Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer Love Means Ice Cream

Summer love?

What can I say… I don’t love summer.

I lived most of my life on the East Coast where the three Hs – hazy, hot, and humid – dominate the summer weather forecast. A place where your towel doesn’t dry overnight. Where you go outside to catch a breeze but are driven back in by the swarms of mosquitos.

I grew up near the ocean but I hate to swim. I hate sand on my skin, under my feet, and in my clothes. I hate the noise and crowds at the beach. My pale skin burns quickly or else erupts in hives if I sit too long in the sun.

No, I don’t love summer.

But summer is the season of ice cream.

In summer, you can eat ice cream without shame or guilt.

What? It’s hot out.

The week before July 4th, I was back east to visit family and friends and I ate a lot of ice cream.

What? It was hot!

And this wasn't just ice cream; these were classic summer experiences.

First was Mr. Softee, the ice cream truck that brings brings the creamy goodness of soft ice cream right to your door. We were sitting at the dinner table at my dad’s house, debating what to do for dessert when, suddenly, like a message from the universe, the Mr. Softee theme song could be heard in the street outside.

It was fate. We had to go.

My son got the double header, a Mr. Softee classic.

The Carvel shop in Plainedge NY
where I grew up 
The Carvel in Madison NJ
(We drove out of our way
because... Carvel!)

The other thing Long Island has, along with a few other places around the East Coast, is Carvel. Here I am (twice) with my classic Carvel order – a medium vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles.

I never order anything else. I mean, why would you?

Kohr Bros
(photo from 10/16)
What? It was hot...
no it wasn't...

Do you have beaches and boardwalks where you live? I don’t anymore, but when we go back in summer like we just did, we visit family at a beach house on the Delaware shore. The Delaware boardwalk is full of Kohr Bros soft serve shops. We had ice cream every time we went to the beach. I call that my payment for going to the beach:  something I love in exchange for something I don’t. Works for me. And remember, it was hot.

And we haven’t even talked about regular ice cream yet! It’s my dad’s favorite dessert too, so we always had ice cream in the house growing up. It’s hard for me to say what my favorite flavor is, but it’s always vanilla ice cream with stuff in it:  chocolate chip, Oreo cookies and cream, or some version of “moose tracks” with chocolate covered nuts and caramel and fudge swirl. I may stray to death-by-chocolate or peanut butter brownie if I’m in a particular mood, but I’ll always come back to my favorites.

My reward for driving him:
Sweet Cow Cookies & Cream
I’ve been in big trouble since a fantastic ice cream shop called Sweet Cow opened here in my town of Louisville, Colorado a few years ago. They do the basics exceptionally well – the best cookies and cream I’ve ever had – and they make specialty flavors that aren’t always available, like cinnamon chocolate, and “happy cakes” with chunks of real cupcakes, and raspberry chocolate chip, that are to die for.

It’s worse now that my son works there. He gets a huge discount, which means he brings pints of ice cream home quite often. And anytime I drive him to work or pick him up, he gives me free ice cream.

I drive him a lot.

What’s your favorite kind of ice cream? Hand scooped or soft serve? Vanilla or chocolate? Smooth or full of stuff? What do you like to put on top: Nuts? Hot fudge? Butterscotch? Caramel? M&Ms? Something else? Do you call the little sugary toppings “sprinkles” or “jimmies”, and if so, is there a difference between what you call them if they’re rainbow and chocolate? I want to know!

Would it be wrong to have some ice cream now? What? It’s hot!

P.S. Today is July 11, so head to your local 7-Eleven store for another classic summer treat: a free Slurpee! #7ElevenDay


  1. I'm an ice cream-aholic! And accompanying you on your trip through ice cream memory lane was a delight. Now I must go and have a bowl. Or two. (I had homemade raspberry chocolate chip recently on a trip to Virginia. HEAVEN on a spoon!) :)

    1. One holiday season, Santa brought our family an ice cream maker. By the end of January, I had to stop using it because everyone was busting out of their pants! We are weak! Weak!

  2. Khor's Bros it the BEST and there are none around me in NY (that I know of). I'm with you on the ice cream--best part of summer.

    1. I never heard of them until we started visiting Delaware. I don't think they're in NJ either (the other place I lived for a long time). But soooo good! Perfect summer treat!

  3. I love ice cream, but it no longer loves me. Even so, there are flavors that beg to be binged. Maine Moose Tracks, Maine Blueberry and sweet cream as well as Red Sox Green Monster Mint. Since I have to be careful with sugar, I've discovered that vanilla yogurt with any of the berries we raise (red and gold raspberries, black raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and even apples) make killer and close to guilt-free smoothies.

  4. When I need to be careful about what I eat (like now, after a vacation binge like I just had), it's hard to live without dairy products like ice cream and cheese. But thank goodness for summer fruit that mix so well with yogurt! Yum!

  5. Yummy post! My long term favorite is good old Baskin Robbins-- peanut butter chocolate, Jamoca almond fudge, or butter pecan. Here in Texas,
    Amy's ice cream-- Mexican chocolate!-- is fabulous. Culver's frozen custard - vanilla sundae with hot fudge, whipped cream and pecans! Anyone who makes a good cherry vanilla. Jeni's ice cream (which we don't have in Houston, sadly!) in all sorts of flavors. And three dearly departed ice cream places in Chicago: The Buffalo; Lockwood Castle; and Laurie's, which used to have different color whipped cream!

    1. I'd definitely try the Mexican chocolate. I'm learning to love chocolate with spices. And oh my, colored whipped cream! I'd love to see that! :)

  6. I actually like ice cream better during the winter because then it won't melt. Once I went to Ghirardelli's in Chicago and ordered an ice cream sundae; I was the only customer there and the snow was coming down hard outside. The ice cream tasted so good.

    1. Summer, winter, fall, spring... I'll eat ice cream any time! :D

  7. I currently live on Long Island and made a Carvel run yesterday because "Wednesday is Sundae" ! Sadly, Mr. Softee hasn't been around lately... turf wars, perhaps?

    We've recently discovered the joy of McNulty's -- an ice cream shop in Miller Place that is ALWAYS standing-room-only. They feature homemade ice cream. It's amazing.

  8. We had this place here (SW MO) when I was little--Shauncy's. Old-fashioned ice cream parlor. LOVED the strawberry sodas in a fancy glass.

  9. I am dairy-free, so I eat coconut milk ice cream. No one believes me, but it is delicious! And my almond milk tastes like melted ice cream.

    Also, #longlostsisters re: your feelings about the beach and summer in general.