Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Curious Thing About Vanilla Ice Cream

with guest Suzanne Woods Fisher



My husband, Steve, is a serious Ice Cream Maker. Actually, Steve is a serious guy to begin with, and he takes his ice cream very, very seriously. Especially vanilla ice cream. He reads textbooks about ice cream making, drives long distances to find just the right vanilla beans, compares his products to others, spends extra money on organic dairy products from small farms (keep in mind, this man comes from Dutch stock). Friends who come to dinner are automatically roped into a focus group to analyze dessert. They are given spoons, paper and pencil, and small scoops of ice cream for blind tasting. All this as Steve eyes them carefully, watching every bite, trying to discern subtle reactions. It’s a wonder they keep coming back.   


Recently, Steve attended Ice Cream School at Penn State. After the first day of class, he called me the first night to check in. “Today I learned that the American public has been lied to!” he said in holy outrage.


“About what in particular?” I asked politely.


“About the content of air in ice cream!” 


Oh. That. 


This ice cream thing is starting to get a wee bit ridiculous. Steve returned from Ice Cream School with brochures of ice cream machines that cost more than a new car. Now he’s hinting for a kitchen remodel to include space for this behemoth machine. 


Not a chance.


But! I digress.

    Steve does make delicious ice cream. He’s experimented with all kinds of flavors: salted caramel, dark chocolate with a hint of orange, wild strawberry, lavender honey, chai, rose tea. With the exception of rose tea, which tasted like perfume, he’s been pleased with the results. But not with vanilla. As of this writing, he’s on vanilla recipe #56 (no exaggeration!). He won’t stop until he’s made the equivalent of Haagen-Daaz’s premium line of five ingredients, called “Five.”


    You might think it sounds bland, but a good—really good—vanilla ice cream is intricate, with depth and richness. Here’s the curious thing: it is foundational to all other ice cream flavors. Get it right and you’ve got your base. 


Getting it right, though, is hard work. Vanilla is so pure that it reveals mistakes and inconsistencies. Strong flavors like chocolate and coffee can mask them, but not vanilla. Small things affect its quality. Vanilla has utmost integrity.


    Sometimes I think we writers need to be more like vanilla ice cream. Our walk needs to match up with our talk—on-line and off-line. We need to beware of gray areas. Nothing harms the kingdom of God more than hypocrisy. Just like with vanilla ice cream, small choices add up and affect our integrity: gossip, envy of other authors, grumbling about a publisher or agent, taking shortcuts in our work, not delivering the goods. 


In the early church, the Apostle Paul instructed Timothy, his spiritual son in the ministry, to “...keep himself pure” (1 Tim. 5:22, niv). Timothy’s integrity mattered to the young church. It matters to our modern world. Paul was reminding Timothy that he was responsible for his daily choices, and those choices would be noticed. We are faced with choices every single day—some big, but most small. Those choices might seem benign, unimportant, but they add up. They affect the quality of our witness. 


Integrity isn’t easy. Not with us, not with vanilla ice cream, either. (Why else would it take my husband fifty-six tries… and counting?) It’s all about choices and intention. But if you’ve ever had amazing vanilla ice cream, well, the product speaks for itself. 
 



Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling, award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction about the Amish for Revell Books. She hosts a blog, Amish Wisdom, and has a free Amish Wisdom app that delivers a daily Amish proverb to your iPhone, iPad or Android. In between ice cream tastings, she can be found on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

 In honor of Suzanne's visit to Seekerville we thought about giving away ice cream, then decided it might not mail well. Instead we are giving away any Suzanne Fisher book available in Kindle format and one in print. That's TWO different winners announced in the Weekend Edition. Let us know in the comments if you want your name in the bonnet! 


Coming July 1st.



 The Revealing (The Inn at Eagle Hill Book #3)


 Naomi King, soft spoken, loyal, and easily overlooked, has a gift. She sees what others can't see. Intuition, she calls it. Others in Stoney Ridge don't know what to make of it and dismiss her hunches and inklings altogether.

When a young woman arrives at the Inn at Eagle Hill with a shocking secret about Tobe Schrock, Naomi fears the worst. She can't ignore the feeling that something sinister is at work-- something more than a threat to the tenuous love begun between her and Tobe.

As signs mount, they begin to point to Jake Hertzler, the elusive mastermind behind Schrock Investments' downfall. Soon, events spiral hopelessly out of control and Naomi must decide whether to listen to her head or her heart.

110 comments:

Terri said...

Such a true post! And very important. I try my best to not complain, not clsing to be perfect, but I do try.

Please throw my name in the bonnet.

I have new respect for vanilla ice cream! So today for breakfast we are being really bad. Hey, I got here first, and we are have your choice of apple, cherry, or peach pie with vanilla ice cream.

Kav said...

50+ attempts at vanilla ice cream! That's dedication, though I can see why. I just bought a tub of French Vanilla and it's dreadful. Bah! Tastes chemically somehow. Leaves a nasty after taste that even blueberry pie can't disguise. So I'm cheering your husband on from up here in Canada. :-)

And I love how your ice cream example drives the message home. Those little daily choices make all the difference in our lives both online and off. Thanks for the reminder.

And so thrilled to have discovered your 'radio show turned blog' www.amishwisdom.com. I've missed listening to Amish Wisdom tremendously so I'm super excited about the blog. Especially love the new releases feature.

Jackie said...

I noticed that your husband keeps trying and goes to conferences to learn more. I know he'll get the vanilla just right! Thanks for sharing.

Congratulations on your new release!

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Suzanne! Your husband's dedication to creating the perfect vanilla is inspiring. We all need to work that hard to write the best stories we can. Ever notice how the book in your head doesn't seem as awesome on the page? But that doesn't stop us from trying, to keep studying craft and pouring our hearts on the page.

Thanks for the reminder to recognize the importance of the choices we make in our daily lives. We want those choices to bring God glory. But, we're human and our vanilla won't always measure up. But like your husband's search for the perfect vanilla, we keep trying.

Janet

Piper Huguley said...

Suzanne, this is a great analogy. Vanilla is an extremely difficult flavor and people think of it as bland or passive. They have it all wrong. That's why when they make diet something it's usually chocolate--the vanilla is too hard to get right. A wonderful post.

Ok, but what most here at Seekerville want to know but are afraid to ask: Is Steve for rent? :)

Have a great day!

Mary Hicks said...

Small things do add up—in lots of ways.

The daily choices we make 'show' the people around us what we really believe, no matter what we may try 'telling' them.

In living, just as in writing, we need to do more showing and less telling.

Vanilla is my favorite flavor! Tell your husband to hang in there! Thanks for a 'flavorful' morning! :-)

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI Suzanne, Welcome to Seekerville. I never contemplated the issue of vanilla. Now that you mention it, I'm thinking of lots of vanilla things I love.

Had no idea it was such an art to perfect the flavor.

Thanks for sharing. Have fun today.

Jamie Adams said...

If I was invited to someones house and forced to taste ice cream I would be more than willing to go back whenever asked!

Great post and reminder, thanks for sharing!

Jeanne T said...

Your husband is one determined man. 56 tries and counting on finding the perfect vanilla ice-cream. You've got to love what that says about his character! :)

Great thoughts here on integrity. Working with integrity, living with integrity it should be a part of everything we do. Thanks for the great (if not hunger provoking) example. :)

Congratulations on your new release!

Julie Lessman said...

SUZANNE!!! What an absolute delight to have you here, although I'm convinced that just reading this fabulous post slapped a couple of pounds on each of my hips ...

OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!! I laughed out loud at your hubby's "passion" for ice cream, especially vanilla, because well ... I pretty much turn my nose up over vanilla unless it's accompanied by warm chocolate chip pie or hot fudge.

Would you believe that just yesterday I read that vanilla is the #1 flavor in the world, way out front with 29%, and I actually wrinkled my nose and spent the next 5-10 minutes wondering why. Surely it's because vanilla is so bland, I thought, and therefore the perfect accompaniment to richer desserts such as chocolate cake, cobbler, etc.

But your point is well taken because vanilla is pure and simple, a dessert with true integrity that becomes the perfect base for so many other wonderful desserts as well. And obviously nirvana by itself to a large segment of the population. I guess you could say it's the real deal when it comes to ice cream, and the perfect analogy for our commitment to Christ, which must also be the real deal lest too many turn up their noses and miss the creme de la creme of true peace and joy.

Honestly, Suz, this is one of the best written blogs I've ever read, and I am SO glad you came to Seekerville!

Hugs,
Julie

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Suzanne.

Ice cream for breakfast not withstanding..we do also have a nice selection of Ruthy's homemade donuts to share.

Connie Queen said...

Vanilla goes w/everything. Nothing like it on hot peach cobbler. Yum.

We used to have an Ashburn's ice cream close by. Dad would ask us what flavor we wanted (there were 5 of us kids) and we'd all come up w/different flavors. And then he would come back to the car w/5 vanilla's. Dad hated commotion. I just never understood why he couldn't get all chocolate.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my stars, I saw this on your blog years ago and it's just as true today.

Thanks for the re-mix!

I love the hero/heroine dichotomy of vanilla vs. anything else.

It's such a truism for opposites attract!

Tell him to try Rennet for a more custard-like base. See what he thinks.

Joan Arning said...

Please put my name in the bonnet!

And I LOVE ice cream!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Suzanne,

I'm so glad you're here on Seekerville today!

I love your analogy. Pure, simple, quality service and obedience - what a great life to strive for.

Throw my name in the bonnet - I've always enjoyed your books :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Julie, I'm going to say that the 29% for vanilla leaves the rest of us in the majority of anything BUT vanilla... 71% is pretty good odds!

So while the vanilla lovers (and I married one, Dave always, always, always orders vanilla) are in a majority of purists, the non-purists out-rank them by far!

I've made lots of ice creams, but I've never been able to duplicate my favorite vanilla which is from Abbott's Frozen Custard, a local shop that opened by Lake Ontario decades ago and is now franchised...

My son laughs at me (the brat!!!) because he goes to the ice cream shops that serve H-U-G-E portions of "soft-serve" whatever that is...and I save my pennies and go to Abbott's for a double scoop because that silky-smooth-perfection is to die for.

Old fashioned custard taste and silky texture that carries through all their flavors.

Pistachio pineapple was my mother's favorite and when they have that on the board (they only make 4 or five flavors/day, all fresh made on site) I buy one and toast her talent and the good times.

Great memory.

Mary Connealy said...

Suzanne, I'm trying to picture My Cowboy watching people eat the ice cream he made for dessert at our dinner party's.

OH WAIT! We don't have dinner parties.

And I think we have an ice cream freezer somewhere in the house though it might have gone down in the Great Connealy House De-Clutter of 2013.

I just can't remember.

We buy ice cream and btw, I'm on a diet so today's post is pretty cruel.

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

What a charming post, Suzanne. Good points, too. Thanks for visiting us today. :)

Mary Connealy said...

Ruthy, did I tell you I read Loving the Lawman this week. I stayed up until about 2:30 am to finish it.

I absolutely loved it, girl. You keep getting better.

Signed,
Big Fan

Mary Connealy said...

PIPER is that true? I've never heard that before that they make things diet chocolate because vanilla is hard to get right.

I find that fascinating.

Suzanne Fisher said...

Grinning at these comments about my husband's ice cream! Piper Huguley...sorry, he's not for rent but he has done ice cream gigs for friends!
Kav...so glad you've found Amish Wisdom!
Julie Lessman...you bring a smile to my face, every time! Thanks everyone, for your warm welcome and encouraging remarks! So glad to be here.
Suzanne

Mary Connealy said...

HI SUZANNE!
Welcome to Seekerville!

Suzanne Fisher said...

Interesting to see how many vanilla (anything) polarizes people--they love it or overlook it. Curious about your favorite flavors...Mary Hicks loves vanilla, Connie Queen's dad opted for it (love that story, Connie), Ruth Logan Heme's mom love pistachio pineapple (never heard of that combo before!), Julie Lessman prefers chocolate anything...

What other flavors would you order if you dropped by Steve's Serious Ice Cream (aka my kitchen)?

Suzanne Fisher said...

Waving to you, Mary Connealy! Sorry to be a little late to the party...I live in California and am just starting my work day now. Love your books, btw! Suzanne
PS I need to hear more about the great de-clutter!

Missy Tippens said...

Welcome, Suzanne! I loved your post. You know, I used to make fun of people who would pick vanilla at places where they had 32 flavors. But nowadays, what do I usually buy??

Yep, vanilla. I love it. Like you said, there's a purity about it. It's complex and rich. You can taste and feel the creaminess better than any other flavor.

I wonder if your husband will win and get his ice cream machine in a kitchen remodel?! :) You know, you really should consider all the ice cream he'll be making for you. YUM! ;)

Thanks for your great post on integrity. It's a great reminder.

Myra Johnson said...

Suzanne, it's a delight to have you as our guest today! Wow, so impressed with your husband's fanaticism about making ice cream--what fun!

And the whole vanilla thing makes a thought-provoking analogy, too!

I love good vanilla ice cream but don't tend to eat it plain. Unless it's homemade. Then--YUM!!!!

One of my very favorite ice cream flavors is one I think Braum's stopped making a few years ago. It was called "chocolate mojito," kind of a mint chocolate chip in reverse (chocolate ice cream with mint chips).

Marcy Crabtree said...

This:

Integrity isn’t easy. Not with us, not with vanilla ice cream, either. It’s all about choices and intention. But if you’ve ever had amazing vanilla ice cream, well, the product speaks for itself.

#Truth

(and yes, please, toss my name into the hat!)

Suess said...

I do, I do...want my hat in the ring. I love ice cream, but it has to be vanilla with something.

Suzanne Fisher said...

Myra Johnson...I am going to have to bring that flavor combo to the Ice Cream Maker's attention! Missy Tippens...enjoyed your opinion reversal on vanilla! I feel the same way...I tend to choose it over other flavors now.

Mary Connealy said...

I'm a big Hot Fudge Sundae girl myself.

Did I mention I'm on a DIET!!!!???

Mary Connealy said...

I'm now picturing Missy, the bully, mocking people as they order ice cream for picking vanilla.


This is NOT a pretty picture, Tippens!!!

Theresa said...

please put my name in the bonnet

Suzanne Fisher said...

Mary Connealy...I'm on a lifelong diet!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I'm a vanilla girl all the way through, and love Western New York's Perry's Ice Cream.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I think you're hubby's got it right, that vanilla is the tricky business...

At Abbott's it was their vanilla that became the baseline for their business even though I get all the mixed flavors.

But to get that vanilla right is like Sistine Chapel amazing!

And I'm not scoffing at the 29% because that's a hefty payload and how many of our favorite flavors... or those hot fudge sundaes (MARY!!!! I'LL JOIN YOU IN SUZANNE'S KITCHEN AND I'LL BRING THE HOT FUDGE SAUCE!!!) begin with vanilla?

I love chocolate chip cookie dough, but if the vanilla is wrong, so is the whole thing.

Gotta respect a guy who understands the baseline importance of that, although I'd be Ix-naying the Monster Pricey Equipment too.... And maybe giving the snake eye to someone taking up all that space, too, unless I'm caught up with writing or a BABY...

I love babies as much as ice cream...

So then I can shrug it off.

Suzanne! Does he do the clean up???

That's clutch.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Well, Missy Tippens pretends to be nice.

I'm just sayin'...

Suzanne, I love that you've put The Rescue out as an e-book for a crazy reasonable price. (Thank you, Revell!!!) Aren't you having so much fun with the choices we've got today to reach our readers????

Kelly M. Long said...

Thank you, Miss Suzanne, for excellent life and everyday advice. You're a REAL inspiration and friend!
Kelly Long

Donna said...

Suzanne, I got such a kick out of reading about your husband's ice cream hobby/obsession. At least it's ice cream and not Flan he's trying to perfect! : /

I have to say, vanilla with a generous amount of Hershey's chocolate syrup is my favorite.

And thank you for the wonderful reminder to watch for those gray areas!

Suzanne Fisher said...

Oh...Tina Radcliffe...you've given us a new venue to try to track down on a trip. We just detoured off on a trip through Iowa to get to Whitey's (great ice cream!). Steve has been to Jeni's in Chicago (though she started in Ohio). Always interested in finding great local ice cream spots! Makes my husband's heart sing.

Suzanne Fisher said...

Ruth...I am so grateful Revell let me try a short story. It was so fun, easier than I had anticipated it to be, and a nice way to keep readers interested in the series...it slipped in between book 2 and 3 (which was a six month gap). I feel a little badly for those who don't use e-books...but many don't realize they can get a Kindle app for their computer, too.

Suzanne Fisher said...

Hi Kelly L! Love seeing so many familiar (and dear) faces here!
Thanks, Donna, for noticing that "takeaway" on the gray areas. I wrote a blog post about my husband today (just coincidental) ...and it's on the same theme. Shows what a good guy I married! If you're interested, it's super short and over on today's blog: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

Jen said...

I like the dedication your husband has to his ice cream. If only half the people in the world had half of that kind of dedication, imagine what could be accomplished!

I would like my name thrown in the bonnet, please. :) ingmankidsmom@gmail.com

Linda Maendel said...

Talking about ice-cream, I had waffles topped with chocolate ripple ice-cream and strawberries. Sooooo delicious! Try it just once and you're sure to love it!

Mamasays said...

Hi Suzanne. Pretty sure he would make a killing selling ice cream in Seattle ;-)

Mamasays said...

Hi Suzanne. Pretty sure he would make a killing selling ice cream in Seattle ;-)

Mamasays said...

Hi Suzanne. Pretty sure he would make a killing selling ice cream in Seattle ;-)

Suzanne Fisher said...

Linda Maendel...how nice to see your name! You've been on my mind lately. Mamasays...I love Seattle! We lived there for three years, had a baby born there, and now my daughter lives up there! We are up there a lot. Any suggestions for ice cream must-go-to-stops? We've been to Molly Moon (is that the name)?

Loves To Read said...

Please throw my name in the bonnet for the give aways. Vanilla is my favorite! Loved your post!

Anita Mae Draper said...

Loved the post, Suzanne. My husband loves ice cream so much he'd eat a gallon a day if his cholesterol would allow it. Thankfully, he's content to eat our local store-bought brands.

We have an ice cream maker from when I had to make our own goat milk ice cream for our cow's milk allergic sons, but hubby never had the inclination to make any himself.

By the way, if your hubby is looking for ingredients, fresh goat milk pasteurized properly has a sweet taste without any of that goaty flavor/scent. By pasteurized, I mean with a pasteurizer and not a pan on the stove which heats too slow/fast/hot and ruins the taste.

Vince said...

Hi Suzanne:

Vanilla ice cream is the equivalent of black coffee. You know exactly what you are getting. Anything added to either is adulteration.

To-wit I ask you this: do you feel the Amish way of life is the plain vanilla of a life worth living?

I think your post has hit upon just what makes me like Amish books so much. They resonate at the same frequency as vanilla ice cream and black coffee.

I loved “The Choice” and just downloaded “The Rescue.” I notice that a lot of ‘Fishers’ and ‘Fischers’ appear as characters in Amish romances. Is there any connection with the Amish in your families?

BTW: I just love the cover of “The Revealing”. That woman is the ‘marrying kind’ if I even saw one!

Vince

P.S. Please put my name in the bonnet for either format book.

DebH said...

I'll never look at vanilla ice cream the same. I want to apply this post to my life and start working on perfecting my vanilla "flavor" as a person.

I would like a nice vanilla base with a coffee and caramel mix of flavoring. (sort of like my cuppa Joe in the mornings, more cream than coffee - y'know how people say 'you're the cream in my coffee?' well, i usually say you're the coffee in my cream...)

bonnet entry please. thank you very much.

Suzanne Fisher said...

Vince! What a great insight--about vanilla = Amish living (or what the reader is seeking in the books). Love that! And thanks for your kind words about my books and the covers, too. A lot of behind-the-scene work goes into those covers. As for the name of "Fisher"--it's a common Lancaster Amish name. No relation to me...my connection to the Anabaptists is through the Benedicts (German Baptist).
Thanks for commenting, Vince!

Suzanne Fisher said...

Anita Mae...I'm going to tell Steve about pasteurized goat milk! Bet he'll want to try it. For a serious guy, he's an adventurous ice cream maker. He made Balsamic Strawberry over the weekend that was AWESOME.

Suzanne Fisher said...

Deb H...thanks for your kind words! Caramel, coffee, vanilla...sounds dee-lish!

Meghan Carver said...

Wow, wow, wow! Your post reminds me of my junior year in high school when I worked at Baskin Robbins and had the opportunity to taste hundreds of flavors as they rotated through. I love your analogy. So true! Who we are in real life comes through in our writing, whether it be a 140 character tweet or a 300+ page book. Thanks for such a thought-provoking post and the chance to win one of your super books!

Suzanne Fisher said...

Waving to you, Meghan Carver! Bet you've got some B&R stories to share!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I have to ask this question because I see your cute pink flip flops.

Do the Amish go swimming?

Gail H. said...

Please throw my name in the bonnet. I love reading Amish stories!

Tina Radcliffe said...

By the way Seeker friends, Suzanne's first in the Lancaster County Secrets THE CHOICE is free on Amazon for kindle The Choice

Mary Ellen Ashenfelder said...

I have books 1& 2 -- would be thrilled to win book #3. Please throw my name into the bonnet. Thank you.

Suzanne Fisher said...

Tina Radcliffe--The pink flip flops are courtesy of my puppies--I raise puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Love them...even though they chew my favorite stuff. But as for the Amish and swimming...the boys do, certainly, but I don't think the girls would swim, for modesty reasons.
Great Q!

Tina Radcliffe said...

How lovely that you raise puppies for the blind. Ruthy raises puppies too!!

Natalie Monk said...

What a beautiful (and delicious) reminder to stay true to our faith and represent Christ well!

Thank you for this post!

Now I'm going to have to go buy some of that "Five" ice cream.

Amber Schamel said...

Vanilla ice cream is my favorite. Especially when it has reeses mixed in it. :D

Have a big scoop as a welcome from all us seekers!

Amber Schamel
www.AmberSchamel.com

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Donna said "flan"....

Thinking High School Musical and Creme Brulee!!!!!

Must Go Make Flan Now.

Suzanne Fisher said...

Interesting...flan ice cream, cream brulee, pistachio pineapple...what other flavors can you brilliant people come up with?!

Cheryl Baranski said...

What dedication to vanilla ice cream. I love a good batch of homemade ice cream. Might have to start trying to improve the chocolate ice cream that I make.
It is amazing what difference a little choice can make.
Love your books! Would so love to win!! Keep up the wonderful writing!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh how funny, I was uploading pictures to Yankee Belle while chatting over here and somehow managed to say flan, flan, flan....

sigh....

Suzanne, an old friend used to raise service puppies and I was amazed at how many don't make the cut, but then folks have the opportunity to get a great pet that's had so much tender, loving care from people like you. That's absolutely wonderful.

Suzanne Fisher said...

Thanks, Cheryl Baranski! Love seeing familiar faces here. :)

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Hello Suzanne! You've got me hungry for ice cream now...I'll take vanilla, but only if its GOOD vanilla. I'm rather a fan of a local place that makes a great Dutch chocolate ice cream (Ted and Wally's, for anyone in the Omaha area). Pair that with a scoop of peppermint stick and YUM... (is that like mixing two genres? Like sci fi Amish?)

Thanks for sharing this post on purity.

BTW, love your name. Suzanne is my middle name, and I'm contemplating using it as a pen name someday if I write in multiple genres!

Have a great day!

elise_jehan said...

Wow, that is some dedication to getting the vanilla flavor just right! My husband and I love ice cream too much but we've usually focused on chocolate varieties. However, vanilla may be worth a second look!

S. Trietsch said...

Craving ICE CREAM and I appreciate your point regarding integrity to our Creator and life on this earth!

Thanks! Stephanie

Suzanne Fisher said...

Stephanie Queen Ludwig...if Suzanne is your middle name, where does Queen come in? Maiden name...or self-appointed? (I like it!) Thanks for the tip about the Omaha ice cream...will put it on the list. Elise and S...thanks for your thumbs up!

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Suzanne, Queen is my maiden name. I was heartbroken to give it up when I married, but that's what a pen name is for, right? ;)

Pam Hillman said...

Wonderful post on being true to oneself, and now I'm craving really good, melt-in-your-mouth vanilla ice cream.

Kav, I'm going to follow your lead and go taste test that tub of Ford's vanilla ice cream in the freezer.

And the new book sounds great... Also, love the cover! :)

Suzanne Fisher said...

Stephanie...I can see why you wouldn't want to give up your maiden name. I think I would name every pet in my house "Queenie" and call my mini-van the "Queenmobile." Gosh...you could have a lot of fun with that name. Doormats with crowns...

Suzanne Fisher said...

Pam Hillman--
Thank you for noticing the covers! Sort of a strange feeling to see your character come to life in the artist's eyes. I think they did a great job on these three main characters in the series. Oh...what is Ford's ice cream? I looked but can't figure out which comment mentioned Ford.

Tina Pinson said...

I love vanilla, good vanilla. I've made lots if ice cream, but vanilla can always be counted on to please. Just not chunky egg vanilla.yummy NOT.

And vanilla is a good base for mixing all the exotic flavors in. Even sprinkles seem brighter. Vanilla-- a blank screen, a blank sheet of paper-- gives a start for your imagination to unfold on.

I was thinking of walls. There is a reason they tell you to put colored walls back to white or cream. People like to envision what they can do with a blank palette. But it's interesting how leaving too much color turns them off and makes them think about what they have to fix.

Lisa Stifler said...

What an inspiration Suzanne, thank you for sharing! Tell your husband good luck with his vanilla ice cream. I am sure when he masters it that it will be delicious! I would love a chance to win a print copy of one of your books. ~ Blessings to you ~ Love your books! :)

Anne Rightler said...

Toss my name in the hat, please! I love ice cream. Hopefully your husband can find the right recipe for vanilla!

Karen Johnson said...


Maybe your husband should open an ice cream shop...
Please put my name in the
bonnet! I love your books!

Suzanne Fisher said...

Tina Pinson...what you described is a "blend-in." You start with a good base and then add in pre-made extras, like sprinkles or brownies or whatever. Very easy way to customize ice cream! Thanks for chiming in with your kind comments!

Suzanne Fisher said...

Waving to you, Lisa and Ann! Thanks for popping in and leaving a comment.

Suzanne Fisher said...

Karen Johnson--Steve has looked at opening an ice cream shop but it doesn't seem to be a viable business option. But...who knows? The public might demand it...:)
Thanks for commenting!

Jamie Steadman said...

I love ice cream but my favorite is chocolate and my husband's favorite is vanilla. We compromise, he buys the Great Divide by Blue Belle so we each have the flavor we want. Please add my name to the bonnet.

Tanya Agler said...

Wow, what dedication.

My youngest son's favorite flavor is vanilla. Every time we go to my favorite ice cream place, he orders vanilla no matter what other flavors there are. I'll be thinking about your post the next time he orders vanilla.

Thanks for the post and please enter my name.

Sherida Stewart said...

Thanks, Suzanne, for reminding us to be "just right" in our writing. The little things do make a difference.

Your husband would have enjoyed my granddad. He made the BEST hand-churned VANILLA ice cream on his back porch in Kansas. Great summer memory!

Congratulations on The Revealing!

Heidi Robbins said...

What a great metaphor for writing! And I'm totally jealous that you have an ice cream-making husband :) Vanilla was my favorite for a long time as a child and youth. I'm so excited to read your new book!

Wilani Wahl said...

Thanks for the wonderful post. It is something we all need to be reminded.

Please throw my name in the bonnet.

I am so relieved I finally got a mouse for my computer. I have felt so lost without it. I struggle to use the pad on my laptop. Now I have a lot of catching up to do.

I hope everyone is doing well.

Suzanne Fisher said...

Sherida--Just saw your Tweet! Thanks for tweeting and commenting and helping to shout out the Seekerville day. Heidi and Walani and Tanya and Jamie...thanks for stopping by! Glad there are so many vanilla lovers out there.

Diana montgomery said...

I love ice cream my favorite is chocolate or Butter Pecan

Jackie Tessnair said...

Thanks for sharing.Your husband is very determined.Would love to win Suzanne's book.

Mary Connealy said...

My husband needs a hobby.

I wonder if ice cream would qualify?

Lyndee H said...

HiSuzanne.
My daughter graduated from Penn State with a food science degree specializing in dairy,so I'm very familiar with the PSU Creamery's ice cream. We think it's some of the best stuff on earth and always bring back containers sealed in freezer bags filled with dry ice.

I appreciate your message. Like vanilla ice cream, I'm a work in progress. Every day is another tweak - part of being human. Happy that God understands my heart and knows me. I'd love to be included in the drawing.

Suzanne said...

Lyndee H...So happy to hear your connection to Penn State! My oldest daughter was a nutrition major, too, and went to Ice Cream School with Steve. They LOVED it! I think they want to return for the week long program. Stay tuned on that...

Suzanne said...

Mary Connealy...Ice cream definitely qualifies as a hobby! That's how my husband started...now he's taking over most of my kitchen. Happily...everybody loves ice cream so it's a fun hobby. Unlike, say, snake handling.

Mary Preston said...

Please do add my name to the bonnet.

Good vanilla ice-cream is indeed a tasty treat.

Edwina said...


I thought my husband was the vanilla ice cream expert. But he doesn't make it, he's only tried the 56 brands on the market!

Put my name in the bonnet please!

Suzanne Fisher said...

Smiling, Edwina, at your husband's dedication to vanilla ice cream!

Suzanne Fisher said...

Thanks, Mary Preston. Consider yourself included in the giveaway!

Julie Lessman said...

SUZANNE SAID: "Julie Lessman prefers chocolate anything..."

Uh ... actually I'm a butter pecan gal (3rd or 4th top flavor according to poll), but I can be seduced by peach or pistachio.

However, my current top fave is wedding cake at Fro-Yo (I'm a romance writer, what can I say?) with lots of hot fudge and whipped creme. :)

And Ruthy's "pistachio pineapple"??? WOW ... that sounds pretty darn good!

Hugs,
Julie

sesquius said...

Yes please! Throw my name into the bonnet!

I love summer...ice cream! Refuse to eat it in the winter...just makes me way too cold! :)

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Late to the pawty but here finally.

My DH's favorite favorite flavor is vanilla. YUMMO! This is a wonderful post and so true.

Thanks for sharing it!

May has offered to help clean up by the way... BOL!

Suzanne Fisher said...

May the K9 spy...what's a DH?

Dee LeRoye said...

I'll take a chocolate cone with my Kindle or paperback Amish book. A fun post and challenging as well.

Kristie said...

I would love to win! Please enter me! I need to go to ice cream school. For some reason ours never turns out! Sigh! I even have a Ben and Jerry's recipe book. I agree about integrity and small choices. It's easy for me to forget that though and say "just this once" and "no one is watching." kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you!

Mama Cat said...

Would love to win a copy1 yes, your example of the 56 tries for vanilla ice cream, especially with Timothy, makes much sense! And I enjoy the Amish Wisdom app, also....

Suzanne Fisher said...

MamaCat--So glad you're enjoying the Amish Wisdom app! And Kristie and Dee--thanks for popping in and leaving a comment.

Karen Cushing said...

What a great author! It would be a pleasure and an honor to win and read any of her books. This is a great site. Thanks for the opportunity.

Book Lover, book writer said...

Yes,
Please add my name to the bonnet to win a print version. Sorry my cave doesn't receive kindle downloads, but I love reading about the Amish. Their buggies went past my house every day at Holmes & Wayne counties Ohio.
Thank you,
Evelyn Dotson
dotsonevelyn1@gmail.com