|This is all I need.|
There are really only two seasons in my mind: Darkness and When The Ice Cream Stands Are Open. I’m so happy that the Darkness is done until next Columbus Day. I remember being young and getting really excited on the occasion that my mom would decide on a hot summer day that, “You know what? Your dad’s not going to be around for dinner, let’s get ice cream instead!” Someone in college (a blithering idiot, OBVIOUSLY) responded to that memory by telling me that was irresponsible parenting. I believe it came up in conversation because I had decided to have a Steak ‘N Shake Double Chocolate Chip Milkshake for dinner. I am sad to report that they no longer make this milkshake. Let me tell you about it.
The Double Chocolate Chip Milkshake was made with REAL chocolate ice cream. For you east coaster folks, a real milk shake has ice cream in it. Yeah, I grew up in Boston. Yeah, I know they call them FRAPPES here (and that’s pronounced like crap, not like toupee). I accept every other normal Boston linguistic oddity from bubbler to bureau, but if I order a milkshake, it had better have freaking ice cream in it. Ice cream is serious business…. We need a unified language ASAP. Anyways… This shake was nice creamy chocolate ice cream blended with thousands of those itty-bitty chocolate chips. There were so many that you’d get to the bottom of that three-tiered glass of heaven and have to scoop them out with your spoon. On the top of the shake was a heap of REAL whipped cream (not light, not cool whip) and a chocolate cookie. I don’t know why you would discontinue a confection like that. It’s a good thing I don’t live within driving distance of a Steak ‘N Shake or someone would have gotten a piece of my mind.
Other than that milkshake, Indiana had pretty sucky ice cream choices. Jiffy Treet DID deliver. (Ice cream sundaes that show up at your dormitory? YES PLEASE.... and on a sad note IU friends, I have also just discovered that Jiffy Treet Kirkwood is no more!). And, I must add, for the dairy state, Wisconsin has pretty sucky ice cream selections also. Sure, you can get frozen custard there. Ice cream? Not so much. Let’s not even discuss Southern California. What is it with you people and frozen yogurt?! When it comes to ice cream, there’s no place like home. Massachusetts is by far the best place in the nation for homemade ice cream. We have ice cream stands EVERYWHERE. There are indoor ice cream parlors too. J.P. Licks, Herrell's, Toscanini's, Emack & Bolio's, Brighams, Friendlys – to name a few. It makes sense, since New Englanders consume more ice cream than any other region of the nation.
My go to is, and will forever be, Kimball Farm. I have been in love with Kimball Farm’s ice cream since I was old enough to know what ice cream was. My mom took me there before I even had a younger brother, and I had strawberry ice cream, with real strawberry chunks in it. The best strawberry ice cream on the planet. It still is. I have some in the basement right now. I have some peppermint stick too. I overwintered with a couple of quarts of Kimball Farm ice cream in the deep freezer. I was so good at saving it, since it had to get me through the winter, that most of it is still there. If I could save money that way, I’d be loaded. I’d also have enough money to play mini golf at Kimball’s, which will cost you your firstborn child for one round. Kimball's used to be just ice cream.... they've expanded quite a bit....
I eat ice cream at Kimball’s at least once a week while they’re open. My friend Beth and I go every Wednesday for lunch after we’ve been to the gym. They have lots of flavors that are meaty enough to substitute for lunch. I often get Coffee Heath Bar. Mocha Almond Assault is a good one – coffee ice cream with chocolate swirl and chocolate covered almonds. If it has nuts in it you've added another food group. That's extra responsible. Buttercrunch is great with jimmies (that’s what we New Englanders call chocolate sprinkles – yes, racism is alive and well in the north). They also make a fantastic Raspberry Chocolate Chip. It’s loaded with chocolate and just a little bit tart. And none of this TINY portion size. You go to Kimball’s and you can tell who’s never been there before because they order something larger than a small. A kiddy size is more than enough ice cream for a full size adult (it’s also not on the menu). If you are really hungry, you get a small. Their banana split is the size of a loaf of bread. I’m not exaggerating.
Ice cream is a good source of calcium (that Steak 'N Shake shake had 45%! of your daily calcium needs) – it’s low in fiber, which can inhibit your Ca absorption, so that’s a plus! Some even say that it can help you LOSE weight (again, because of the calcium). The only problem I foresee is that when Kimball’s closed for the season in October, Beth and I had to find a lunch substitute to get us through Darkness. Lucky for us, this amazing cupcake shop opened up in town. Sugar. That’s the name of it, not just the delightful contents inside. So now, do we have to choose between cupcakes and ice cream for lunch? That just doesn’t seem fair, does it?