Heather Moscrip, a dimple-faced 19-year-old woman with small braided strands of brown hair flanking her forehead, says that someday she wants to go to college and then return home to King George County, Va., to be a farmer.
But for now she's on one of life's detours: She makes Crunchie Cones--one scoop of vanilla ice cream in a sugar cone dipped in chocolate sryup and coated with almond chips.
She makes Crunchie Cones in the morning, Crunchie Cones in the afternoon, Crunchie Cones at night.
In fact, Moscrip is a commander in the Swensen's Ice Cream Factory campaign to make 7,000 Crunchie Cones and an equal number of Gookies--two chocolate chip cookies sandwiched around vanilla ice cream and fudge--by mid-June to sell at Columbia's annual three-day fair.
She holds the fort as manager of Swensen's Uptown outlet at 3414 Connecticut Ave. NW and in between making hot fudge sundaes, milk shakes, and sandwiches, dishing up raspberry sherbet and wiping the counter, she makes Crunchie Cones.
She's made 200 so far and the store has turned out 150 a day toward the estimated 4,500 that Swensen's has thus far stashed in its freezers for the fair.
But in a battle-like pledge of more ice cream to be scooped, more cones to be dipped, she noted, "We haven't gotten rolling yet."
Moscrip quickly disavows the uninformed of any notion they may naively hold that making Crunchie Cones is a simple matter. Everyone has their occupational headaches, even Crunchie Cone scoopers and dippers.
"We have little problems all the time, like the cones breaking," Moscrip said. "The company we buy the cones from sometimes overcooks them and then three-fourths of a box of 200 will break.
"The chocolate is also a problem. If we run out, it takes five hours to melt new chocolate. Then the dipping generally gets put off till the next day," she said. "Everthing goes wrong everytime I try to make them."
As it is, Crunchie Cone-making is a two-step process that takes a total of about 30 seconds per cone. A scoop of vanilla is wedged into the sugar cone and then frozen for three hours or so. Then the ice cream is hard enough to be dipped in the chocolate and rolled in the tray of almond bits.
The cost varies from time to time and from Swensen's to Swensen's, but now is $1.20 at Uptown and will be $1.25 at the Columbia fair.
The cherubic-looking Moscrip, who probably would have been drafted byNorman Rockwell as a model for a latter-day portrait of the soda fountain clerk, does not think much of her employer's Crunchie Cone effort, especially the original battle plan to make 15,000.
"There's no way we ever could make that many," she said.
Bob Potter, one of Swensen's operations directors for the Washington area, said the Crunchie Cone mission was scaled back when it was decided that other hand-dipped ice cream flavors would also be sold at Columbia. Even so, he estimated that half of the anticipated 30,000 visitors to the Columbia fair would buy a scoop or two of the firm's ice cream.
"I believe we're the only ice cream vendor there," he said. "You know, mom, apple pie and ice cream all go together."
While Potter concedes that Moscrip and Crunchie Cone makers at two other Swensen's outlets are "getting awfully tired of looking at Crunchie Cones," it still provides a small diversion from the prescribed company regimen.
"Basically we have a company policy that when you're not selling you're cleaning," Potter said. "So now they can make Crunchie Cones instead. It's the lesser of two evils."
So how many Crunchie Cones has Heather Moscrip consumed? One.
"I like them," she says. "They're good," an assessment shared by your truth-in-reporting correspondent.
"But I'd rather have something else," Moscrip says, "like Oreo. It's vanilla ice cream with Oreo cookies. It's our best seller."