SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM

This blog was written in the summer of 2012.

“You scream; I scream; we all scream for ice cream.”* I recall people saying that a lot in the summer when I was a kid. I just discovered that it was the title of a song from the1920’s.

The weather is very warm as I sit here drinking my tea (iced, today) and eating my chocolate chip cookie, and I’m thinking about childhood summers when we cranked the bucket to get homemade ice cream. Delicious! We ate it in big soup bowls in the backyard under the stars. My parents had dear friends who often joined us on those nights so there were usually seven of us. Sometimes the ice cream was vanilla, sometimes peppermint and sometimes with fruit such as peaches. I can’t recall that there was ever chocolate but sometimes I put chocolate sauce on mine. I was the only kid.

The history of ice cream, which I found on a National Geographic site, is sketchy but it is probably true that the first ice cream kind of dessert was from snow or ice and contained no cream.

Our kind of ice cream was first mass produced in the 1850’s, or so the source says. In the 1900’s, it became affordable for most people to buy ice cream. Ice cream in cones seem to have originated at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1905. It was probably an accident. The ice cream vendor ran out of bowls and a waffle maker nearby handed over cone waffles as containers.

When I was a kid, many drugstores had soda fountains. The trend became popular in the 1940’s. This probably came about because they could supply the carbonated water which settled people’s stomachs. Besides ice cream sodas, the store usually offered ice cream sundaes. I remember visiting grandma in Nebraska and having two sundaes with a friend. We felt quite guilty at being so extravagant.

My sad story was on a very hot day in Arizona, at the age of three or four. I was on a driving vacation with my parents. We saw a place that had ice cream, which wasn’t all that usual. I got a cone and couldn’t wait to get to the car to eat it. On the way, the chocolate scoop fell out of the cone onto the sand. I was so sad. My sweet dad got me another one.

I’ve had many brands of ice cream in my long life and even the best of them could not begin to compare to the homemade ice cream eaten in my back yard on a hot summer night. So, guess what I’m having for dessert tonight? Bought at the market, of course.

*Song lyrics at http://www.heptune.com under the jazz and blues page

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