Happy July everyone! Well, almost July 🙂
Gosh where has the summer gone? It feels like just yesterday I was doing the happy dance because all of the snow finally melted…oh wait, that was yesterday :P.
I would have to say that July is one of my favorite months. Not only is it usually the hottest time of the year, making it prime swimming, water balloon fight and Slip N’ Slide weather, but it also is National Ice Cream month. That’s right, a whole month that is designated to recognize and honor one of life’s greatest and tastiest and oh-so-gosh-darn-yummiest of all things…
For those of you who know me and/or read my blog, you know that there is nothing that I love quite as much as a big ‘ol bowl or cone or dish or pint full of ice cream. It is a love so deep, so pure, so vanilla-y and good. I’d eat ice cream on a cold day. I’d eat ice cream on a hot day. I’d eat ice cream in the sun. I’d eat ice cream on the run. I’d eat ice cream as sure as a cow moos. I’d eat ice cream win or lose. I’d eat…well, you get the idea. I. LOVE. ICE CREAM. Plain and simple. I am a fan of all kinds, I don’t discriminate, but I would have to say my all-time favorite would be the vanilla ice cream with crunch coat (a tasty topping made with sprinkles, oat bites and sugar-coated cereal) from an ice cream store called Briq’s located in Wausau, WI where I grew up. I love it so much in fact that I became a member of the 1 lb. club (Any hint as to how you become a tried and true member? Let’s just say it involves some serious ice cream eating!)
I think my love of America’s favorite frozen treat really was instilled in my genes from birth. My great grandpa Boelter used to always have a bowl of ice cream before going to bed. His favorite was vanilla with a little bit of chocolate syrup drizzled on top. He also was a big fan of putting my great grandma’s homemade strawberry preserves on top with a side of saltines. Yupp…who knew the crackers you normally munch on when you have an upset tummy make an excellent accompaniment to ice cream? I think it is the classic combo of salty and sweet that does it for me 🙂
Want to hear a funny story? When I was about four years old, I used to live a few blocks from a general store which sold some of the best homemade ice cream that you ever did taste. It was tradition that every Sunday night, the whole fam would pile into the mini van and make a trip to the store for a tasty treat. One such Sunday night, I got more than just ice cream for dessert. In my defense, it was really dark. I mean ‘so dark you can’t see your own hand in front of your face’ dark…or so I tell myself. It makes me feel better and justifies me a bit for what I am about to confess….try no to laugh…too hard.
My embarrassing story goes as follows… my dad ran in to the store to get our ‘usuals’–my dad: a double scooper of chocolate, my mom: a single dish of mint chocolate chip, me: a double scooper of vanilla with extra sprinkles (the proverbial cherry on top!) and my sister: well, she was a bit too young to handle her own so she usually just nabbed a couple of licks from my mom. He came back with ice cream in tow and we started to make our way back home. It was an unusually balmy autumn night and I had a hard time keeping up my lick pace with the rate that my ice cream was melting. I had fallen so behind, ice cream was now cascading down the slide of my cone, over the napkins surrounding my cone, down my arm, and onto my lap and car seat. It was one sweet mess. When we finally got home, my mom took one look at me and just laughed. Apparently I wear my ice cream well. She asked for my napkin so she could clean me up before heading into the house but I returned her request with a look of confusion followed by a look of consternation which proceeded a final look of dread…oh. no. My napkin, the only napkin that I had and was given, was wrapped around my cone, the cone that I had finished off in its entirety just a mere moments before arriving home. It suddenly hit me… I. Ate. My. Napkin. It’s just that it was so hot and the ice cream was melting so fast and it was soaking into the napkin and I was so focused on the deliciousness of my ice cream and overwhelmed yet grateful for the extra scoopage of sprinkles that I, I , I ate my napkin. My mom and dad couldn’t believe it. Of course they found the whole thing hilarious but at four, I was terrified. All sorts of terrible things came into my mind. Would the paper stay in my stomach forever? Would a tree start growing in there (hey, I had a great imagination)? Thank goodness my tummy-tree growing days are past me, but I still to this day cannot live down the napkin debacle and as a safety precaution, I ditch any and all cone-napkinage tut suit…just in case.
Despite that horrific experience, my love of the ‘cream’ remained in tact, thank goodness.
I felt that in honor or it being National Ice Cream Month, it was only fitting and right that I present to you some fun ice cream factoids and trivia to wet your whistle and get you in the mood for a cool and refreshing treat 🙂
Did you know…
1.The true origin of ice cream is unknown, however reports of frozen desserts have been reported as far back as the second century B.C. The first ice cream cone was produced in 1896 by Italo Marchiony. Marchinoy, who emigrated from Italy in the late 1800’s, invented his ice cream cone in New York City. Around the same time a similar creation, the cornucopia, was independently introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
2.In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month (July 17, 2011) as National Ice Cream Day.
3. We Americans slurp up the most ice cream per person than folks in any other nation – a whopping 48 pints for each of us per year. Umm, is it bad that its closer to 48 pints per month for this girl?
4. A serving of vanilla ice cream was offered to immigrants at Ellis Island, as part of their “Welcome to America” meal. No wonder so many immigrants wanted to make the trek to America…word got out that they would get some ice cream included in the deal.
5.Among the wacky flavors of ice cream manufactured are avocado, garlic, jalapeno, azuki bean and pumpkin. Maybe the nuttiest of all is dill pickle ice cream, a huge seller among moms-to-be.
6.The most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States is vanilla (27.8%), followed by chocolate (14.3%), strawberry (3.3%), chocolate chip (3.3%) and butter pecan (2.8%).
7. The average number of licks to polish off a single scoop ice cream cone is approximately 50. Me thinkst I have to put that figure to the test…like, right now, for the good of science of course.
8. Air is a major ingredient of ice cream. Nope, you’re not being gypped. Without lots of air, ice cream would be just about as hard as concrete.
9. Ever wonder why you sometimes get ‘brain freezes’ while devouring your favorite carton of ice cream? According to the British medical journal, ice cream headaches are caused by the cold sensation on the roof of your mouth which triggers the expansion of the blood vessels in the forehead. Good to know.
10. The biggest ice cream sundae in history was made in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1988 and weighed in at over 24 tons! I bet you can’t order that in an ice cream parlor (quite the shame if you ask me).
Now that you are all ice-cream fact and figured up, go get yourself a bowl, a spoon, a cone or even just a carton and join me in enjoying a lick (or 50) of your favorite ice cream, extra sprinkles 🙂
Question of the day: What is your favorite kind of ice cream?