Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Here's The Scoop


There should be a warning on this blog for first-time readers. I might tell you we're all going to the zoo, but I distract myself, and before you know it we're holed up behind a dumpster in an alley somewhere with the rats and the vomit. Like in my last post, where I had every intention of talking about ice cream, and somehow veered into pubic lice instead. It's probably disconcerting. I'm used to it, myself. Several times a day I get up to go do something somewhere, but I end up somewhere totally else, although it's usually in front of the refrigerator.

So I'm going to try again, with the ice cream. I like ice cream. Ice cream lines up the pleasure centers in my brain like xylophone keys and bongs on every one of them. But I didn't much like it as a kid. I was a picky eater. Food had to follow three rules: it must not have flavor; must not meander across the plate and cross-contaminate the other food islands ("juice creep"); or be beets. Juice Creep was a constant problem. Mom's Swedish Meatballs passed the test because they always had flat spots and didn't roll. Ice cream failed. You put a scoop of ice cream on a plate in Washington, D.C. in the summertime and add thirty seconds, you no longer have ice cream. You have a wet spot. What I wanted was cake. Some combination of the way Mom made cake and the humidity allowed a girl to roll the frosting right off the cake and eat it last. All ice cream did was dampen the cake. And by itself, it wasn't all that great.

I remember when ice cream got really good. It got expensive at the same time, and it got called "premium." Evidently, before, the stuff was made of crap. For instance, there was a period of time (the Metrecal Era) you could buy something called "ice milk." It was a way to keep your girlish figure while wishing with all your heart you were eating ice cream. Nobody came up with a worse idea until tofu brownies and carob chips.

It wasn't just ice cream. I didn't like pie either. Especially Mom's apple pie. I had not actually gone to the trouble of trying it, but it was unacceptably runny and didn't look anything like cake, which is what I wanted. Cake with rollable frosting. I finally gave pie a shot in my twenties and spent the next year in a fruitless search for recipes for Retroactive Pie.

Now all ice cream is good. There are specialty shops that make their own ice cream out of ever more exotic ingredients. Olive oil. Balsamic Vinegar and Pepper. Lavender Compost Fudge Swirl. Marigold and Lug Nuts with Ribbons of Perspicacity. A local shop has lines out the door and around the corner at all times of the day even though you have to fork over eight bucks for a scoop the size of a golf ball.
The current menu at Salt & Straw
The line is so long that people at the end of it get confused and think they're at the DMV. The real latecomers get in line with packages to mail.

And it's all worth it. The eight bucks a scoop and the wait in the line and everything. I could eat ice cream every day now. It's a fine thing to do while you're waiting around for the research showing ice cream is good for the heart.

55 comments:

  1. Ahhh the Scoop! My one weakness! I can eat salad and tofu for days but then I get a little voice in my head that announces; oh you need ice cream. In an hour I am driving out, no matter what time to find a fix. I swear I'm not going to eat the stuff when I put on my big girl pants in the morning and by 9:00 p.m. I've pooped in my big girl pants, as I lick the cone or spoon homemade hot fudge over the top! I'll put my big girl pants on tomorrow.......again. And the higher the fat content the tastier! Take up your spoon and enjoy ever so often!

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    1. You might need bigger big girl pants some time, but that's not much of a downside, is it? Is it?

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  2. I love ice cream, too. It's one of my food vices, but I indulge now and then because it's so darn good. I enjoyed it as a kid and I still enjoy it. Glad you got the ice cream post out, Murr. It's a good one. :-0

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    1. Ice cream makes you regular, too. I couldn't go any longer without mentioning that.

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  3. I still roll the frosting off my cake, but it's because I don't want to eat it at all. Nothing against sugar, per se, which is a fine ingredient, but should not stand on its own. As a dear friend of mine likes to put it, "it makes my teeth itch". Bare cake with ice cream...now that's my combo. Chocolate cake. Vanilla ice cream. No substitutions, please. Pie is for breakfast, of course.

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    1. You know, I've kind of gotten over cake. I still make them because people like them but I can take it or leave it. Pie, puddin', and ice cream...and usually not chocolate. I make one called "Fudge-slathered Fudge Cake" which is pretty chocolatey. Yes it is.

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  4. Before she completely lost her mind to Alzheimer's disease, my mom used to tell me she was having religious thoughts, thinking about the hereafter. Wandering from room to room, thinking "what am I here after?" I'm sure that's not why YOU end up in front of the refrigerator, though.

    Personally, I hope scientists discover that ice cream (the full-fat kind) is good for warding off Alzheimer's disease.

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    1. I'm with you. Maybe they can make it with coconut oil. That's supposed to slick up your brain.

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  5. I am doomed. An ice cream store opened up within walking distance - like three blocks - from my house. It is only open seasonally, but that is from April through October. I am slowly expanding but am in ice cream heaven!

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    1. Here's the problem with Dave and me--everything's within walking distance when you're doing fifteen miles at a whack. But ice cream is available one block away; gelato two blocks away--and the fancy ice cream store is eight blocks away.

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  6. We had a local dairy in the little town I grew up in. There was no bigger treat than to go there after dinner for a cone of maple walnut or butterscotch!
    Today I wonder: why on earth didn't I choose chocolate?
    It was great high-fat stuff.

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    1. Our great ice cream shop was Gifford's on Lee Highway (Arlington, Virginia). They did have a terrific Swiss Chocolate. Ceiling fans, blond chairs, ice cream odors plus humidity...I can feel it now. Apparently I liked THAT ice cream, but not the stuff in the box that Mom brought home. Probably made out of margarine.

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  7. They say you can't buy happiness. But you can buy ice cream, and that's pretty much the same. I'll have a few scoops of that "coffee and bourbon" flavor, please.

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    1. Absolutely you can buy happiness. There's ice cream. There's maple sugar. There's ice cream. If none of those make you happy, you're just an incorrigible grumpypants.

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  8. "... ice milk ... was a way to keep your girlish figure while wishing with all your heart you were eating ice cream. Nobody came up with a worse idea until tofu brownies and carob chips."

    Hahahaha! That is so true! And I love the names of your "flavours".

    I do not, however, care if I ever see ice cream. My kryptonite seems to anything with salt, which is really bad as I creep toward old age with a heritage of high blood pressure on both sides.

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    1. "seems to BE anything with salt" ...

      dang it

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    2. High blood pressure on both sides of your body? Because if it was just on one side, maybe you could walk all tilty and even it out.

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  9. "...*could* eat ice cream every day"? I *do* eat ice cream (damn near) every day! If we have less than 5 flavours in our freezer, I start to go into withdrawal. Currently Blueberry Cheesecake, Coffee, Caramel Nut, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, and plain vanilla, but I've got my eye on a carton of Cherry - a couple of the cartons are almost empty.

    And I just realized that this week both you and I wrote about ice cream and pubic lice in the same post. Clearly the mind-link is functioning.

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    1. Hey, that is totally bizarre. I scare myself sometimes, but now I'm scared of you too. Okay everybody, run over and take a look at Diane Henders's Ice Cream And Crabs post!

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  10. DEar Murr, your last sentence made me smile--broadly. Like you, I almost lust after ice cream. But my craving began when I was a child. No problem with runniness!

    Now, however, I'm a vegan and so ice cream isn't part of my eating plan! Drat it. Peace.

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    1. They do make vegan ice cream. I've tried it.

      It's NOT ICE CREAM.

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    2. A bit like the "non-alcoholic wine" sold in supermarkets not licensed to sell the real stuff?

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  11. "Good for the heart." You've been consulting Dr. Google again, haven't you?
    And of all the flavors out there I still like a high end vanilla the best.

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    1. I know. I always think "vanilla? I don't want vanilla." But that's what served and it always hits the spot.

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  12. Lavender Compost Fudge Swirl? Ooh, my quivering taste buds! That sounds even better than Baby Hedgehog Offal Supreme. And only $8 a pop? How lucky you are. I daresay you've read of the Rome gelateria that charged some unsuspecting tourists £13.50 a cone. "Well, they were very big cones" said the owner.

    I adore ice cream, always have. Can't get enough of it.

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  13. Holy cow. And I wish I could daresay, but I think it's above my station. I've never daresaid anything.

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    1. A good burst of daresaying first thing in the morning really sets me up for the day.

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  14. I loved ice cream until I had gelato in Italy. Now there's a dessert to wax eloquently about. Smooth and creamy; it bears little relation to the ice cream we make here, and pales in comparison. I wish I could go back to Italy, where we ate gelato twice a day and still lost 9 pounds in 9 days.

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    1. Oh. Well. We have gelato two blocks away. Between the reg'lar ice cream shop and the fancy ice cream shop. I'm in heaven.

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  15. I love Italian ice!!There is a place off McLoughlin (99E) in Milwaukie near a Big Lots and it sells the BEST Italian ice and gelatto!!
    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!

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    1. Now we just need Big Lots to sell ice cream!!

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  16. Nah. Not an icecream fan - but I still really, really enjoyed this post. You are more addictive than chocolate/icecream/food - and less fattening. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you! I'm actually kind of fattening, in person. Maybe you'll see some day.

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  17. I've just discovered Burnt Fig, Honeycomb and Caramel Ice Cream by Maggie Beer (she is an Ausssie TV cook). It is to die for - expensive but worth every cent. My other favourite is Norgen Vaaz Liquorice Ice Cream with real liquorice bits. Mmmmmmm! Sorry, have to go to the shop now. The ice cream is calling me.

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    1. I've heard people in this house argue over whether the white licorice ice cream is better than the dark grey licorice ice cream. Who cares? It's licorice ice cream. Bleah.

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  18. Do they have apricot and anchovy? Or mustacchio?

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    1. Pretty sure I've seen anchovy, yeah.

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  19. Coffee and bourbon?! Sign me up. Oh, yes. This is much better than pubic lice.

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    1. I swear, I was trying to get to here.

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  20. Lactose-intolerance means no ice-cream for me. Frozen yogurt is ok (the yogurt beasties eat up the lactose) and sorbets are divine. So you live within blocks of Salt and Straw? Indeed, you are among the most fortunate of women!

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    1. I'm close enough that the end of the line is at my house some days.

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  21. Here in Nova Scotia any flavor other than the big three is regarded with deep suspicion.

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    1. And one of them is strawberry, right? Never got that.

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  22. Oh chocolate with a gooey brownie.. that sounds so good. Two scoops for me, please!

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    1. Did anyone say gooey brownie? Somebody needed to, that's for sure.

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  23. I remember Ice Milk, out here it was called Ice Confection and was considerably cheaper than the real thing. We bought it all summer long when the kids were little. Now they're grown and buy their own ice cream, so we all have the real thing in our freezers. It's so much nicer and worth the extra cost.
    The handwriting on that flavours board is really nice.

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    1. I like the idea of freckled ice cream, too.

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  24. I like how your brain works, reminds me of myself!

    I always loved ice cream...but then my body rebelled and decided it doesn't like lactose any more...screw you body, screw you!

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    1. Thanks for popping in! I hadn't run into you in any of my normal neighborhoods, and you're a hoot.

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  25. OOOOOh, I've wanted to try out this place. Thanks for doing a prequel. Maybe I'll wait until the dead of next winter when the lines are shorter.

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    1. They won't be shorter. But you better not try it without dropping in on me.

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  26. Ah yes brain fog mixed with the idea of some great tasting ice cream. For me it now remains but a distant memory. I must stay away from dairy and sugar unless I want to go for a chemo therapy and I'd rather not!
    Hope you find lots of good new flavours as the summer comes back.

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    1. I'd rather not too. I'll get an extra scoop next time in your name. You're welcome.

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  27. I use ice cream to maintain regularity! It is the perfect excuse. If you ever find yourself near a Culver's, stop in for a frozen chocolate custard. Puts ice cream to shame.

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    1. Ice cream does have a lovely effect the next morning. Was I too delicate to mention that?

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