To put it mildly, we had a blast last week during the opening of Jeni's first shop beyond Ohio state lines. The turnout at 1892 Eastland Avenue in East Nashville, Tenn., was beyond anything anyone imagined it would be and the warm welcome was whatever word means beyond incredible. Plus, so many people in line had lots of great questions and comments for Jeni about her new cookbook, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Thanks again, Nashville!
What's also been fantastic these past few weeks: connections with farmers we've made via our East Nashville shop. That the shop is location in a region with earlier planting and harvest seasons means we've been able to procure fruits earlier than we ever have and will be able to for years to come.
The first crop this year was a fat load of tiny, jewel-like strawberries from the Orchard, Don Henry's farm just north of Nashville. We've been using those delicious beauties to make Strawberry Buttermilk ice cream, and now more tastes of summer are being made in our kitchen thanks to crops provided by Mr. Henry and the Orchard.
On Tuesday afternoon, one of our splendid ice cream road truckers, Sean "Steady" Smith (photo below), returned to our Columbus kitchen from Nashville. Sean arrived with no fewer than 700 pounds of blackberries and 1,000 pounds of peaches from Mr. Henry. As Sean stepped out of cab, he shared this mind-bending report: "All I had was half a cup of coffee the entire drive." What? What self-respecting trucker fuels a trip of any measure with half of a cup of coffee?
Though we'd really like Sean to spend a little more time in Flying J truck stops out there on the open road, gathering experiences and whatnot so he can entertain us after his Columbus-Nashville jags, we're thankful he's such a competent, level-headed, and nimble driver. Few, if any, of the aromatic berries and peaches in the truck were even close to being bruised. Bravo, Sean, the contents of your rig apparently did not shift while in motion.
As you read this, our kitchen team is blending the Tennessee blackberries with black raspberries from Ohio's Hirsch Fruit Farms. The jam then will be used to create the summer sensation Sweet Corn & Black Raspberries ice cream.
Peach fans, about those delicious Tennessee peaches from the Orchard: They're being pureed and swirled into buttermilk ice cream for the summer sensation known as Peach Buttermilk ice cream.
Stay tuned for details about the release date of Sweet Corn & Black raspberries and Peach Buttermilk ice creams, as well as the release of more summer flavors headed your way during the next few days!Above: Sean "Steady" Smith, one of Jeni's splendid ice cream road truckers, preparing to open the door on a truck load of blackberries and peaches.
Below: Peaches from the Orchard, a farm near our newest shop at 1892 Eastland Avenue, East Nashville, Tennessee. We're using the peaches to create Peach Buttermilk ice cream, which will be available soon. Stay tuned for details!