A couple of days ago, a Facebook friend, a fellow cyclist, wrote that she'd just finished 340 in a few days and would be spending the next 7 eating as much ice cream as she wanted. It got me to thinking about ice cream past, present, and future.
When I was a kid in Trenton, New Jersey, on hot summer nights, the whole family would walk up Greenwood Ave. past the Carvel soft-serve up toward the small ice cream parlor near the Greenwood Theater. My grandparents, parents, sister, and me. I'd usually go for a vanilla sundae with wet walnuts and hot fudge, all presented in a tall, fluted glass, with a flopped-over lip. Afterward, we'd walk home past the smells of honeysuckle and mulberry and flashes of lightning bugs toward the corner on which we lived, flanked on three sides by gas stations.
I didn't eat much ice cream as a singleton, but I married a woman with a taste for butter pecan, and so we indulged in that for a while, occasionally hitting Baskin-Robbins for a few of their 31 flavors when we lived in Laramie.
Stephen Colbert made his big announcement shortly after we moved to Idaho: Ben & Jerry had just created "Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream," vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl. De-lish. We also discovered Blue Bunny's "Bunny Tracks." Use your imagination.
Then, a bit more than two years ago, a highly skilled surgeon sliced out my pancreas, and I became an instant Type 1 diabetic. Goodbye sugar; farewell Ben & Jerry; hop away Blue Bunny. Fortunately, Dreyer's makes several varieties of no-sugar-added, including French vanilla, butter pecan, and fudge swirl. Pretty good, but not Americone Dream. So Ben - and you too Jerry - open up a big bag of Splenda and get creative. Name something after Charles Barkeley or Dan Marion, and use weight loss for a symbolic sugar-free ice cream. Or, maybe, Jay Cutler (Go Bears) for our diabetic crowd.
Get with it, Pepperidge Farm. Oreo puts out a pretty good sugar-free cookie, but who wouldn't want a sugar-free Chesapeake or Nantucket. Just sayin'.