This is a companion to another story called Just to Hold Your Hand. Hermione is freshly retired from her ultra-busy job of Minister of Magic. Maybe it was time to start a new hobby? Boredom can be just as tiresome as not.
The Many Steps of Peppermint Ice Cream
It has been two months since Hermione retired from public service. Writing books is a fascinating adventure, and certainly she would adjust given time. And who is to say she couldn't go back to the ministry in some capacity in the future. Right? Right?
Oh, who is she kidding? She's bored. Writer's block is a real thing. Oh, the topics are very interesting, and she's sure they would become best sellers, if not required reading. But to put the words onto the paper is getting to be a drag.
What she needed was to find a diversion. Maybe a new hobby? She always did want to learn how to cook.
Hmm, Ice Cream sounds nice. Maybe she could use that silly old ice cream maker she had gotten twenty years ago as a wedding gift. It must still be in the closet at the top of the stairs.
The closet is packed full. Maybe she should tidy it up a bit, so she could see what is what? Oh drat! She can't reach the top two shelves. Ah yes, the step ladder that is out in the garden shed. That should do the trick.
The shed was dark and gloomy, but she'll use her wand to light up the space. But where is the step ladder? Oh, there it is. Behind the lawnmower and the deck chairs that were being stored until Spring. She'll just shift things about, wriggling the lawnmower a bit to the left, lifting the chairs one at a time to get them out of the way.
Finally, the ladder is freed, but the garden is a mess with all that had been moved. Snow is starting to fall so she has to spend another hour moving about the contents of the shed to get it all to fit again.
She drags the ladder up the stairs and needs to push aside the debris of the original closet cleaning to set the thing up. YES! There it is! The outdated manual ice cream maker. Now she just needs to clean it.
Oh drat! The whole hallway is covered in mess. Old children's games with pieces missing, A stack of moth-eaten blankets that would never be used again, even a single out-grown rain boot, All the detritus of a growing family. Well, nothing to do but to sort it out.
Hours later, she finally can close the door again and make her way to the kitchen. Opening the box, she realizes the thing needs to be cleaned, where was the dish soap? Ah, under the sink. Egads! What a mess! Well, if she's there, she might as well do a quick tidy. It is quite satisfying to toss empty containers out, alphabetize cleaning supplies and to wipe up spilled soaps. Yes, that only took an hour.
Oh, yes! That's right. The ice cream. Ok, now to wash the maker and read the instruction manual. Oh. Yeah. Ingredients. Didn't think about that, did she?
Let's see, Cream, milk, sugar, peppermint, …that sounds straightforward. Just put it together like a potion.
Cream. Hmmm. Yeah, Molly should have some. Might as well get some milk as well. Flooing to visit her mother-in-law takes another hour before they stop talking and she could get back home to finish her project.
Sugar. Oh, the canister is empty, but, Yay! On the pantry shelf is a whole large bag. Ok, just use the wand to lift the large bag from the top shelf and try to open it. Of course, to get the one cup worth out, three more had to spill out onto the floor. It's much too sticky and grainy, so she must get out the broom and mop. If you're going to clean a square meter, you might as well clean the whole room, right? Doing some things non-magically can be so cathartic.
An hour later, the floor is shiny and clean. Yikes! It's mid-afternoon already. She's got to get to work!
Okay. Peppermint. A quarter teaspoon? Maybe that means the herbs that were growing on the window sill. Yes, there some is. Chopping it up fine should do it. But mixed in with the cream, it looked terrible. What was she missing? She also needs more cream to replace the dirty-green looking mess.
A floo-call to Molly and she gets straightened out. Peppermint extract. Third shelf on the right of the stove. Oh, how can Ron find anything? It's all jumbled up? Well it will only take a few minutes to get it all fixed.
Ron will be home in an hour. She'd better get moving to have this a surprise.
Ok, Just like potions class. Everything prepared, measured, mixed in the proper order. Yum, the mixture tasted right. Now, how to freeze it?
Okay…place salt in the outer canister then add ice to top. Easy. Uh oh. Did she have any ice? Wait, it's snowing out. Of course, she had ice. All of it outside in the snowstorm. With her wand, she is able to scoop up enough to fill a bucket, then form it all into individual ice cubes. That should do it.
Now, add cream mixture to inner canister and place inside the outer canister. Wait, she has that all backwards. Take the ice and salt out of the outer canister and insert the inner canister, then fill it with the ice.
What's next? Oh, now roll across floor for about one hour. ONE HOUR? Okay. She waves her wand over the thing, so it rolls back and forth across the floor. Now would be a good time to go wash up.
Freshly showered, she returns to the kitchen to find the cream mixture nearly ready. She discards the sloshy ice mixture and places the inner canister into the freezer to cure, whatever that means.
Time to sit and rest. Eight hours to make a simple quart of peppermint ice cream. Wonder what Ron might fix for dinner? She leans her head back on the headrest and soon falls asleep. It wasn't until Ron has dinner on the table, that he wakes her up.
"Hey, Sweetheart. I got take-out tonight. Oh, and then I got you a surprise, some of your favorite peppermint ice cream! And, what's that metal tube doing in the freezer?"
Please let me know what you think. I really need to know!