It’s been said that ice cream has a vocabulary all its own. If words or phrases have any link to ice cream, most ears will prick up at the sound of them. Chocolate syrup, raspberry ripple, hot fudge and double scoop conjure visions of sweet creamy mounds of delightful dessert.
At our house, we keep a large 5-quart pail of vanilla ice cream in our freezer most of the time. The pail helps preserve a fresh texture longer than a cardboard carton, vanilla goes with almost any sundae topping and it’s the flavor of choice alongside desserts, i.e. pie a la mode, etc. Even so, the three Steeb women all choose chocolate as our favorite flavor.
Ice cream was one of the first soft foods I allowed my kids to taste even before they’d been introduced to many baby foods (probably not a good idea). To our surprise, as soon as our eldest daughter began making decisions about what she would (and most often, what she would not) eat, she vetoed ice cream. Almost 20 now, she still only succumbs to Handel’s Chocoholic Chunk, a wise choice for any chocolate lover.
Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt has been made fresh every day on the premises since 1945. Originating in Youngstown, Ohio, Handel’s success has been reported in various publications which recognized Handel’s as “One of the Best Ice Cream Parlors in the Country.” Another summer cooler favorite of ours is their Watermelon Ice.
Another great place for ice cream is Bruster’s. In 1989, Bruce Reed, opened the first Bruster’s in Bridgewater, Pa. They say that you can see in his eyes that he’s a real ice cream guy and sometimes you can see it in his beard! Now there are Bruster’s Real Ice Cream shops all over the country.
Mark has the beard thing going for him, too. My theory is that a little ice cream in the beard just shows you’re so intent on enjoying an ice cream moment that any use of a napkin must temporarily be delayed.
One ice cream spot that’s become an annual stop for our family is the Deersville General Store. Located on the Tappan-Moravian Trail Scenic Byway the General Store is 99 years old. With everything a camper or sportsman could need, it’s famous for its homemade ice cream.
After we place a memorial pot of flowers in the Deersville cemetery (my mother’s parents are buried there), we stop for ice cream at the General Store. The store’s outdoor tables provided a spot for a brief reunion in May with my cousin Nancy, where we enjoyed their Butter Brickle and Black Raspberry.
If you’re an ice cream fan, you probably don’t need any coaxing or special occasion to eat ice cream, but in case you’re looking for a reason, National Ice Cream Day is Sunday, July 15. I’ll raise a cone to you in hopes that we can indulge this week to mark our fondness for America’s favorite cold, creamy treat.
Don’t forget to send recipe(s) for the next cookbook — More from Back o’ the Box.