Ice Cream Memories
My husband had to go pick up a part for his show car tonight. It’s an hour’s drive to the special store. (There’s a better name for this parts place, but I don’t know what the technical term is – “Expensive Shit Emporium”, maybe.)
Anyway, Hubby didn’t want to make the two-hour round trip by himself. So he asked me nicely to come along.
I asked him nicely for a bribe.
And he came up with a good one: Frozen Yogurt.
So I daydreamed while we rode in the convertible through the sunset in Hartford. It was hazy and smoggy and pretty and I didn’t even have to hold a conversation, because the convertible on the highway is very noisy.
And while he discussed wires or knobs or what-the-hell with the guy at Ripoff City, I played Yahtzee on my cell phone – losing six games in a row to the “Bill”, my computerized opponent, who I think is sleeping with the computer who rolls the dice.
Hubby finally came out from Bend-Over Boutique, and off we went – finally winding up at Kiwi Spoon – the frozen yogurt bar we like. The fro-yo is refreshing, the fruit toppings are real, the store is spotless, and we can sit and have a wonderful view of the traffic whipping past. (But atmosphere is overrated.)
And it got me to thinking about how much I’ve loved ice cream over the years.
And yes, I wrote about ice cream just last week, but I didn’t do it justice.
When I was a kid, we would wait for the ice cream man. We’d play hide-and-seek in the waning light and listen for those magical bells. I liked Good Humor better than Mister Softee – but whichever came first was what we’d take. None of the parents in the neighborhood could afford ice cream every night, but they seemed to coordinate it so that all the kids got ice cream the same night, and none on the same night. No jealousy allowed.
On special nights we’d walk over to Litchfield Farm Shoppe and have a cone. They had terrific maple walnut.
And on extra-extra special nights, my dad would say to my mother, “Get your purse. We are all going out for ice cream.” We’d pile into the station wagon and drive to Roberge Dairy. Oh, their coffee ice cream was wondrous. And Dad would have one too – that was a big treat for me – to see him splurge on an ice cream cone for himself too.
I hated having sticky fingers and I learned to eat my ice cream really fast. No drips allowed. (Not to mention the danger of someone bigger than me – I won’t mention any names but they had the same Mom and Dad as me – always offering to “neaten it up” and losing quite a bit of my ice cream in the process. I still finish my fro-yo while my husband’s cup is still full.
Those dairies disappeared as I grew up, but there was always Guida’s in New Britain. And Baskin-Robbins came around right about the time I had to start watching my calories. But from my tiny first apartment, it was a little over a mile round-trip, and so I’d splurge as long as I walked there and back.
And now, there’s great fro-yo bars everywhere. So I can have my treat without feeling too guilty.
And when I am not worried about guilt – like last week after I finished my photo session – I go to Arethusa Dairy near my home. Arethusa Dairy is owned by the proprietors of Manolo Blahnik shoes. They have more money than they know what to do with, and so what they decided to do with it was build a dairy farm. They have some of the finest dairy cows in the country. They have a big fancy barn, with a sign over the door:
“Every cow in our barn is a lady, please treat her as such.”
And they do.
Arethusa’s cows have mattresses, massages, and special shampoo depending on hair color. They are very happy ladies. (Wouldn’t you be?) And they give amazing milk. I choose coffee ice cream still. It has little grains of ground coffee right in the ice cream. It is rich and flavorful, and I am transported back to Roberge dairy watching my dad enjoy his chocolate cone.