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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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icecream

It’s National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. According to the National Day of Calendar, vanilla ice cream is sold more than chocolate. I’ll have to think about that. It seems when we go for ice cream, there are more chocolate cones in view than vanilla, especially when it is soft ice cream, or custard. But if you think about the fact that pie à la mode usually uses vanilla and sundaes are often made with vanilla, then I guess the calendar information must be right. Really, what difference does it make in the long run. Continue reading

Yum-Yum

I used to work at The Olive Garden restaurant. We could sneak soup or bread sticks when we were hungry, but we could get suspended for eating the Andes chocolate mint candies that were given when the check was presented at each table. Over such a little thing as that? Yes, because when there are fifteen-plus empoyees on duty and we all eat our fill, the big box that should last all evening, disappears in about an hour. The candies are so good, and a refreshing minty taste remains when one is allowed to slowly melt in your mouth. Continue reading “Yum-Yum”

Made From Milk

I was recently in a friend’s home and we got on the subject of milk. Her comment, with a bit of a snobbish air, was, “Milk is only for babies. No adult should drink it because of how it is digested.” I didn’t know the explanation of  “how” so didn’t argue. I did have a private chuckle when she informed me we were having pizza for lunch with a healthy fruit and yogurt salad. I thought, “Do you know what pizza cheese and yogurt are made from?” I’m still wondering why eating a milk food product is different from drinking the base item because I was afraid to ask. Maybe I’ll bring up the subject another time, in another way, to see if I can get an explanation, perhaps next summer when I invite her for a drive to get ice cream. Continue reading “Made From Milk”

Tis The Season

It’s National Strawberry Sundae Day. In western New York state, we are at the peak of strawberry season. I like to drive by the fields and see the people crouched down to pick their own strawberries. The plants grow very close to the ground so picking them can be as painful as it is rewarding. I admit, we don’t pick our own anymore.

Growing up my family preferred strawberry shortcake. My mother would make a fresh buttermilk biscuit the size of a round cake pan. Once it was cool enough to handle she would flop it into one of her hands, then carefully slice it in half crosswise. The bottom half would go on a large plate. She would slather it with butter then cover it with fresh smashed strawberries. Next she would turn the top of the biscuit upside down on the bottom layer so it too could absorb a layer of butter, then more strawberries would be poured on top of that. We always let it sit while making fresh whipped cream to top it with. The result was a gooey, yummy dessert, only enjoyed when there were fresh strawberries.

Currently my husband and I have a local farm we like to go to. They have a dessert stand and you can get either a strawberry sundae or shortcake. On a summer evening, there is nothing like berries on cold refreshing ice cream. They also have some goats in a pen near the stand, so we take the grandchildren and enjoy watching them pet and feed the goats. Goats also love strawberries but are happy with the long grass we can pick in a nearby ditch.

All too often these National Days have something to do with food, and I like food. I don’t usually think of a strawberry sundae at breakfast time, but I am today. I think Saturday will be a mandatory let’s go get a strawberry sundae event.

Always Chocolate

It’s National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. According to the National Day of Calendar, vanilla ice cream is sold more than chocolate. I’ll have to think about that. It seems when we go for ice cream, there are more chocolate cones in view than vanilla, especially when it is soft ice cream, or custard. But if you think about the fact that pie à la mode usually uses vanilla and sundaes are often made with vanilla, then I guess the calendar information must be right. Really, what difference does it make in the long run.

When I was a kid I always picked chocolate when we went for ice cream and generally still do. My tastes have matured a bit so now I get it with raspberry or marshmallow added, and maybe some nuts too and or some extra chucks of solid chocolate. It was noticed recently that I order the same thing every time we go to Bruster’s for ice cream. To satisfy my friend’s thought process, the next time we were together, I ordered something different. You guessed it. I didn’t like it and regretted my decision and said so. He left me alone after that.

We have a couple of ice cream places near us that make their own hard ice cream. My husband and I will go for a drive and pass three or four other ice cream places just to get the made locally brands. I have a favorite flavor at each place, but both are chocolate based. I purposely don’t look at the calorie boards when choosing ice cream because it is a fact I don’t want to know. Let me enjoy my ice cream in ignorance. I’m sure it wouldn’t taste as good if I knew the reality of how many calories there is in a double scoop chocolate raspberry truffle in a waffle cone. The sun is out, maybe a trip to the ice cream stand is in order today.

 

Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream

When it’s hot out, do you prefer frozen yogurt or ice cream? Well, that depends! If I want something tangy, refreshing, and fruity, I go for frozen yogurt. If I want a fat fix and have my usual caramel craving, it’s ice cream all the way.

Somehow I never jumped  on the frozen yogurt bandwagon, or the gelato for that matter. Maybe it’s my age. You know, I’ve always liked ice cream so why change now. I do know there is a common thread to eating it; it’s always better if you share it with someone.

We used to have a Harley before my husband’s back gave out. It was a regular weekend event in the summer to get together with some other Harley owners, have a big breakfast out, then go for a ride. It was the ride that was important, sometimes hours long. We would find back roads that ran through the countryside where the scenery kept our attention and there wasn’t a lot of traffic. Often times, ice cream or frozen yogurt was our lunch. One of our friends, J.C. could find an ice cream stand in the most out-of-the-way places. We let him lead the pack. We are still talking about the fun times we had.

Now days when my husband and I go for a drive in our Mini Cooper convertible, (one has to have some sort of toy) our lunch is still frozen yogurt or ice cream. If we have had a small breakfast, maybe it’s a sunday with toppings and whipped cream instead of just a cone. The fact remains, it’s better because we are sharing the experience.

Marshmallows and Chocolate

It’s National Heavenly Hash Day. In my neck of the world that means chocolate ice cream with chocolate bits and marshmallow swirl in it. According to the National Day of Calendar there are many other recipes from different ice cream makers, including one that is fruity. I’ll stick with the chocolate, thank you.

My husband works in big construction. Not outside on the projects as they are being built, but in the office, figuring out how much it is going to cost to build something, or renovate. He’s called an estimator. Today in western New York it is 20 degrees. I know, it isn’t zero, but it’s cold compared to being inside, and he has to go inspect an old building to decide if it is worth renovating. Bottom line, he’s going to be outside most of the morning. He left the house in heavy boots, warm clothes and his winter coat instead of dress shirt and tie.

What does this have to do with Heavenly Hash? Well, we aren’t 40 anymore, and when my husband gets cold, he doesn’t warm up as fast as he used to. I carried wood in yesterday and told him I would have a roaring fire in the fireplace and the family room up to 80 degrees when he got home. (When we bought our house, the neighbor informed us, our family room was the easiest room on the street to heat with its fireplace. That was learned during an ice storm in 1991 when there was no power for a few days and the neighbors congregated in our big room to play cards, share food, stay warm, and wait for the power to come back on.)

So, who wants ice cream on a 20 degree day. Well, if I’m true to my word, and the fire is raging, a bowl of Heavenly Hash might just be the right thing to have for dessert tonight. Maybe I’ll add some peanuts on his. He likes that.

National Banana Split Day

Two different people claim they invented the banana split, one in 1904 and the other in 1907.  Originally it was vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream settled between a  banana that had been cut in half lengthwise, with chocolate, pineapple and strawberry syrups ladled over the ice creams, then topped with whip cream, nuts and a cherry, served in a “boat” shaped dish.

These days, in my area anyway, you can pick your own ice cream flavors and toppings, it’s only the banana that is consistent.  At Bruster’s, on Thursdays, if you bring your own banana, you get your treat for half price.

In 1955 Tom Wahl’s opened in Avon, NY.  It was, and still is, a hamburger joint, serving fresh-made burgers, root beer made in-house and ice cream.  They ran a promotion that if you could eat two complete banana splits, they were free.  My uncle would have been about thirty at the time.  He got so many free banana splits they asked him nicely not to take advantage of the special any more.  He was building his landscaping business at the time, so after a day working outside, I imagine two banana splits would have made him a fine dessert.   Think of all that sugar!

Late update from my sister……the promotion was   Eat Three—Get them Free!!  They changed the sign to read “except Herb M.”

 

 

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