This year for National Ice Cream Month, I’m wondering what it is about ice cream that puts a smile on everyone’s face. Besides the magical combination of dairy and sugar, here’s what ice cream means to me:
For me, there are few desserts that are as emotionally charged. And I think that's because the memories associated with ice cream don't stop at our favorite flavors. They involve every aspect of the ice cream experience: the excitement of your parents asking if you want to go get some, the anticipation and flavor decision making process, the race to eat it before it melts and glides down your fingers on a hot summer day.
Ice cream parlors are the site of much family bonding. My favorite ice cream place growing up in Atlanta was Brewster's. There were a few locations and all of them had two walk up windows and a small patio to eat your ice cream outside. My brother and sister favored the dinosaur or dirt sundaes, but I had my usual: chocolate peanut butter chip in a cup. We spent A LOT of time there!
Brewster's was my favorite, but Baskin Robbins holds a special place in my heart too. It's where we went the night before I started kindergarten, the same night I met my childhood best friend, Melissa and her parents. It's also where my family's favorite ice cream cake is from. If my Aunt Phyllis could live strictly on Evian and Baskin Robbins chocolate chip ice cream cake I know she would. I've seen her and several other family members attack a whole ice cream cake fresh out of the box more times than I can remember. At any given moment there are at least 12 pints of ice cream in her freezer. I am not exaggerating.
I used to spend my Christmas break in Puerto Rico with my family and there were several years on New Year's Eve where one lucky hotel employee had the task of picking up our beloved Baskin Robbins ice cream cake to bring back for us. Here's a photo of me eating it off the tray. I definitely learned from the best.