This afternoon, Matthew wanted to spend some time in the backyard, where the morning's light snowfall had dusted the grass. From time to time, I could see him shovelling bits of snow and occasionally scooping up bits of it from the gardens, the black earth peeking up through their white blankets. Over the course of almost an hour, he came back inside a few times to ask for a number of specific things: a wooden spoon; an old plastic halloween pail that we emptied of his little workshop tools and pieces of wood; a "wee bit of milk;" a quarter cup of sugar; and a "teaspoon or two of vanilla." Finally he came in and announced that he had a surprise - he'd made ice cream. He was extremely excited, and invited me to partake with him. He happily held out the black pail to show me its contents. I swallowed hard and went to get a couple of spoons for our afternoon snack.
Bits of dirt were visible to the naked eye and the taste made me gag. I smiled gamely and told him that he'd put a really good effort into making ice cream just as Uncle Andrew had (thanks a lot Andrew!). I ate three spoonfuls before announcing that it was too bad I'd eaten such a big lunch because I was stuffed. I asked him how he'd made it and, while spooning big gobs of it into his mouth, he told me proudly that he'd mixed the vanilla and sugar into snow that he'd shovelled off of the deck...sure enough, I could see his rusty metal shovel outside, lying on top of the scraped, snow free deck boards.
I may forever be cured of my love of ice cream.