I had peppermint stick ice cream on Sunday, two scoops with warm fudge sauce. You have to grab it when you can get it, because only a select few establishments serve peppermint stick. Not peppermint, peppermint stick, with little pieces of pink and green candy in it.

I was with some friends at Seibel’s restaurant, an old family-run business in Spencerville, Maryland. They serve meatloaf and mashed potatoes and open-faced turkey sandwiches and creamed spinach with bacon. The vegetarian options are limited (no veggie burgers or California wraps here), but believe it or not, the potato and sauerkraut croquettes with sweet and sour sauce were quite tasty, and I was completely sated. 

But Seibel’s makes their own ice cream and they only occasionally offer peppermint stick, so there was no question of passing it up.

I’m not an ice cream fan in general, only peppermint stick. I’m also not generally a WordPress Daily Prompt fan because I’m not focused enough to finish a blog post in one day, and I’m usually not passionate about the prompt ideas. But when today’s prompt asked “Vanilla, Chocolate, or something else entirely?” my passion was aroused (in an ice cream kind of way).

The ice cream I had on Sunday was good, not great. There weren’t nearly enough candy chips in it. You need to be able to tuck all the candy bits into the inside of your cheek so that at the end you have a big sticky ball of candy to suck on.

Worse yet, Seibel’s has no marshmallow topping. And it goes without saying that marshmallow topping is de rigueur for peppermint stick ice cream.

Marshmallows in all forms, including the swarm of Easter Peeps that has descended upon our grocery stores, is the one chink in my holier-than-thou vegetarian armor. I just can’t resist the horse hooves that make up the gelatin that makes up that fluffy white stuff.

And a digression — did you know that the original marshmallows were made from the tuber root of the marshmallow plant? That’s where they got their name. I learned that in my college Marsh and Dune Vegetation class, which if you said it real fast sounded like Martian Dune Vegetation and always made us laugh, especially when we had been inhaling a certain type of burning vegetation. Hey, it was college.  (OK, that was multiple digressions, but they were short.)

The very best peppermint ice cream I know of is served at The Piazza in Keene, New Hampshire. It’s best eaten when surrounded by four excited grand nieces and nephews. I get a large cup of it, smothered in extra marshmallow sauce. To. Die. For. (Do people still say that?)

Coincidentally, the place I discovered this pink bliss at the age of ten was also in Keene, New Hampshire at a now defunct ice cream parlor called Mackenzie’s where my family used to go when we visited my grandmother, Beedie.

Beedie loved Mackenzie’s and always suggested we go there “for the children.” It was one of the few places I saw her really relaxed, surrounded by her grandchildren and daintily picking at the whipped cream on her sundae. Beedie was not relaxed by nature. In the first place, she was British. She also saw “some things” growing up in South Africa — her little cousin was murdered by Zulus and she was never allowed outside alone again — and she lost her first child in its infancy and her husband in an awful ship fire at sea and her family money to her late husband’s brother’s schemes.

Beedie was a stiff upper lipped, soldiering on type of woman, except when she was at Mackenzie’s. There she became her child-self again. I don’t remember if her favorite was peppermint stick, but I like to think it was, and I like to think of her slipping peppermint chips into her cheek and sucking on her wad of candy — surreptitiously, of course, because a proper British lady would never do such a thing.

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From a long line of ice cream lovers: my nephew Jeff and his son Josh

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