Have a “Nice Cream” Day!

Dear Reader:

In some families there are famous recipes handed down from generation to generation, even sometimes recipes from the ‘old country.’ That is not particularly true in my family. If there is one dessert that means more to my family than any other, in terms of nostalgic memories …it is the famous Shoneys Hot Fudge cake.

I remember in high school and college it was such a treat to go to Greenville (closest place to Laurens that had one)  to visit Aunt Eva because our favorite place to go eat was Shoneys (Big Boy.) We would get the half pound ground round and for dessert…Shoney’s Hot Fudge Cake. BUT…the only time we got to go was when a member of the family had won some sort of recognition, usually at school and/or birthdays. A hot fudge cake meant honor, recognition, perhaps graduation and especially it meant making mother proud.

I carried this ‘legacy’ to the next generation with my children. We were fortunate to ‘hit’ Shoneys a lot in May…always going after an honors program, ceremony recognition, sports banquet, or graduation. (And birthday children always got to pick where they wanted to eat… 99% of the time it was Shoneys.)

After mother came to live with us…she never missed going to an honors ceremony for one of her grandchildren and she always insisted on buying the Shoneys fudge cakes for everyone. It was her special gift to all of us. (I must admit during some of those l-0-n-g ceremonies, the only thing that kept us in our seats was the thought of getting to get eat a Shoneys Hot Fudge Cake.

I think it was Tommy who started calling the dessert “Nice Cream” when he was little. He was right…the hot fudge cake over vanilla ice cream was nice…because the memory of  family gathered to honor another member of the family was an especially nice and welcomed gesture.

I remember when I won district teacher of the year and told mother…she quietly picked up her purse and said, “Let’s go…my treat…Shoneys and a hot fudge cake!” The children, who by then were elementary, middle, and high school age miraculously appeared out of nowhere and jumped in the car with us.

Isn’t the first person you want to share good news with… your mother (perhaps a father)? It is on the happy occasions, not sad, that I miss mother the most. About two years ago I had done some storytelling for an educational group and received such  a warm reception that I felt like I wanted to share it with someone…and if not someone…somewhere. Shoneys.

I pulled in around 4:00 in the afternoon and ordered a hot fudge cake on vanilla ice cream. A young waitress brought it and I told her how much I loved this dessert but that I hadn’t been in Shoneys since all my children left home for college. I took a big bite and a smile spread across my face.

The waitress smiled too and asked me “Is it as good as you remember?” “Better” I replied. Today was a “Nice Cream” day…it doesn’t get any better than this! (Hope I made you proud mom!)

So until tomorrow…do something ‘refreshingly nice’ for someone else and then wish them a “Nice Cream” day!”

*Yesterday was a “Nice Cream” day for me…I went to Rutledge’s soccer game and helped Walsh with the children while Mollie was at a meeting. Being back on the sidelines, encouraging Rutledge with cheers, brought back so many memories of doing the same thing for his dad, uncle, and aunt. Time passes as quickly as melting ice cream…so enjoy the moment.

*Walsh and I holding “Princess Chunkie Monkey” Eloise. Rutledge took my picture and somehow I got ‘beheaded’…which I think worked out quite nicely. It set the tone for our mother-daughter night out at Summerville’s Little Theater…presenting Sweeney Todd. *I didn’t know how that play could be adapted to a small stage but they not only pulled it off…it was amazing! Filled with such talent and performed with a delightful wicked sense of humor. Doodle, Carrie, Mandy and I had such a good time. Thanks Doodle!

Sis Kinney sent me this video on how Irish music affects cows…it is so funny. (Remember family…pack your accordion before leaving!)

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Have a “Nice Cream” Day!

  1. bcparkison says:

    Well now I crave fudge cake with ice cream LOL
    There is something in Nature that just puts children and animals,even big cows, on the same playing field. And music….animals seem drawn to it.
    Your chunky monkey is just pugi cute.


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    I was thinking the same thing…I must ‘hit’ Shoneys this week and order myself a hot fudge cake…for absolutely no reason except I want it. And if I keep it up I can start addressing myself as the “Chunky monkey” Grandmother Queen!


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