[I first pulled this writing prompt last April, as part of the A ~ Z challenge. With snow still on the ground, I was not moved to write about ice cream. Now that summer is here, I think I can manage to come up with a few words!]
When I was a little girl, ice cream came in all sizes and shapes. After church on a summer Sunday, Dad would swing by the dairy. He’d come out with a big brown tub of ice cream, and a gigantic box of cones. We’d store it in the back room, ice cream in the freezer, cones on the long shelf above, and pull it out for after dinner sweetness.
Sometimes, when the milkman came to fill our refrigerator with milk and other dairy products, Mom would catch up with him to get something extra. He’d pull out samples, and let her choose. Waxed paper sheets each held a dozen ice cream treats, molded into identical shapes in surprising colors. One time it was blue dolphins, their backs curved over the paper like waves. Another time it was flowers in pink and yellow, with bright green leaves pointing out from the sides. These were tiny portions, for children accustomed to scoops of ice cream piled high, but we savored them for their loveliness.
Often on a summer day, we’d walk to the store. We had to ask permission, and sometimes we had to take some or all of the little kids along, to get them out from underfoot, but we were usually allowed. The store was small, and sat on the lake side of the road, just about a quarter mile from our home. We gathered bottles from the roadside as we walked, and turned them in for deposit when we got there. At two-cents each, it always increased our purchasing power! The store sold beer and bait, milk and other odds and ends of groceries. Of interest to us were the color books and paper dolls, the pop, candy, chips and nuts, and the ice cream freezer.
There, the ice cream was in generous individual portions, in cones, on sticks, or shaped into sandwiches. Fudgsicle was my favorite, though messy for the walk home on a hot day. Nutty Buddy, with the chocolate-and-nut topped ice cream in a sugar cone, was a safer choice, and my second-favorite pick. Whichever we chose, by the time we got home, all of us were sticky with drips.
As an adult, I have usually been satisfied with just a taste of ice cream. I always request a baby cone when I go to the ice cream shop. I have kept a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer for a month, indulging in just one small scoop at a time. A larger container would often get ice crystals on the surface of the ice cream, from sitting too long. Last year, though, I found something new.
Breyer’s Raspberry Cheesecake Gelato is sinfully good, and has me hooked. It tastes like rich cream, and the raspberry swirl is just sweet enough. Even the bit of graham cracker crumble is delicious. I’ve been eating my way through a carton of it every single week. I get as nervous when it’s getting low as I would about running out of milk, coffee, or any other necessity. If they sold it in a big brown tub, I’d find room in the freezer for it!