Food, sisters, Spring, Uncategorized, Winter

Spring Dreams, Winter Themes, and the Best Ice Cream This Side of the Mississippi.


As the snow begins to melt and the ice dwindles from off of the roads, another day of cold Indiana rain is upon us. It’s days like this that make me grateful to hide away in our cozy home in the woods. Puddles abound on our property during the rain and make for a mud infused stomping fest for my children as they wander out to the bus stop. Today, after sending them over the river and through the woods to catch a ride to school, I made my usual phone call to my sister. She’s been spring dreaming and grocery shopping.

With Shelly living just two hours south in Kentucky, I will soon get to hear about her crocus making their first appearances and the daffodils already dying off before mine have even come into full bloom. I imagine her kitchen will beckon me with the smell of lemon cleaner and fresh open-window air.

She’ll sit in the little green chairs at her kitchen table, considering which herbs to plant and how much longer she must wait to break out her strappy shoes, while we wait patiently for that 5 or 10 extra degrees and brew another cup of coffee.

My blood may be a bit thicker as I’m still in the mood for fires in the fireplaces, giant snowflakes, and wrapping myself up in a homemade blanket with a good book. We still have a few days of building snowmen and sledding left in us.

Truth be told, she’s a spring and I’m a fall, she’s a summer and I’m a winter, she’s the sunshine and I’m the breeze. Can one possibly be all of those things? I’m curious, does anyone else even classify themselves in this way? Oh Shelly, we may be weirdos…..

Did I mention today was a grocery shopping day? Shelly’s grocery list for Trader Joe’s, Louisville.

  • oranges
  • grapefruit
  • basil
  • rosemary
  • parsley
  • mint

Doesn’t it sound divinely fresh? “Shelly, why are you buying these fresh, springy things, it’s February!” I say to her over the phone.

“Because it reminds me of summer.”

You see? I told you she was sunshine.

All right, it’s time for brutal honesty. I know, you are all very tired of hearing the finer points of the loveliness of our lives. Here it goes.

After hearing this list I became quite concerned. I heard nothing of chocolate and I don’t believe I have ever once exited a grocery store without a handful of extra dark chocolate to get me through the day. Shelly pacified my concerns by letting me know that she had also heard directly from the clerk that Trader Joe’s has the very best chocolate ice cream this side of the Mississippi. Confession: I may have embellished the “this side of the Mississippi” bit, but I really imagine Kentucky folks to be incredibly quaint and full of country charm. So perhaps, in my wildest dreams, they would actually say that. Excuse me while I appease my own imagination.

Anyway, as I said, I was concerned that my sister had exposed her fatal flaw. Did she just get this little tidbit of chocolate information for my benefit in case I should stop by Trader Joe’s in the near future? Perhaps she even purchased strawberry ice cream. It feels sacrilegious, but it wouldn’t be the first time she skipped chocolate for strawberry.

When we were little girls, she always chose Frankenberry and I chose Count Chocula. It was sort of our thing, and it still is, even though we try to veer from the path a little to keep our palates in check. Was this, perhaps, the beginning of these refined palates? Most certainly. While we seemed like strawberry and chocolate kind of girls, we literally had a box of Booberry stashed in the closet for the secret tea parties we hosted during nap time. It doesn’t get much more refined than Booberry, folks.

Most importantly, can anyone validate these claims of the best chocolate ice cream being located at Trader Joe’s? Do you have an ice cream that is the crème de la crème? If so, please let us know in the comments. One shouldn’t keep such valuable information to themselves.

For now, I will have to settle for warmer alternatives. Around our house you can usually find a pot of turkey noodles or a hearty chili simmering on the stove. My husband’s grandmother had the very best turkey noodle recipe (they were turkey farmers) and although it has been forbidden that I ever share the recipe, let’s just say one of the ingredients rhymes with felery and another is rhymes with pream of sticken. I’ll never tell and don’t try to make me.

So as I look ahead to more snowy days and muddy shoes….

… sister will be planning lettuce gardens and tulip harvests. I’ll be nibbling on rich dark chocolate, while she uncovers the strawberry patch in anticipation of the first white blossom. When the day comes that we finally have a little visit, rest assured, I’ll bring Neapolitan, so that we can both be satisfied, and we will discuss with disdain why the third flavor is vanilla rather than Booberry.