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Counter Intelligence: Ice cream scoop

Photos by APRIL HAMILTON
Ellen Beal, owner of Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream shop, holds a cone of her noteworthy Pink Panther ice cream.
Scoop Adventures features recipes from some of the most beloved ice cream parlors across the country — including a feature flavor from Ellen’s Homemade in Charleston.

“Without ice cream, life would be darkness and chaos,” reads the hand-painted sign at Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Actually, I have to agree. It’s my perennial weakness. Especially when it’s from Ellen’s Homemade.

Apparently, I am not alone in my devotion. In her 17 years of ice cream artistry, Ellen Beal has gained a loyal following that has led to some national recognition.

Scoop Adventures’ The Best Ice Cream of the 50 States features recipes from some of the most beloved ice cream parlors across the country.

In the “Sugary Southeast” chapter, author Lindsay Clendaniel selected Ellen’s Homemade on Capitol Street as the greatest ice cream in West Virginia.

When asked to participate with this exciting cookbook project, Beal initially hesitated, but her daughter Sara insisted that she join the fun. Once Sara convinced her, Beal decided to contribute one of her special feature flavors, Pink Panther, to the book.

This perfectly pink concoction blends Beal’s ice cream-making prowess with her other profession: flutist with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

As the story goes, the symphony was performing the “The Pink Panther” theme at a pops concert with soloist Rich Ridenour on the piano.

He gave special props to the flute section, and Maestro Grant Cooper saluted Beal, “Sounds like a great ice cream flavor!”

And it is.

The Pink Panther (cue piano and saxophone) is a fruity fusion of raspberry and orange ice creams, accented with cassis.

Take this adventurous scoop over the top and ask for a Pink Panther Parfait. You’ll get your pink scoops layered with crushed raspberries and topped with whipped cream and candied orange zest.

“It’s fun to see people’s reactions when I offer a new flavor,” Beal told me.

Though her plate is very full with symphony rehearsals and performances, she is very hands-on at her popular shop.

As for the Scoop Adventures author, she features “shop owners who are passionate about their homemade product; who take care in selecting the best ingredients for their ice creams. They enjoy being part of their communities and love making people happy through their ice cream.”

She got it right with Beal. “I love the people that I see in this shop. We serve the ultimate comfort food. It makes people happy.”

April Hamilton has always said, “Cooking is fun!” She shares her easy, practical recipes for delicious food through her cooking classes for kids and families. April’s husband and three daughters help with testing and tasting in their Charleston kitchen. Hungry for more? Visit www.aprilskitchencounter.com.


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