The smolder of the earth ran down his cheek. Feeling the humidity under his straw mesh hat he knew the sun had grown too high to suffer the heat anymore today. He wiped his brow with the cloth pulled from his back pocket. Tumbling his feet in to earth to the settlement seemed to be an endless path. The town was a bushel of excitement. The crops brought in from the last harvest of the year were plentiful and his hunger and his thirst heightened at the smells of the fresh strawberries at Mrs. Martha store. He tottered on pass the heaps of fresh greens, the mounds beans, and peanuts John pulled yesterday, and the vine ripped tomatoes the old timers were cutting and salting at the bench under the town center vestibule. He thought those good old boys sure made those look good, as one bit into the fresh red tomato juice sprayed all over the card table. He chuckled as the other two men jumped up cursing, as being spray by salty tomato juice. He continued on shaking his head. Down pass the stores, pass the barn, pass the stables, it seemed forever and the heat never gave up. He stopped for a second by the large stump that once was his boyhood companion growing up, and sat down. The sun weighted down on him. He thought to himself, that he would just stay there for a bit. Then a sweet smell entered the air. Quick, but sweet, lifted on a breeze right past him and down the dirt trail. It was so sweet and familiar he got up and tottered down the path. As he rounded the corner steam was rising up over the horizon. The large building placed in his way once a creamery, and had been closed for years. He opened the door and rounded down the stairs. The sweet smell of vanilla filled the air. He watched as a young woman was adding dry beans and large sticks to a large pot and closing the lip. She then moved to the next station over, so involved in her work still not noticing the dirt covered man watching her in the door way. She moved the beans around the pot then pulled down a handle moving a large grounding stone into the water pressing and grinding the beans into slurry she pulled to stone out and pushed the hanging pot over the open fire that was producing the steam he saw on the horizon. He stepped back hiding in the room across the hall. The room was filled with large blocks of ice brought up from the cellar. He rested against the cool wall enjoying the cool room as he continued to watch her. She had returned with 2 large pails of thick cool bean slurry and began to pour the slurry though a worn system of ragged cloth. The cloth held the pulp from the beans. She quickly ran over to the table and grabbed a hand full of Mrs. Martha strawberries she had picked up in town earlier and mashed then in a bowl. Then grabbed a small block of ice from the far table and began smashing it into pieces then poured the crushed ice and strawberries in the left over slurry, covered the pail and shake it up and down. Open the pail and poured the milky ice mixture into a tall glass and walked it over to the man.
"I saw you there the whole time daddy." She said and he smiled. He drank down the cool refreshing shake. Then gave her a big hug and walked up the stairs with her.
Recipe for homemade Strawberry soymilk ice shake:
1 cup dried soy beans
8 cups water
1/8 stick vanilla bean
1 cup cleaned, mashed strawberries
6 cups crushed ice
Soak ½ cup dry soybeans in room temperature water over night. Take the rehydrated beans and grind them adding the rest of the water to the mixture making a slurry. Take the bean slurry and place in a boiling pot. Crush the 1/8 vanilla bean stick into pieces, but do not grind, and add to slurry. Bring to rolling boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Then remove from heat. Cool to room temperature, and then place in refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove from fridge and drain though cheese cloth removing the pulp from the milk. Then add strawberry mash to milk and mix well. Pour mixture over ice.