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Arts and Culture

Ice Cream In Winter

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My husband feels very strongly that where we live produces the best ice cream. Anywhere. I’m loathe to disagree, my husband being a connoisseur of all things sweet and me…not so much. Don’t get me wrong, while I’m not a crazy ice cream fan, I do like it. I do have my favorites and, on one recent occasion had a true and verified religious experience with a scoop of honey lemon ice cream on a sugar cone that I would without hesitation kill for a repeat of any day and any time. Just lead me back to it. Soon. And often. But I can usually skip it and I have even had it go bad in my freezer before.

Summer growing up always brought peach ice cream. We had a particular brand my parents bought every year and it was a family favorite, boasting real peaches and a light creamy color, not at all heavy on artificial anything. Other memories surround push pops and small vanilla cups with the attached wooden spoons. Or root beer popsicles and anything cherry. Ice cream is one of those items that brings childhood and, more specifically, summer, to the forefront of memories so readily. Sometime between child and adulthood, however, ice cream changes and morphs. It becomes something portrayed as comfort food for the broken hearted instead of the ice cream of the carefree child. 

 

I’ve noticed a change with ice cream in my own life as I’ve aged. I will eat it far more often in the winter than I ever do in the summer. For me, after casting off those creamy peach carefree days, eating ice cream has less to do with the state of my heart and far more to do with the state of my thermostat. I wonder, sometimes, if it’s because of all the times growing up we had to wait for snow in order to pack the yellow plastic bucket that housed the metal churn that would turn ordinary refrigerator ingredients into creamy vanilla ice cream that topped my favorite raisin pie. Or was it because we could finally have that half gallon of green peppermint goodness with the red cinnamon chunks? The ice cream of winter was unusual and eagerly anticipated, not merely an afterthought mindlessly sought to cool the burning skin.

 

All of this was floating though my mind about a month ago as I polished off another box of dark cherry with a fudge ripple. I had abstained all summer from indulging in anything creamy while my son polished off ice cream sandwich after sandwich, constantly supplied in our deep freeze. But as the temperature dropped, I wanted nothing more than a nightly bowl while snuggled under my favorite blanket, watching a show before bed with my family. I brought the subject up with my husband and son and was met with looks of trepidation. It’s a look I’m all too familiar with, living my life left of normal. My son declared that he didn’t particularly care what the temperature was outside, ice cream was always a good idea. My husband didn’t really say much of anything, but agreed that, yes, I did eat more in the winter, but maybe I was overthinking it all, just a bit. 

 

Because overthinking is what I do, I tried to find on line support for my quirk, but searches only led me to people trying to find out if eating ice cream was a good idea while you had the common cold, nothing about the cold of winter. (FYI: a common suggestion was eating some to sooth those deep in winter sore throats.) I also found tips on making ice cream festive in order to beat those winter blues, usually by dropping large scoops into your favorite hot chocolate. But try as I might, I couldn’t find my smoking gun that proved, once and for all, ice cream in winter is superior. 

 

At the end of my not so exhaustive nor scientific at all search, I did find one lone support in the form of a random blog.  This writer boasted the number one reason why ice cream in the winter is a good thing as being that ice cream shop lines are non-existent once the mercury drops. But, sadly, she hasn’t seen the lines in my hometown on date night. Those lines clearly support my husband’s theory of having the best ice cream around no matter what the temperature reads. How about you? Are you a fan of hot weather ice cream or do you find you preferred as the snow falls?