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Q&A: Marlene Haley and Amelia Ryan of The Merry Dairy, authors of “Great Scoops”

Teacher-turned-businessperson Marlene Haley is the owner of The Merry Dairy, Ottawa’s first ice-cream truck business dedicated to nut-free original-recipe frozen custard and premium ice cream. Since 2012, The Merry Dairy has become a favourite among locals, serving more than 100,000 scoops of signature frozen-custard cones from their shop on Fairmont Avenue and mobile fleet of Grumman trucks.

While growing up in Richmond, in the Ottawa Valley, Amelia Ryan observed how food brings family, friends, and neighbors together. As she completed her major in business and communications, she saw a fork in the road ahead: was she to choose a corporate life in front of a computer or grab that fork and whip up a life of culinary creation? She decided the food door and hasn’t looked back. As the creative director at The Merry Dairy, Amelia leads the company’s effort to make beautiful ice creams by developing recipes with new flavors and formulating recipes that serve specific diets.

Their new cookbook, Great Scoops: Recipes from a Neighborhood Ice Cream Shop is available now!

What are some of your favorite recipes in the book?

Oh it is so hard to choose favorites. Amelia loves Limoncello Blackberry Biscotti.  The flavour of the lemon and the swirl of blackberry sauce is so beautiful. Marlene loves a childhood favourite – Tiger Tail. Orange ice cream with a black licorice swirl!

What is the key to making great ice cream at home?

The key is mastering the base and planning because the base needs to chill.  Once you feel confident with cooking a base (whether dairy or coconut cream) there are endless possibilities with flavour combinations.

Why is this strawberry ripple recipe so great?

It is the taste of summer. The strawberry sauce used to make the ribbon is so easy to make and adding that extra ribbon makes the strawberry flavor really pop.  And if you want it pink, adding beet juice is fun!


June 28, 2022
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