Found - Recipe for the Tumbleweeds Dessert Served at the Jolly Ox Restaurant

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - by Harmon Jolley

A reader recently saw a previous Memories article on the Jolly Ox / Steak & Ale restaurant ( which prompted him to contact me concerning a dessert which was on the menu.    He would like to find the recipe for Tumbleweeds.  Here’s his request:

“In the early ‘70’s I waited tables at the Jolly Ox in Indianapolis.  I worked there for a year then went into real estate.  Years later when I saw that my days in real estate were numbered I had a casual phone conversation with an ex-Oxer that eventually became the impetus for me to move into the Washington DC area and work with him.  Thirty-five years later, I am still in the area.  My friend’s 70th is coming up and my idea is to make up a batch of Tumbleweed’s for the celebration, but I can not find the recipe anywhere on the internet.  Any ideas?”

I replied to him that there is a Tumbleweed dessert which we sometimes fix at home.  That delicacy is made of butterscotch chips, peanut butter, chow mien noodles, and peanuts.  However, that’s not the one that our reader recalls from the Jolly Ox.   He said,  “The Tumbleweed served at the Ox where I worked looked like tapioca and had the same consistency. It was served in a champagne type dessert holder (not a flute) cold. None the less, it's nowhere to be found.”

If you know the recipe for the Jolly Ox Tumbleweeds, please send me an e-mail  tumbling along to me at and I’ll pass the formula along to our reader.

Response from a 14-year Jolly Ox employee who managed restaurants in Chattanooga and Knoxville:

Good brand vanilla ice cream


Creme De Cacao dark

Blended with a whisk or lightly pulsed on a blender

Can't remember the ratios but too much alcohol may minimize refreezing etc

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