Friday, October 15, 2010

Creative Writing!!!

I was just accepted into the Creative Writing concentration! Now I'm a Literature Major with a concentration in Creative Writing. This means that instead of writing essays for my classes, I'll be writing stories! Also in the concentration we have much smaller class sizes and more individualized attention from our teachers and peers.

Here is a piece I submitted with my application. The prompt was "Tell us about the food you ate as a child." I stretched the truth a bit, Kimber was the one to actually invent Lemon Zest.

McConnell's Ice Cream

I am sitting in my mothers lap, a 3 year old naked baby, chocolate ice cream dripping down my body. I scoop it out of the pint with my hands, ready to lick the melting goodness. My expression is serious. I am concentrating. My mother looks to the side, laughing.

This photograph is framed in the office of the McConnell's Ice Cream factory, a place I know very well. Grandpa Jim bought the factory in 1963 and passed it down to Uncle Jimmy in 1999. I recall my grandmother picking me up from surf camp in my swimsuit and pretending to lock me in the freezer. Another time my dad and I slid down the conveyor belt that transports the dry supplies: enormous bags of chocolate chips, rainbow gumballs, macadamia nuts. The factory is a place of fun and enchantment, where mystifying machines combine cream, sugar, and milk – put out your cone and in comes fresh magic.

Ice cream unites my family. At any excuse for a get-together – the kid’s are starting school! It’s the dog’s birthday! – we gather at Grandpa’s house and stuff our faces with it: the sticky sweet gooey bits of liquid mint in the peppermint stick; the chunks of deep, delicious cocoa in my favorite, chocolate raspberry truffle; the tropical creamy texture of island coconut… I would gladly identify any flavor with my eyes closed.

Part of the family tradition is inventing a flavor. At 11-years-old, I stood before a huge metal cauldron of swirling flavor, on my tip-toes, nose barely peeking above the edge. Taste-testing after every minute alteration, I called: “A bit more sugar, Jimmy! A dollop of cream! Just a bit more zest! A little more tang!” Add a little magic, and I had invented a flavor: California Lemon Zest.

Nine years later, I now understand the science behind ice cream. This summer I took my campers on a field trip to the factory. I watched their wide-eyed wonder enviously, unable to recall the days when the mysterious ice cream factory was magic.

1 comment:

  1. cuuuteee!!!! i like it
    but what will kimber say?? lemon zest???