A new appreciation for a sweet treat

Triceps burning, body temperature way too high for the three layers beneath my down coat, I marvel at how my father, every other time but this, hand-cranks his homemade ice cream without another soul stepping in to relieve him. 

“OK, Dad.  I think it’s ready.  I can’t turn the handle another inch.”

My Dad says ,“Alrightie” and I hop up so he can take my seat and agree with my assessment that we can’t possibly crank the sucker anymore.

“Yup.  Almost.” my Dad says as he proceeds to crank the ice cream, moving the handle in smooth, effortless revolutions.

He’s an ice cream master.  I watch in awe as his love of making ice cream turns him into The Incredible Hulk.  We’ll at least his right arm. 

Whether it’s my dad’s labor of love for making hand-cranked ice cream or my mom’s too-long-to-list slew of heart-warming, home cooked Pennsylvania Deutch meals, I am reminded of the heart that is the foundation of so many of the foods we eat. 

Pausing to savor the flavors, the complexity of the tastes that you get from dishes made from scratch...this is part of mindful, appreciative, joyful eating.  

AND, it doesn’t HAVE to be from the hands of mom or some gourmet chef to warrant reflection and appreciation. 

Next time you sit down with some carry out or fast food even, think of the hands that have prepared it...all the way back to the laborers who sewed the seeds, farmers who harvested the corn or potatoes, the animals who’s lives were sacrificed, the chef or kitchen staff that prepared the food, the server who served it to you, and so on, and so on. 

With each delicate spoonful of my dad’s chocolate ice cream, I smile and savor all that went into this treat...and the reflection makes it that much sweeter.