Well, I learned that today is National Ice Cream day. I feel like we need to celebrate, especially since I missed National Donut Day. (I wonder if there is a National Spinach Day, or National Kale day)
(lol ... I shoulda known....
I can't remember when ice cream wasn't a big part of my life. I remember how excited my father was when Swenson's Ice Cream opened up two blocks from our house.
I was a kid and the place still looks the same today, though it is no longer owned by Earl Swenson and is now a franchise with stores all over the country and, I discovered, all over the world. You can stand outside and look through the window to see them making ice cream, and the neon sign has said "see us freeze" ever since the shop was built. My father never went past the store without joking that he has never seen them actually freeze.
When the Piñata group was all young, we often made our own ice cream, the kids taking turns turning the crank, licking the paddle when the ice cream was ready to stand and still. I still remember how delicious fresh peach ice cream was. I still make ice cream occasionally, but now it's all done electronically, which is just as delicious, but somehow it seems like cheating.
I fondly remember one afternoon when Gilbert decided he needed to have an ice cream sundae and we drove a the way from San Francisco to Palo Alto (about 35 miles), because he remembered a good store there.
And then, of course, there was Mitchell's creamery where Benny had purple sweet potato ice cream a few months ago.
When my mother moved to Atria, she used to have a vanilla ice cream cone on a waffle cone after dinner every night. It got to be almost a joke with her and the staff because they all knew Mildred had to have her ice cream cone. It got to be too much for her and she would take her uneaten cone back to her room. I remember when I counted twelve cones in her freezer.
A couple of years ago, Walt and I started having Haagen Dazs bars for dessert. I really liked them, but they were too big for me. I was tired before I finished (by "tired" I mean I had enough). Then I discovered their mini bars.
We almost always have bars in the freezer and at night we sit and eat our snack size bars at night. Polly used to go crazy, hoping for the end of my bar, like my mother's dog Maxie used to do, whining if she finished her ice cream and forgot to save some for him. But Polly seems to ignore us now, when we eat ice cream.
So tonight we will celebrate National Ice Cream day the way we celebrate every night. We will have our mini bars and, as I do every night, I will drop some of the chocolate on my front where it will melt into my shirt. The day I do not drop chocolate down my front is a red letter day.