I never think about ice cream in the wintertime. In my drafty house, when it’s freezing outside, I rarely want something cold. Maybe, if I’m having chocolate cookies or gingersnaps, I’ll drink a glass of cold milk, but that’s it. Usually, after dinner, I’ll sip a cup of hot tea. Now and then, I have popcorn and cocoa. Occasionally, a glass of red wine. Not chilled.
When the weather gets warm, though, I think of ice cream. I picked up a half gallon of it about a month ago. Double-Chocolate Almond. That’s my very favorite. Unless the market has Raspberry Cheesecake Gelato, which is both addictive and expensive…and worth every penny! Plain old Strawberry is fine, if it’s one of the brands that has real bits of berry swirled through, and Butter Pecan is always a satisfactory choice. In the hot, hot days of summer, sometimes a sherbet is refreshing.
For my first ice cream of the season, though, I went for the chocolate. I had to rearrange the freezer to make room for it. I stacked a couple pint-sized freezer containers, pushed a bag of broccoli to the back, and moved a package of meat to the drawer in the refrigerator section. I removed three votive candle holders that were only in there so that I could snap the last of the wax out of them. Then, finally, if I stood it on its side, the ice cream fit just inside the door.
Then, I forgot about it. I didn’t have another reason to open the freezer door and, despite the deceptive sunshine, it wasn’t really all that warm. When I felt like a little dessert, as I often do after dinner, I’d have a dish of cottage cheese topped with a spoonful of crushed pineapple. Or, a bowl of cereal with fruit. Or, just fruit. If I happened to actually have a real dessert, cookies or cake or – for one fortunate week – an apple pie, of course, I’d have that.
The ice cream stood, forgotten, just inside the freezer door. Until last week, when I remembered it there. Eureka! I mixed two tablespoons of sugar, and one tablespoon each of cocoa powder, butter, and water all together in a saucepan; I warmed it over medium heat until it was bubbly. I sliced a whole banana into a bowl. Topped it with three small scoops of delicious Double Chocolate Almond ice cream. Poured the hot chocolate sauce over it. Added a dollop of whipped cream. That was my first ice cream of the season. And it was perfect!