When I think back on the time I've been married, I mark the time not so much in terms of years or months or seasons but in ice cream flavors. Classic vanilla bean. Chocolate coconut. Peanut butter swirl. Cinnamon waffle. Eggnog spice. Double dark chocolate.
My grandparents gave Daniel and me an ice cream maker for our wedding—an appropriate gift considering how many memories of summer visits to my grandma and grandpa's house involve their ice cream maker. We'd spend the day on the crisp Columbia River—waterskiing, tubing, building sandcastles, and eating Grandma's homemade snickerdoodles out of a red Folgers coffee can. When we got back to the house, sprinkled by sun and sand, Grandma would start fixing dinner while Grandpa pulled out the old hand-crank ice cream maker. We kids would help eagerly at first, but our biceps and attention spans soon wearied, and we left all the tough cranking at the end to Grandpa.
And oh, there was nothing quite like that first bite of vanilla creaminess, especially when topped with fresh raspberries straight from Grandpa's garden.
So when Daniel and I opened the huge box at our wedding, I couldn't have been more delighted to get our very own ice cream maker. (And even better, we could plug our version into an outlet and it would do all the hard work for us.)
It was a Sunday evening, the night before we returned to work after our honeymoon, when Daniel and I decided to break in our new appliance. After the machine had done its magic, we sampled our creation—a simple concoction of sugar, cream, milk, eggs, and vanilla. We grinned at each other over our bowls: success!1