Ice Cream for Supper

  So
  little
  is needed.
A dish. A spoon.
  Even the carton
  will do in a pinch if
  no one is watching, no one
  complaining, no one advising
sweet moderation when offered the
chance to keep scooping and scooping away.

Comments are welcome. To leave a comment, please click below.
For more information on the Etheree, a syllabic poem that, in its basic form, contains ten lines and a total of fifty-five syllables, please click HERE.

127 thoughts on “Ice Cream for Supper

  1. Oh my gosh. My parents made ice cream in the freezer quite often in the summer. It was my job to turn the handle until it became too difficult for me. Then my Dad took over.

    The poster of the little girl is beautiful. Lost of memories are flooding my brain now after seeing this post. It really is lovely but gee, Linda, I can not eat ice cream. :-) Maybe one day again, I hope.

    1. It was such a part of summer for me, too, Yvonne. We’d always make it at my grandparents’ house. Everyone gathered there, so that’s where the freezer stayed. Just like you, I got to crank until it started to freeze. Then, the big people would finish it off.

      Isn’t that a beautiful image? They had others that are just as cute, but I really liked the expression on her face. That’s a girl who could steal a cookie to go with her ice cream!

      Linda

  2. Ha. Ice cream, my biggest vice. Did you know Alaskans eat more ice cream per capita than any other state? I seem to crave it most in the winter. Go figure!

    1. I didn’t know that, Monica. Maybe being surrounded by all that frozen stuff on the ground influences the psyche.

      On the other hand, we used to make snow ice cream whenever a nice, heavy snowfall came along. It wasn’t as tasty as the sort we made in the freezer during the summer, but I did love going out to collect the snow.

      Linda

  3. In her 80s, mom would sometimes eat ice cream for lunch. My brother would advise “sweet moderation,” but she would just say, “And your point?”

    Into her 90s and all the way to 101, we would serve her large bowls of Tillamook chocolate almond fudge ice cream after dinner with added chocolate sauce. She would keep “scooping and scooping away” until it was all finished.
    I have no such license with the deliciousness of ice cream.

    1. Well, look at this. We have another shared “mother experience.” My own adored ice cream, and had her own definition of moderation. I can’t tell you the number of times I’d ask, “Is there any ice cream left in the freezer?” She’d smile and say, “Yes, honey. Help yourself.” I’d open the carton and there it would be — one heaping tablespoon of ice cream. She’d just grin and say, “Well, I didn’t eat it all.”

      This was her favorite season. The strawberries are in, and there was nothing she liked more than a good vanilla with fresh strawberries. Such memories!

      Linda

  4. This was indeed my supper last night, at about 11 pm. Ben and Jerry’s “Chocolate Therapy,” right out of the carton.

    I have never done that before in my life. Too weird, in a fun way!

    1. I’m not so fond of Ben and Jerry’s, but that could be the result of living in The Land of Blue Bell. They’re a Texas company that produces a homemade vanilla that edges toward the taste of homemade – although it doesn’t get there.

      On the other hand, I have dipped a spoon or two into some Ben & Jerry’s “Willie Nelson’s Country Peach Cobbler.” That usually happens in winter, when the taste of real peaches, warm from the oven, is still months away.

      Just remember – everything in moderation, including moderation!

      Linda

  5. Oh gawd, how did you know? They were out of Rocky Road at the corner store so I went with Banana Split for tonight. The only way I can justify ice cream calories is to not see anything else for dinner.

    1. Blueskies, your mention of banana split made me smile. A friend begins each summer with a huge banana split from a specialty ice cream shop down the road from him. It’s just once a year, but he does it right, with three kinds of ice cream, nuts, whipped cream — the whole thing.

      He says he doesn’t worry a lick about all those calories and etc. He figures anything he looks forward to for half of the year, and remembers for the other half, is worth it. Enjoy yours!

      Linda

  6. Sweet picture. You just go right ahead enjoying your bowl full…er…pint full from the carton.

    I remember cranking and cranking away especially in July using the fresh peaches from Mexia. Ice cream connects us all as we anticipate summer. I remember meeting up with Rosie at GROM in Malibu Beach at just about a year ago today. And it was fun participating in a Ben and Jerry’s campaign for free ice cream with Lenore Diane.

    1. Georgette, I remember that photo of you and Rosie. What a fun time that surely was. Even reading about it was fun.

      It sounds we experienced ice cream in much the same way, so many years ago. It was a ritual, and a community event. Everyone got to help, and everyone knew not to be greedy in the beginning so there would be some left for the neighbor who inevitably wandered over.

      What I do remember as a very young child is knowing we would get to eat until it all was gone – Grandma and Grandpa didn’t have a refrigerator with a freezer until later in my grade school years, so any leftover ice cream would just melt away. I can’t lay my hands on it right now, but somewhere there’s a photo taken when I was a baby, showing my mother and her best friend in a Kentucky back yard, with the container from an ice cream freezer and two spoons.

      Linda

  7. Ice cream is easy to make. Really good ice cream, much harder. I have had students make it rolling nested cans across the classroom floor for 20 minutes. Mushing a plastic bag surrounded by salted ice also works.

    The best stuff is from the hand cranked makers. You know the saying about helping crank the machine?

    No cranky…No eaty.

    1. I hadn’t heard that saying, Jim, but it reminds me of a similar one from the boatyards: No Cash, No Splash!

      I never tried your classroom methods for making ice cream, but one of my stellar memories from second grade is coming back from a field trip to a dairy farm and churning butter in a Mason jar. We got to eat it on oyster crackers.

      Of course there are those electric ice cream makers now that don’t require sitting on a three-legged stool and cranking. It tickles me that some carry the brand name, “Nostalgia.” I suspect we’re in their target demographic.

      Linda

      1. I’m sure we are the targets. I have an electric one. I keep a tub with a liquid inside it in the freezer. When I make ice cream, I set in on the base, add ingredients, and turn it on. It takes about 20 minutes. The ice cream gets transferred to a plastic tub and stuck in the freezer to firm up. My favorite is mint chip. I add a drop of green food coloring, too.

        1. My favorite is mint chip, too – that’s what the Talenti Mediterranean Mint is. Their product is truly all natural, and you might give their technique a try. They use fresh mint for both the flavor and the color. I don’t see any reason you couldn’t prepare the mint the same way Melanie does her basil for pesto.

    1. Barry, I have a couple of friends who are in the same situation, and it’s good that there are options.

      Besides, the experience of pure indulgence doesn’t require ice cream. We’ve moving into the season of indulgence here, with fresh strawberries, blueberries and peaches galore. If I could get my hands on tree-ripened papaya, I’d be really happy!

      Linda

  8. Beautiful. The flood of memories filled my mind’s tastebuds.

    I used to put fresh squeezed orange juice on my Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla and stir it in. When the ice cream reached the consistency of the old crank style from my memory it was time to indulge in a bowl of dreamsicle memories…

    1. Oh, my gosh. Dreamsicles. The closest I’ve found to that old and delicious standby is Bluebell Homemade Vanilla and Orange Swirl. I’m going to give your technique a try, and see what happens, because the Bluebell still isn’t exactly what I remember.

      By the way — I just read this week that Brazoria County has the most bird species of any county in the U.S. That’s really amazing, and it certainly helps to explain why you have such a variety. Of course, you have the perfect environment for them, too — especially the songbirds that prefer brushy and wooded homes. We do have some treasures around here.

      Linda

      1. While I am not entirely surprised by the bird count, I would bet High Island beats us in sheer numbers. I get a daily email from the folks over there and most of what they are seeing each day are foreign to me here.

  9. I love that picture… and ice cream. I just looked up White Mountain’s ice cream freezers online. After seeing the prices they are asking now, I will have to dig out the one we have stored in the garage!

    1. Well, montucky, if you dig out that ice cream freezer and decide to make some, you could use the old family recipe, or an online recipe, or you could use Thomas Jefferson’s recipe from Monticello. It’s amazing that we still have his recipe, written in his own hand.

      I’ll bet Jefferson would have loved to have had a White Mountain freezer!

      Linda

  10. Many many years ago, I got an old crank type ice cream maker and with some dear friends we would make the most delicious chocolate concoctions—-it was hard work, but worth every minute of it! Chocolate is my very favorite, even today…..
    Sweet sweet picture, my dear……Enjoy I say, and the Hell with Moderation!

    1. OldOldLady, you’re exactly right. The ice cream was a terrific reward for the effort, but the work was part of the fun.

      It’s rather mysterious to think of it now, but I don’t remember our family ever making chocolate ice cream. What I do remember is Grandma producing a homemade hot fudge, for sundaes. Oh, my. We’d put that hot fudge atop vanilla, and there always would be chopped nuts to go atop that. We did enjoy every bite of it, and I don’t recall the need for moderation ever being part of the discussion. Ice-cream-eating always marked an “occasion”, even if the occasion was a Sunday afternoon.

      Linda

    1. Hi, anno! Treats for everyone — and isn’t it true that even ice cream is better with a few words sprinkled on top?

      It’s good to see you. Thanks for stopping by.

      Linda

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It was fun to write — although I did notice a strange craving for ice cream in the time I was working on it!

      Thanks so much for visiting, and commenting. You’re always welcome here.

      Linda

  11. Ice cream is the perfect taste of summer. I just don’t have the self discipline to eat right from the container. We were always taught to clean our plates, and I would have no trouble with cleaning up a container-full in one sitting. Scooping into a bowl means putting on the brakes
    Bye the way, I took only three or four things from my Dad’s house after his death, and one was the ice cream scoop from my childhood.

    1. Well, scooping into a bowl puts on the brakes unless you’re like my mother. She would get a nice, lady-like serving in a bowl. After she’d finished it, she’d get up, go to the freezer and get a second, lady-like serving in a bowl. This could go on for some time. When I asked why she didn’t just fill up her bowl to start with, she said it wouldn’t be polite, and besides – all that walking back and forth to the freezer burned up calories.

      My goodness, I do miss those conversations!

      My favorite of all our scoops was the one with the red lucite handle and the little lever that moved the gizmo that helped get the ice cream out of the scoop. Long before people started putting ice cream in the microwave to make it more scoopable, you could plunk those scoops into hot water and achieve the same effect.

      Thanks for bringing up a few more memories, Rosemary.

      Linda

    1. Isn’t she lovely, Peter? There’s a certain impish quality, especially in the just slightly asymmetrical mouth, and those “Who? Me?” eyes. I was glad to find the image to accompany the poem.

      And I’m glad to have a visit from you. Thanks for stopping by, and commenting.

      Linda

  12. Hazelnut gelato eaten twice a day in Florence, Italy! Heavenly.
    Sweet etheree Linda.

    I knew a woman who opted for a stomach bypass to reduce her weight. She decided to eat as much as she wanted of the things she loved best the night before the surgery, so she invited a large group of friends for an ice cream social. Many ice cream flavors, syrups, with nuts and cherries to make your own. Decadent and delicious.

    1. Hazelnut gelato in Florence, Kayti? Oh, my — and, of course. Florence is just up the road from Perugia and the fabulous “baci”! What a treat.

      When I first began working in the medical field in the 1970s, I was a member of the team supporting the work of Dr. Stan Dudrick at the UT School of Surgery in the Texas Medical Center. His specialty? Intravenous hyperalimentation, particularly after gastric bypass surgery. I was involved with taking social histories before surgery, and followup after. It was very, very interesting.

      I still remember the name of the first patient I interviewed, and whose surgery I witnessed, although, as I recall, she wasn’t much fond of ice cream.

      Linda

  13. Sometime in the early 1970s I went to a movie theater with a half-gallon container of ice cream and, after the lights were dimmed and the movie started, ate some myself and passed the container down the row for strangers to sample. I hope I had extra spoons for people, but I don’t remember.

    1. That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard, Steve, and it’s even funnier because of what it called to mind.

      Recently, I’ve had a mama squirrel and three babies running around below my apartment. Once I spotted them, I went out with a handful of shelled pecans and started tossing them over the railing, a few at a time.

      Because I’m two stories up, the pecans seemed to be raining from the sky. Those darned squirrels stopped, sat up, raised their front paws heavenward and started looking around, to see from whence came this wondrous treat. It was a squirrel version of manna from heaven.

      Which brings me back to those folks in the theater. I’m sure at least a couple were thinking, “I don’t know what this is, and I don’t know where it came from, but it sure is good.” What a tale!

      Linda

  14. As far as language is concerned, the term that we’ve standardized as ice cream started out descriptively as iced cream. At

    http://tinyurl.com/md4pm75

    I found this example from Polly Honeycombe, a work published in 1761 that billed itself as “a dramatick novel of one act”:

    “Reader, if thou art a courtly reader, thou hast seen at polite tables, iced cream crimsoned with raspberries…”

    1. Interesting. When Thomas Jefferson returned from his posting in France in 1789, he brought with him a recipe for French vanilla ice cream. As you can see from his hand-written copy, he called it “ice cream.” A couple of sources said American colonists were the first to make the change from iced cream to ice cream. Jefferson and Monticello no doubt contributed to that.

  15. Picture perfect!
    Impressive construction of imagery, sensory and whimsical mirth!
    Happy May!

    I remember sitting on the back porch at the farm cranking away..cranking away…knowing the only hope of getting any ice cream ever was to just keep cranking – and it took forever.
    Ah, rich means having store bought ice cream in the fridge whenever you want it.

    1. Whimsical is such a good word, and such a great quality. Our little friend up top has a slightly whimsical look, doesn’t she? I’ll bet she could wield a spoon with the best of them.

      It crosses my mind that the ice cream freezer wasn’t the only thing that required hand power. Did you ever use one of these for whipping cream? Oh, I did love to whip cream for Grandma. It happened much more often, for one thing, and I got to lick the beaters once it was done. Mom told me once that, in her family, chocolate cake with whipped cream was the big treat. Her grandmother had a milk cow, so they usually had plenty of milk and cream.

      Funny, how homemade ice cream got supplanted by the store-bought, just as sliced bread from the store took over from home-baked. Now, the pendulum is swinging again. As I reminded someone a couple of days ago, what goes around comes around.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing those memories.

      Linda

  16. We had an old-fashioned ice cream maker (the kind with a hand-turned crank) when I was a kid. Funny, but its output never did taste as delicious as what the ice cream man brought (or even the local Dairy Queen carried!)

    My late grandpa used to snack on a bowl of ice cream every night before bed. I’m sure today’s doctors would have a FIT with that kind of habit, but at least he went to sleep happy!

    While ice cream certainly isn’t one of my passions, I do enjoy it now and then (particularly in a milkshake or a sundae). And, as long as I remember to eat a Lactaid tablet with my first spoonful, I’m good.

    Thanks for some lovely memories and a beautiful Etheree!

    1. Well, Debbie, not all of today’s doctors would throw a fit about your grandpa’s habit. Mom’s never did. As he put it, what’s the point of living if you’re going to do nothing but deny yourself the things you enjoy?” Of course, when they had that discussion, she was around 80, and feeling as though she’d earned the right to pretty much do as she pleased. I couldn’t argue the point, and the good doctor chose not to.

      I didn’t realize Dairy Queen got its start in Illinois. I don’t remember going to the Dairy Queen until maybe junior high. What I do remember are the cones that were dipped in chocolate, which formed a hard shell around the ice cream. My goodness, those were good.

      When I was in junior high, we walked to school. It was about three miles. Maybe a little more. There was a grocery store with a lunch counter attached on the way – we often stopped for a chocolate malt and french fries.. And not a single one of us was over weight. We were walking six miles a day to school, for one thing, and being active outdoors once homework was done. Bicycles when the weather was good, ice skating in the winter. Such a great life.

      Glad you liked the etheree – and thanks for the extra memories you pulled up!

      Linda

  17. Greetings Shoreacres…I am a regular reader of Rosemary’s blog and of course always read the other comments…so thought I would pop over here to your blog after reading your comment regarding her quiche recipe…I have an answer for you that always works for me. Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts!

    1. How nice of you to stop by, Chris — and thanks for the tip. I suppose if I were going to do one of those quiches, I would go ahead and make my own crust, just because I think it’s so much better than the refrigerated. Of course it’s entirely possible that the refrigerated crusts have improved over the years. I can’t remember the last time I used one — it could have been 1975!

      So nice of you to take the time to stop by. It’s always a pleasure to make the acquaintance of someone new. Feel free to visit whenever you like – you’re always welcome!

      Linda

  18. Why do I now have an incredible urge for some Talenti Sea Salt Caramel? Dang, I was just in Bi-Lo, too.

    My favorite childhood homemade ice cream? Peach. Hand churned at Granny and Papa’s farm.

    1. Gué, I just found two pints of Blood Orange sorbet at Target last week. I don’t know how their distribution decisions are made, but that’s the only place I’ve seen it around here. I did note a new flavor on the shelf — some kind of apple pie caramel — but one place in life I tend not to explore is ice cream flavors. Why waste my calories on something I might not like?

      I’m with you on the homemade peach. That’s my favorite, with vanilla tied for first. Even with the homemade, you can keep your strawberry and chocolate and pecan-almond-fudge. To my taste, vanilla’s the little black dress of ice cream.

      Depending on when you check in, either “have fun today” or “I hope you had fun today!”

      Linda

      1. Yep, I did have a good time. It’s always good to see family.

        I’ve been having trouble finding the Blood Orange, too. One store carried it, when we first discovered Talenti, but it disappeared from their shelves. I found one lone container a couple of months ago and snatched it up. Its my absolute favorite of their sorbettos.

  19. Just went to Houston on Thursday to go shopping at airline drive farmers market with some friends , and we decided to eat ice cream for lunch and DINNER. First, at Nundini on North Shepherd for the best italian spumone (other than at Rockport’s Tx. Bellino’s italian restaurant. ) Dinner at Hank’s for the BEST ice cream in Houston made by the Wiggins family. My favorite is the Bananana Pudding, and Buttered Pecan. Hank’s has been in Houston for over 20 years, family owned and homemade. Sadly Hank died from an injury in 2011, but the family still carries on and the ice cream is the same, because he taught his family how to make the ice cream. Hank’s is on Main over by the Astrodome.

    1. Now, this is terrible, Susan. I live here, for gosh sakes, and I’ve not heard of Nundini’s or Hank’s. Of course, both were established were after I moved outside the loop, and my life tends to be centered down here on the water. Still, my eye doctor is close to the Astrodome, and I know exactly where Nundini’s is located. I’m planning to go up to the museum in the next couple of weeks, and that would be a great time to try either place.

      I’m glad to know about Bellino’s, too. I used to stop at the Copano Provisioning Company frequently, but I see they’re out of business, now. They did have some wonderful Italian sandwiches and good salads, but I’ve seen the menu at Bellino’s, and there certainly is no comparison.

      I still remember the exact day that I first had spumoni. I was in junior high, and an aunt had taken my mother and I to Yonker’s Tea Room in Des Moines. Such an occasion!

      By the way — I’ve found both people whose names were in that book about Brazoria County. I’ll be telling that story right here.

      Linda

  20. Nicely done!! Memory jogger as well. Homemade ice cream was a special treat when my grandmother would make it — I was thrilled to hand crank … but more so when electric became available! Nothing fancy but vanilla custard — but what a dream to eat.

    Otherwise, I can pass up ice cream much easier than homemade cake or pie. I am the black sheep as far as that is concerned — my dad, brothers and husband can eat a gallon at a time!

    1. Interesting, the different tastes we have. I can walk right past cake, and am a little picky about pie. Apple, pecan, cherry, or lemon meringue will stop me in my tracks. Otherwise? I’ll be glad for you to have my piece. Becca.

      You’re certainly right about that vanilla custard, though. Sometimes Grandma would add a vanilla bean, and that made the best of all. Bluebell’s French Vanilla is good, but it’s still not close to that homemade.

      Thanks for stopping by – it’s always a pleasure.

      Linda

  21. We didn’t make ice cream in a hand crank freezer at home when I was a kid, for my dad was in the ice cream business. Our home freezer was always stocked with several different kinds. We had ice cream for dessert every night, and I remember that we had a system worked out for who went out to the dark, scary barn to get the half gallons out of the freezer.

    Dad’s ice cream factory made the usual 3-gallon tubs, half gallons, and pints for local eateries and supermarkets, including the Hood and Sealtest brands. We also made “novelties” – popsicles, creamsicles, cups, ice cream sandwiches – and specialty items like ice cream cake roll and spumoni. I worked at the plant – after school, weekends, school and college vacations – from the time I was 10 to 21. This was in the 50s and 60s, so much of the work was done by hand. I loved the work, the challenge, and Dad’s occasional praise.

    In my opinion, Ice Cream is a Food Group, so there is no shame connected to eating undisciplined amounts. Chocolate, in any of its many forms, is a bonus. Adding coffee or peanut butter is a treat. Smothering good vanilla ice cream with seasonal fruits – peaches, strawberries, cherries, blackberries, blueberries, spiced apples – is satisfaction. And whenever I eat or think about ice cream, I smile as I reminisce about working with and learning from my dad.

    Linda, your etheree captures the essence of eating ice cream!

    1. Oh, my gosh. NumberWise, I knew about the dairy, of course, but somehow I’d completely missed or forgotten that ice cream was such a part of your past. And not just garden variety ice cream — all of those luscious treats, too. Especially the spumoni.

      By any chance, do you remember those molded ice cream treats that were made for banquets, weddings, and such? I can remember seeing them with a Masonic insignia, or with a 4-H cloverleaf. They always were vanilla, about the size of an Eskimo pie, minus any coating, and the insignias were hard, like a candy. I’ve not found the right combination of search terms online, and people give me the look reserved for dotty old people whenever I ask about them.

      I did find some ice cream sandwiches with the chocolate cookie part made in the shape of the state of Texas, cowboy boots and cowboy hats, though. Who knew?

      I laughed about your system for deciding who had to go get the ice cream from the barn. Talk about a classic approach/avoidance conflict. Let’s see? Ice cream? Good. Trip in the dark to a scary barn? Not so good. I presume the ice cream always won out in that one.

      And I love the idea of ice cream as a food group. In addition to the toppings you’ve mentioned, in the winter I’m awfully fond of warming home-canned apple pie filling and putting that over the top of vanilla.

      My goodness. With all of your years of experience, and the special memories you have of working with your dad, you know something about the essence of eating ice cream. It’s quite an honor to know that you think I captured a bit of that essence!

      Linda

  22. Ha! I instantly thought of a friend of mine, who eats ice cream with no moderation whatsoever!

    Recently we dined out at an Indian restaurant and for dessert he selected mango hand made ice cream. A small bowl was placed in front of him and I smiled at the expression on his face as he was obviously thinking the portion should have been bigger. However, it was richly delicious (I was able to have a tiny taste) and just the right amount. Just to prove that sometimes quality outweighs quantity. That said, of course eating ice cream direct from the container can be a wonderful form of nurturing!

    Perhaps you’ll be amused at this little extract from a children’s book – that could be regarded as a grownups book as well.

    1. eremophila, I was amused. Yes, Edward Scooperhands was funny, but so was the person wandering around the Maze of Doom, muttering, “Stupid GPS!”

      The quality/quantity issue is real. Since I found my wonderful Talenti gelato, I eat ice cream more frequently, but I eat less when I do. It’s so rich and wonderfully flavored that’s it’s quite possible to get four servings from a pint. (Well. Sometimes three.) It’s not loaded with all those ghastly additives. Let a bowl of most commercial ice cream melt, and it’s not a pretty sight. Allow a bowl of homemade ice cream to melt, or a good gelato, and it’s a different matter.

      I grew curious, and found this review of Talenti that confirms what I thought. A good gelato or sorbet, with quality ingredients, is worth the indulgence.

      Talenti has mango sorbet, too. I’ll have to give it a try!

      Linda

      1. Reading the review, really got my mouth watering! Thanks for the tip about letting ice cream melt – I’ll try that with my friend and see if it influences his future choices. :-)

  23. Daddy started a popular event at our church when we were growing up–the “Ice Cream Supper”. I’m serious! That is what he called it, as opposed to pot luck supper for family night supper. Every kind of homemade ice cream you could imagine, with cakes and cookies as side dishes! Can you picture THAT? A kid’s dream come true! Of course, everyone tried to outdo everyone else with their ice cream being the best old hand-churned family recipe around.

    Love the etheree. Funny, I penned one yesterday for a seasonal post but ran out of time to spruce it up before taking J to the prom—where he was elected Most Unique Boy of 2014 Senior Class! Back to cream–‘Wilson Peach’ is our favorite family recipe! What’s yours?

    1. BW, I not only can imagine those ice cream suppers, I’ve been to more than I can count. Sometimes they were called ice cream socials, but the idea was the same. They were at church, or sponsored by some group like the PTA, and they were wonderful. Pies, cakes, cookies, and all the ice cream you could eat.

      Ours often were fund-raisers. Our church youth group would put them on to finance trips to camp, and I remember the PTA of my grade school doing a huge one that funded new curtains and seats for the auditorium. I still remember all those daddies lined up, cranking away. Your dad must have run into a midwesterner somewhere along the line! I just did a search for “midwestern ice cream social” and it seems that the tradition is alive and well.

      As for my favorites? Homemade, it’s vanilla or peach. My favorite Bluebell flavor is Southern Blackberry Cobbler. And my all-time fav, my “if-I-only-could-have-one”? Talenti Mediterranean mint.

      Congrats to your unique boy. I haven’t seen any hint of prom time around here, yet, but I’m sure it’s happening. You’re nearly done with the high school years, aren’t you?

      Linda

  24. Oh yes it has greatly improved since the 70’s but I agree homemade crust is always better but that is, if you have the time and talent to make one! But, seriously,try the Pillsbury one. I use it for all kinds of things:chicken pot pie, pies of course, almost anything that requires a crust! It’ll do in a pinch and I’ve even had folks say, I love your crust!
    Oh, by the way…I’m with you on the Peach ice cream. It’s at the top of my ice cream list too!

    1. If you’re that enthusiastic, Chris, I’ll give it a try. The quiche would be a good trial run, since it’s an “at home” dish. Thanks for the tip!

      Linda

  25. I really like that etheree format, Linda…..may turn back to poetry writing and give it a try.

    What a wonderfully scrumptious series of licks down memory lane this post has triggered! Totally luscious…..and my favourite here in Scotland? Mackie’s honeycomb ice cream. Unbeatable. Come over here and give it a try!

    1. I suspect you’d enjoy it, Anne. Etherees are much more flexible than I realized when I wrote my first ones. The form isn’t as wooden as I’d expected – there’s plenty of opportunity to allow for rhythm, even in the midst of counting syllables.

      I went over to the Mackie’s page, and discovered a dessert highlighted there I’d forgotten. One of our “fancy” desserts was actually quite simply. We’d make individual meringues, then add a scoop of ice cream and some sauce. There weren’t any limits, as far as combinations. I liked lemon ice cream with raspberry sauce, or peppermint with chocolate sauce. We’d never heard of Pavlovas, but we were close.

      I studied up on that honeycomb ice cream. No wonder you like it!

      Linda

    1. It surely could, Susan. Sorting out needs and wants never is easy, but there’s no question most of us in this country want more than we need, at least in terms of things.

      On the other hand, “having” is a prerequisite for sharing, and that has a place in life, too. Sometimes, being able to share is the best part of life.

      Linda

  26. Ice cream, my friend? You are most certainly getting me where I live! I just wish I had some in the freezer now so I could indulge! When I was a kid, when the strawberries came into my grandparents’ farm, we had strawberry shortcake supper — just that! We also had corn on the cob supper later in the season. Can’t seem to talk Rick into that, but now and then I indulge nonetheless!

    1. jeanie, you’ve gotten to the very heart of the issue underlying the poem — the ability to indulge in good things without guilt. Like you, we had our “seasonal specialties”. When the tomatoes and sweet corn were in, we often made a meal of just those. Of course, there also were the bacon and tomato sandwiches, or even just tomato sandwiches. Sometimes, we just ate tomatoes, like an apple.

      And shortcake meals happened, to. I was thinking about it earlier. For shortcake, it was strawberries alone, but for pie, cobblers or jam, we’d mix strawberries and rhubarb. So good.

      In a way, even homemade ice cream was a seasonal indulgence. We didn’t head out to the back yard to make ice cream in January. It belonged to picnics, the 4th of July, hot August afternoons. Because we did eat far more seasonally than most of us do now, we looked forward to those treats, and indulged freely because we knew they wouldn’t last. Now that I think of it, that’s a little like life, don’t you think? Your friend Mike certainly seems to have understood the concept!

      Linda

  27. I am a bit odd here, but ice cream is a take it or leave it food for me. It may be related to my growing up in a part of the world with days rather than weeks of hot weather, but I have friends who are nuts about it. All the same, it tastes pretty good on a hot apple crisp, where the drift into melt brings out some other flavours. The up-side is when I am trying to lose weight, putting aside the ice cream is never a big deal!

    1. I understand the take it or leave it feeling about certain foods. I’m the same about alcohol. I’ll have a glass of good wine now and then, or enjoy a beer after a long day’s work, but I don’t drink hard liquor and I don’t always have beer or wine in the house. It’s not a matter of moral conviction or any of that, and I certainly don’t mind if others drink. It’s just become an occasional indulgence, rather than an integral part of daily life.

      And that’s the point, maybe. As I said to Jeanie, just above, the ability to indulge ourselves in something we enjoy, and to do so without guilt, is a gift, too. There’s a sense in which the walking you love so much is an indulgence. There are practical reasons galore for you to hop in the car and get that journey over with, doggone it! But no – you have your indulgence.

      Actually, Allen, it would be so easy to rewrite this poem to fit what you love. We could call it “Walking to Work”, and end it thusly:

      ” …no one advising
      sweet moderation when offered the
      chance to keep stepping and stepping away.”

      Linda

  28. I can no longer eat ice cream or drink milk, but some times I enjoy ice coconut cream. I don’t miss ice cream at all when I eat that! And it’s just as easy to plow through one of those for a “snack”!

    1. I’ve never tried that, Martha, although I’ve seen it in the stores. I need to broaden my horizons. I know a blogger who has had to move to almond milk, coconut milk and so on, and she thinks it’s just great.

      When I hear about people who can’t eat this or that, I realize anew how blessed I’ve been. The only things that have given me trouble in the past have been cantaloupe and raw mangoes. They made me itch! Now, I can eat cantaloupe again, so perhaps I need to give mango a try again. It’s strange how our responses to foods will change over time.

      I’m just glad you’ve got a cold treat to indulge in that you like!

      Linda

      1. Mango is in the same family as poison ivy…so….

        Go grab one of those lovely cartons of frozen coconut milk. I don’t think of it as a substitute. To me it’s far more light and refreshing than ice cream. And so many flavors to enjoy, too. Try one and let me know what you think! I love the cherry amaretto.

        1. Interesting, re: the mango/poison ivy connection. And on your recommendation, I’ll give that frozen coconut milk a try. It will be interesting to see what flavors they have available.

    1. I’ve never gone beyond this etheree form, Alex, but some people begin with the ten syllable line, work down to one, and then repeat, one through ten. That gives you an hourglass shape. It’s really interesting. Or, you can do one through ten and then ten to one, and it looks like a top. One of these days, maybe I’ll give that form a whirl.

      I’m glad you liked the poem, too. I’ll be glad to move on to another post, myself. I’ve had this compulsion to eat ice cream for a week!

      Linda

  29. I just remembered this: “I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream.”. Was it a jumping rope jingle?

  30. Dear Linda –

    I was very excited when you first introduced the etheree as a poetic form on your website. I quite enjoy it and share it with my poetry students of all ages.

    The structure is fun and deceptively simple. Each etheree tends to begin with this spare, very Zen sense while restricted to so few syllables; however, this gradually gives way as the length of each line grows to the overflowing abundance of word/images by the 10th line – where readers and poets alike are “scooping, scooping away.”

    Such a delight!

    This particular etheree is delicious fun, too.

    My favorite flavor is butter pecan.

    Best,

    Jennifer

    1. Jennifer, I’m thrilled that you’ve been sharing the etheree with your students — and having fun with them.

      I enjoy it tremendously. I’ve found the form much more elastic than I’d imagined, but I value the discipline, too. Working on one of these poems from time to time is a good exercise in making every word “count,” and a reminder to do that with everything I write.

      This one surprised me, just a bit. It’s a great example of poetry being fun, without being silly.

      I knew there had to be a butter pecan fan out there – looks like you’re it! If the world suddenly was denied mint chocolate chip, I’d be right there with you.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on the etheree, and for your delightful comment.

      Linda

  31. Last time we went to some formal dinner, I ate my desert first ;-) Your poem reminded me of that night. I may need to try my hand at one of these structured poems. They stir something in me. DM

    1. DM, one of my friends has an old barnwood plaque that says, “Life is Short. Eat Dessert First.” It’s good advice, and you’re in good company!

      Why not give an etheree a whirl? One thing I do is keep a file that says, “poetry drafts.” If I get a good phrase, or a title, or a metaphor I really like, I just tuck it in there and let it be. Every now and then I go in and take a look. Sometimes I add a line or some phrases. Then, when one seems to be taking form, I give it its own page and start working on it. I’ve never thought, “Ok. This week I want to post a poem.” If one shows up and I end up happy with it, then I post it.

      Right now I’ve got two “poems” simmering on the back burner. One will be an etheree; I haven’t a clue where the other one’s going. It’s been around for a while, but I never, ever toss drafts away. You just never know when something is going to turn out to be useful!

      Linda

  32. Ah – ice cream! Just this past week (as I confessed to my Weight Watchers group tonight) I ate an entire carton of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food (chocolatey, caramely, marshmallowy goodness). I think if I weren’t married I’d have ice cream for dinner about three times a week (darn Mike for requiring “real” food!).

    1. Now that’s a serious love of ice cream, Dana! But what’s this distinction you’re drawing between ice cream and “real” food? Ice cream’s as real as it gets!

      Actually, I have my mother to thank — at least partially — for helping to keep my own impulses in check. She was such a “you can’t have dessert until you finish your dinner” sort that I learned pretty early to just get with it and polish off that meatloaf. Especially in the summer, I’ll come in from work and think about ice cream first, mostly because it’s cold. Most of the time, I go with the peach iced tea, instead.

      Linda

  33. I had to come back and let you know I made the Quiche yesterday with the refrigerated pie crust. If I made it again I would probably pre-bake the crust a bit as the egg mixture caused it to be a little soggy, which actually I have a problem with alot with very wet fillings. The flavor was good however, with a slight tang from the yogurt. I thought the addition of sauted mushrooms would be a nice addition too!
    Sorry, I got way off topic here from ice cream!

    1. Woman does not live by ice cream alone — although some of us have considered the possibility. Thanks for the tips. Actually, I had thought of adding mushrooms, myself.

  34. And I thought I was the only one having chocolate ice cream for my supper (with strawberries and a sliced banana–must have, er, vitamins? fiber? in any case it makes it feel less irresponsible).

    1. Gerry, you’re not alone. And I like the addition of the strawberries and banana. It makes me think of my grandmother, who firmly believed apple pie with a slice of cheddar was the perfect breakfast food. She liked to make her apple pie with raisins and nuts, so there you are. Fruit, nuts, and dairy. Nothing irresponsible about that.

      Besides, who says we have to be perfectly responsible all the time?

      Making a quick turn here, do you know the American composer, Henry Cowell? I didn’t, until this week. I was listening to some of his orchestral pieces and found a short one from 1948 titled “Saturday Night at the Firehouse.” You might enjoy it — no trauma involved at all!

      Linda

  35. My mom has a killer ice cream recipe for peach ice cream. When we first moved to the house where they still live, my dad planted two peach trees. He loves peaches, but if he handles them unpeeled, he breaks out in goosebumps all up his forearms. (It’s the fuzziness. Tennis balls affect him the same way).

    Mom’s recipe involved apricot nectar as well as the usual canned milk, and other ice cream ingredients and sliced peaches. (I think by that time we had an ice cream freezer that was cranked by an electric motor instead of elbow grease.) Alas, the borers got both the peach trees despite herculean efforts to save them, and the now rarely used ice cream freezer got sold in a garage sale at some point — that’s my most favorite ice cream.

    Hagen Dazs’s Dulce de Leche is #2 and #3 is Bluebell’s Cherry Vanilla. Hagen Dazc’s Raspberry Sorbet is way on up there (but I have to watch it because it carries an earworm.
    I’ve wanted a tee-shirt that says: Hagen Dazs – Breakfast of Champions!

    1. WOL, I’m still pondering the tennis ball/peach connection. Isn’t it amazing, the things that affect us? Lucky your dad could cope so easily. Don’t play tennis, and have someone else peel the peaches!

      Your mom’s addition of apricot nectar reminds me of Gary’s home-made dreamsicle recipe, above — orange juice and vanilla ice cream mixed together. It does seem that what passes for dreamsicles today aren’t what I remember, though. Ours were a push-up sort of thing, in a cardboard tube, and didn’t have a shell.

      I confess it’s been a while since I’ve listened to Prince – and I’ll also admit I couldn’t stop listening. You were right about that strangely compelling effect. But what I really like is your idea for the tee-shirt. Design it and sell it to Hagen-Dazs — unless someone already has it copyrighted.

      Linda

    1. Well, now. I’ll admit that, if I were to go the Ben & Jerry’s route, Cherry Garcia would be a good choice, second only to Willie Nelson’s peach cobbler. And kudos for your restraint, Teresa Evangeline. Two sittings is just about right. I’d love to know who came up with a half-cup as a serving.

      Linda

      1. I think a “serving size” in terms of ice cream is governed by a specific number of calories rather than a measured amount of “product.” If they put as the serving size the amount people usually eat, it would be a walloping big number of calories, most of them from fat.

        My favorite ice cream related joke is that one on the package that a pint of Hagen Dazs comes in: The part where it says “Servings: 4.”

        1. Isn’t that just the truth? But in the process of “immersing” myself in ice cream and etc., I have learned something interesting. The fat content of a good gelato actually is less than many ice creams. There’s a higher percentage of milk, rather than cream. Interesting.

  36. I am hoping to purchase an ice cream maker this summer so E and I can make our own and experiment with flavors and fruit from the farmer’s market! Now you have me wanting ice cream…

    1. I can’t think of anything more delightful than your growing family making ice cream together. Just look at all the memories here, in these comments. You’ll be making more than ice cream for E.

      If it becomes a lovely routine, maybe you’ll have the impulse to rename your blog. Doesn’t “These Ice-Cream Sandwich Days” have a nice ring to it?

      Linda

  37. I prefer a bowl in mid-afternoon. A guilty pleasure.
    Butter pecan has always been my favorite, but lately I’ve been enjoying a caramel praline flavor. I try not to think about the ingredient list. :)

    1. Bill, picking the right ice cream makes that ingredient list less of an issue. I just pulled my beloved Talenti gelato (hazelnut) out of the freezer, and checked the ingredient list: milk, sugar, cream, hazelnuts, vanilla, carob gum, xanthan gum. I can live with that — not a single ingredient that puts me in mind of a chemistry lab! Haagen Dazs has a few flavors in their “five” line that take the same approach. They have only five ingredients: sugar, eggs, cream, milk, and a select flavor. It’s not grandma’s, for sure — but it gets close.

      It’s not quite mid-afternoon ice cream season yet, but in the heat of the summer, I’m right there with you. Combined with a couple of glasses of ice water, it’s a great way to prepare for the day’s remaining chores!

      Linda

    1. A spoonful or two has never done it for me, except for a tasting at the ice cream parlor. It’s a good way to answer such questions as, “Can bubble gum ice cream really be as bad as it sounds?” Yes, it certainly can.

      On the other hand, I do eat less of a truly good ice cream or gelato. In that case, less may not be more, but it’s usually enough.

      Linda

  38. You could use this same form to write a Christmas poem too… this looks like a Christmas tree. If no one is watching… you know what people might do if they can’t wait to open their presents. One thought just leaps to another, that’s all. Thanks for the springboard.

    1. It’s the Rorschach of all poetry forms, Arti. You see a Christmas tree, a couple of people have seen an upside-down ice cream cone, and one person saw it as the prow of a ship! It’s fun when the form has visual appeal, too.

      I went through a little phase myself, when it came to opening Christmas presents. One year I found them, neatly wrapped but with no ribbon. I opened one at the end, and peeked. Then, I taped it up again. I never, ever, did that again. I suspect my folks knew, but let me suffer the pains of pretending to be surprised on Christmas morning! Smart parents.

      Leaping thoughts are often the best – glad to have provided that springboard!

      Linda

    1. I’d forgotten that mixing bowl trick, Bella Rum. My dad used to do that from time to time. He wouldn’t use a huge bowl, but it was significantly larger than any regular dessert bowl. Now that I think of it, that may have been a pretty common practice, and the genesis of those large pottery bowls labeled for ice cream.

      And, no. Life isn’t fair. Still, age brings change — usually. If your brother’s still pulling that off. I’m envious.

      Linda

  39. A pretty image that brings back memories of the tasty Italian ice cream we ate with delight every evening on a terrace with my parents during our holidays near Venice. My favorite has always been the duo : dark chocolate and vanilla. Thanks for this lovely poem, Linda.

    I love it when you write these etheree poems.You are an artist at creating them. I tried to put my thoughts in a similar form in French. Not the syllabuses though – too difficult for me – but the number of words. I went from one to ten words and then down again. A different pattern. The subject were my thoughts about W. Putin’s decision (about Crimea) right after the end of the Olympic Games. I called it : Le Masque est tombé or The Mask has fallen.

    1. Isa, I’ve been watching events in Ukraine since the beginning of the Euromaidan protests. I think the title you chose for your poem is both realistic and evocative.

      And what an interesting variation, to work with words rather than syllables. The American poet Allen Ginsberg wasn’t so fond of syllabic poetry. He thought forms like haiku (and presumably the etheree) ended up making a poem an exercise in counting rather than feeling, and too arbitrary to be poetry. I understand that, and it’s and one reason I enjoy the etheree. There’s more room to add some poetic elements, like stresses and rhythm, and it’s a challenge to make it more than an exercise in syllable-counting.

      You might enjoy a couple of phrases that didn’t make it into this etheree, but which certainly could apply to our beloved ice cream:
      “sauced with smiles, sprinkled with delight.”

      Linda

  40. I’ve just finished a lunch of tofu, hummus, and mushrooms. Something was missing. Of course: CHOCOLATE-MINT ICE CREAM.

    Oh, well. I can think about it at least.

    This reminds me of when I was quite younger, and under the impression that if I finished the last of the family store of ice cream and Left The Carton in the freezer, no one would suspect me. In time, trouble would come down on me, but as I recall, it was quite worth it.

    I also recall an uncle who would drizzle balsamic vinegar – thickened, expensive – on vanilla ice cream. I was about 10 years old and thought he was completely insane.

    Yes. I can think about it at least.

    1. You’ve made me laugh and brought back some wonderful memories. My mother wouldn’t put an empty carton back in the freezer, but she was known to replace containers that had only a tablespoon or two left. Then, when asked, “Why did you put an empty carton back in the freezer?” she could primly say, “I didn’t.”

      I’ve never once heard about balsemic vinegar on ice cream. Now I’m intrigued.I like both, so why not? I have a friend who keeps hazelnut gelato around just for the sake of stirring it into her coffee. So many combinations, so little time.

      No one’s mentioned it here, but the photo of you and your mother in your pajama party garb reminded me that ice cream sundaes always were the treat of choice for our sleep-overs in younger days. This topic surely has served up a wonderful collection of memories a la mode!

      Linda

  41. Delightful! It’s as much of a treat to see an etheree poem so well constructed, as it is to actually eat ice cream. I am hoping to work more with poems of this sort – particularly those following the cinquain form.
    Thanks too for following my blog. I will visit you often.

    1. I do love this poetic form, Mary. And it’s been such a treat to see some of my readers beginning to experiment with it for the first time.
      I think I might say that writing an etheree is as good as eating a big bowl of ice cream, too!

      I browsed your site a bit after leaving my comment today, and discovered you’re one of the people Gallivanta referred to when she mentioned that “some” still enjoy beautiful papers and hand-written letters. There are so many forms of beauty to be enjoyed – even if some have lost a bit of favor.

      Linda

  42. Linda, your little verse is as irresistible as my favorite flavours at a very special ice cream place here: dark chocolate/orange and orange/ginger.

    1. Andrew, from childhood my favorite piece in the box of chocolates has been the one with the orange center. A combination of orange and chocolate is the best! We used to get boxes of chocolate-dipped candied orange peel, too. Luscious.

      I’ve never seen orange in an ice cream place here. You are greatly to be envied! And I’m glad you enjoyed the poem.

      Linda

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