Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Many thanks to author Sheila Connolly for joining us today as her new book, Rotten to the Core, launches in bookstores everywhere.

Last year's debut book of my Orchard Mystery series, One Bad Apple, was a top ten bestseller in its first month among independent mystery bookstores, and now the second in the series, Rotten to the Core, will be issued July 7th. Former Boston banker Meg Corey has settled into her inherited colonial house in the small western Massachusetts town of Granford and is rapidly learning how to manage her orchard--until a local organic farming activist is found dead in the springhouse in the orchard, poisoned with a pesticide. Not the best way to fit into a new community.
The series is based on a house built by my sixth great grandfather in a small town where even he had several generations of ancestors, and both the house and the town are essential parts of the series. And I'm learning all sorts of things about what to do with apples!

Somewhere (not in Massachusetts) it's summer, and summer means ice cream, right? One of my earliest food memories is of sharing pistachio ice cream with my father. He loved ice cream and always kept some in the freezer (although he liked to dish it up with a carving knife, don't ask me why). The first time I tasted real Italian gelato, from a street vendor in Florence, I nearly fell over, it was so amazing, and the Italian word for hazelnut was imprinted on my brain forever. Nocciola. Doesn't it just roll off your tongue?

Over the years I've had a crank freezer (still have it, in fact, in the basement) and one of those things with a liner that you keep in the freezer and whip out when the mood strikes you (not often). But the world changed when the super-premium ice creams came along, and Ben & Jerry's has come up with so many creative ideas. Sometimes they push the envelope a little too far–I mean, you don't have to put everything plus the kitchen sink into one little tub. I loved a few of the flavors (like the one with the tiny chocolate cows–was that Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz?) that disappeared forever, despite my best efforts to consume as much as I could. But I never give up hope, and I still scan the freezer compartments of our supermarket, just in case.

A couple of weeks ago I struck gold: their new Mission to Marzipan. I think that marzipan is one of those flavors you either love or hate, and given my history with B&J's most people will hate it and it will be gone, cast into oblivion. It wasn't even there in my local store this past week–believe me, I looked (maybe that first time it was a mirage, but it sure tasted good). But I'll keep trying. After all, ice cream is one of life's great pleasures, and you shouldn't settle for second best. Life's too short to eat ice cream you don't love.

Five Cupcakes for Mission to Marzipan from Sheila Connolly!


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