bean Ice cream with black specks. Spoiler: not dirt!

The story goes they get home and open it up only to find all these tiny black specks in it. Maybe a manufacturing issue or shipping problem. They decided not to eat the ice cream. It stayed in the freezer (sort of like time capsule the one insurance commercial speaks of) until it was thrown out.

It was many years later that my mother discovered the difference between vanilla ice cream and vanilla BEAN ice cream. There are scones I get from Trader Joe’s that are vanilla bean and I smile every time I see the black specks and eat the scones.

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