It’s summer time and the living is, well, hot around here.
Heat makes me think of cold makes me think of ice cream. So today’s memory challenge is ice cream from childhood.
The strongest memory I have of ice cream was after going to the dentist. I hated the dentist and he hated me. (He is responsible for all but one of my dental fears, of which there are many.) After going to the dentist my mom would take me to the ice cream parlor a couple of doors down. I don’t remember the name of the ice cream place. I don’t remember anything about it except that my bribery for going to the dentist and not pitching a fit was that I would get a scoop of chocolate mint ice cream after the torture.
Nicer memories are going to Baskin Robbins when my grandmother got a craving for a black and tan sundae. I loved Baskin Robbins because they put whipped cream on their sundaes and we didn’t get that at home very often.
When I was into roller skating we would often go to Berkeley Farms after skating for a late dinner or a snack. I always had a hot fudge sundae.
At Meadow Homes pool where I would get to go swim in the summer time, they sold ice cream sandwiches in a vending machine. Somehow they always tasted better there than they did when my mom bought them at the store.
At my aunt and uncles house they served Neapolitan ice cream. Hated it. Hated that the strawberry stuff melted into the chocolate and the vanilla. I used to try to eat the pink part first, washing it down with giant gulps of water, but some of it always melted into the good part.
The best memory I had was ice cream at home. Once in a while we made homemade ice cream but mostly we bought it, almost always vanilla but sometimes rocky road. We had Bosco syrup and usually fresh walnuts or almonds from our trees that I would grind up in the little hand grinder. I loved to cover the ice cream with nuts so thick you couldn’t see the chocolate syrup. Sometimes all we had was the ice cream and chocolate sauce and my cousin Danny and I would whip the ice cream round and round until we had ice cream soup and then, drink it with a straw.
Your turn. What are your childhood ice cream memories?
Baskin Robbins was 21 flavors in those days . . . a rare and delicious treat!
Every now and then, on a hot summer evening, our mother would announce we were going for ice cream and pile us all in the car (sometimes we were already in our jammies, but that didn’t matter) and take us to Bill Mack’s in Dover. Their ice cream had a very “icy” texture to it and strong flavors. Teaberry and black raspberry were favorites!
There were three Mack brothers and each had their own ice cream stores: Bill, Jim and Godfrey. Bill and Jim are still in business. It’s a “school’s out!” tradition to take my kids to Jim Mack’s.
Summer Nights and a Cone
My dad loved ice cream. Some summer nights he’d interrupt the heat with,”Who wants ice cream?” My mother, my sister, and I knew he wasn’t talking about ice cream we might or might not have in the freezer. We lived 10 miles away from the ice cream parlor. His question was the wild suggestion of driving into the hot summer night, windows down and the warm breeze still a relief from the heat. Of course we all wanted to go. I didn’t really care about ice cream – and still don’t. But the craziness of a hot ride together under desert stars, my parents talking about who knows what, the cool sweet smell of all that ice cream, and the sleepy ride home – we never said no.
Re: Summer Nights and a Cone
What a lovely memory, Mary! Thank you for sharing it with me.
We never made a big deal out of driving to the ice cream parlor but you reminded me that when my grandfather was alive it was a huge deal to drive down to A & W for a root beer float.
Aide from the obvious song, your first line makes me think of Billy Crystal’s character in Throw Momma From The Train.
…The night was hot… I have to go now. I have a headache.
I remember the sound the spoons made on the ramekins my parents used for ice cream. For some reason, they’d wait to have their until after we’d had ours and gone to bed. But there was no way I could sleep while someone else was having ice cream! C’mon, get real!
Santa Barbara, CA
Yes, the song connection was deliberate. 🙂
Funny that your parents would wait to have their ice cream after you went to bed.
Love the picture!
And belated congrats on the reviewing gig.
Haven’t I commented about ice cream on your blog before? Well, you can never say enough about it, because it’s the world’s best food!!
I used to love getting mint chip ice cream from Baskin-Robbins after ballet class (for the year that I took ballet in the 3rd grade). I loved that the chips were actually flakes of chocolate instead of hard little lumps like the store-bought ice cream. Mom never let me get a sugar cone, it was always a cup or a plain cone if I was getting a special treat (“that ice cream is already loaded with sugar, you don’t need a cone made of sugar too”).
My best friend’s favorite flavor was Jamoca Almond Fudge, which I tried to adopt as my favorite, but it didn’t take. Mint chip is still my go-to flavor if we ever stop at 31 Flavors.
Summer Ice Cream memories summed up in FOUR words!
The Ding-Dong cart!
When we were six, we started getting allowance. A dime; increased by a nickel every year. A dime would buy an ice cream cone at the dimestore. Fifteen cents would buy one at the bakery. The dimestore gave you one scoop of chocolate or vanilla with a maraschino cherry in a pointed cone, while the bakery (which was darker, farther from Gramma’s, and less familiar) gave you chocolate or vanilla with sprinkles and a flat cone. It is entirely possible that the bakery had better quality ice cream, but my mom always bought ice milk for home and our palates were not sophisticated enough for the extra five cents to be worth it, especially since you couldn’t bite the ends off the flat cones and suck the melted ice cream out the bottom. And then there was the cherry. I’d lick all around the cherry till there was a pillar of just enough ice cream underneath to support it, then bite it off.
The dimestore was in the same block as Gramma and Grampa’s apartment, JP office, and feedstore; I want to say the building next door but I’m not positive. We walked straight up the alley (paved with gravel and clinkers) in bare feet. And no, I’m not old enough that all the stuff in there was a dime, but I am old enough that it was possible to buy some of the toys and candy with our allowances when it wasn’t hot enough for ice cream.
In the middle of third grade we moved to the DC area and couldn’t get to stores by ourselves anymore, except for the 7-11, and I started saving my allowance for real purchases – i.e., books. After all, we always had ice milk and candy in the house and buying it ourselves didn’t increase the total number of snacks we were allowed to have.
Peni (not anonymous at all)
Peni you are anything but anonymous. I always smile when I see a comment from you.
I had forgotten about the ice milk. I guess is must have been tough times when we had the ice milk because for a while that was all we had (needed more chocolate syrup) and then, when times were better, the regular ice cream came back.
We walked a lot of places in bare feet back then, didn’t we?
I lived in Bakersfield (rightly named btw) one summer. Whenever I went for an ice cream cone my mom always wanted one too. In that hot weather, bringing home two ice cream cones was impossible. By the time I reached our front porch I’d pretty much licked both scoops level with the top of the cone. Mom never had a full scoop, but she never complained.