Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Hancock News Column-- April 23, 2014

The following column, when it appeared in the newspaper, did not include this picture, but it did include the aforementioned grammar. Your challenge is to find it. However, if you find more than the one I did, please don't let me know; I'll just feel more stupider.*

Feast your eyes on the prize(s)!
 The Great Ice Cream Debate**

         Ice cream. Few things motivate my children like a bowl of cold sweetness. I’m not surprised because I work harder if I know a couple scoops of chocolate candy-laced ice cream awaits me at the end of a difficult task. 
The possibility of a prize of an entire half-gallon of ice cream had my older boys buckling down with crayons in hand to color their entries for a local grocery store’s coloring contest. They were so proud to show me the fruits of their labor, so I was thrilled to hear the voicemail message letting us know that all three of them had won!  
Well, for some unknown reason, I had it in my mind that there was no way each of the boys would walk out the automatic doors with his own ice cream; certainly, I thought, the boys would have to share the prize. I had prepared the boys for this possibility so that they wouldn’t be too disappointed. I asked the woman at the customer service desk anyway and heard the response I’d expected.
As we walked through the produce section, one son excitedly asked if that meant they could each choose the flavor he wanted.
“No,” I explained, “You’ll need to settle on one you can all agree on.”
“But Mom,” my eldest said, “She said we could each have one.”
“No, she didn’t. I’m sorry. That’s just the way it is. One is enough,” I replied in a tone that did not invite any further challenges.
All through the store, my  mind was racing to find a solution averting the catastrophe looming in the last aisle. Walking past the meats, I wondered if maybe all three would want the same flavor. Impossible. Pushing the cart through the snack aisle, it occurred to me that perhaps one of the boys would be able to bribe the other two. Hmmm. Not likely. By the time we picked up a gallon of milk, I was desperate. Silently I pleaded, “Please, please let the freezer case have only one kind of ice cream left!” Yes, I know the boys would still be disappointed, but at least I would be spared brokering a deal.
No such luck.
Three minutes later, fellow shoppers saw us playing “One Potato, Two Potato” to decide whether we would be taking home cherry nut, cookies-n-cream, or chocolate marshmallow. Then I tried to soften the blow for two very disappointed but stoic children by allowing them each to pick out a topping for the cherry nut ice cream.
When we brought the ice cream to the customer service desk, the employee was confused. “Do they really only want one instead of three?” she asked.
Oops. Yes, I’d heard the answer that I’d expected earlier, but what I’d heard wasn’t actually what was said. My sons heard it, but I failed to really listen. I endured the inevitable I-told-you-sos all the way home with three much happier boys and three half-gallons of ice cream. 

I did apologize to my sons for not believing them. I will not apologize, however, for sharing this hot fudge recipe that my mother-in-law shared with me. It’s easy and probably tastes pretty good on just about whatever flavor of ice cream you end up bringing home. Best of all, it makes enough to eat now and to store in a jar in the refrigerator for later. 

Hot Fudge Sauce
1 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine butter, cocoa, sugar, and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Carefully pour hot mixture into a blender and blend for 2-4 minutes (I used my stick blender right in the pot). Serve immediately.

*Yes, that one was on purpose.
**The title was not written by me, but added by the newspaper's nice editor. I haven't asked if she wants me to come up with my own title. One one hand, I probably should so she doesn't have one more thing to do. On the other hand, it's kind of cool to see what she comes up with.

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