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A little of this, A little of that.

Fri, Jul 12th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

I grew up in the “Ice Cream Capitol” of the world, Preston, Minnesota! In 1958 at the age of 10, I really believed that. Naturally naïve and not well-traveled, I was impressed with all the places that sold ice cream and the variety of frozen confections available within walking or biking distance from my home.

One block up the street the Preston Creamery not only processed dairy products, but had a cooler full of cheap treats. It was hard to choose between a push-up, a drumstick, a cheerio, an ice cream sandwich or a fudgesicle for 10 cents. I credit my decisive decision making skills today to that early practice.

Three blocks up the street was Austin’s Locker. The meat business was in the back of the building while an ice cream parlor was in the front. It had a long counter with stools, a big back bar with mirror and shelves filled with tulip ice cream dishes and banana split dishes and containers filled with syrups and nuts. An enormous malt mixer took pride of place on one side of the mirror and a glass Mr. Peanut canister on the other side.

High backed booths usually held girls gossiping over cherry or lemon cokes. Guys slurped malts at the counter. Mothers treated children to ice cream cones the choices being chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or maple nut.

My sisters, Julie and Barbie, loved their special “newlywed sundae.” It was a slice of a chocolate cake roll filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate syrup, whipped cream and a cherry. I loved their frosty malt ice cream sundae. I was willing to suffer an ice cream headache because it was too delicious to eat at a regular rate.

In the summer, we could walk to Drury’s Root Beer Stand for Hires root beer floats. Often, we had to make due with a gallon of their root beer and grocery store ice cream to make our own floats at home. They were great, but we missed the glass mugs.

Gramma and Grampa Schwartz served up their own specialty when we visited: vanilla ice cream topped with Hersey’s chocolate syrup and black walnuts. Yum!

In seventh grade at a birthday party, I discovered that sherbet could be lemon or lime. Of course I knew about orange sherbet from eating push-ups from the creamery. I was not totally unsophisticated!

Pop and ice cream were for special occasions at that time. Mom would buy a square container of ice cream and cut slices making sure we each got an equal amount. We would get a big bottle of coke on the week-ends. We had a choice to drink it all at once or save some of it for later. Mom bought us each a stopper to fit the top of the bottle after the metal cap was removed. This saved the fizz so it would taste like just-opened a couple of days later.

Special treats had a way of disappearing from our fridge so most were eaten immediately. Julie always saved some of her Coke for later. For safe-keeping she always spit in it. Now I know this sounds really gross, but if a person was desperate for coke after drinking all her own, a little spit didn’t matter. This is not a confession, Julie, just a possibility.

Loving ice cream and root beer and onion rings, I was delighted to become a “car hop” at Drury’s Root Beer Stand. It was also a great place to meet boys while making money. Obviously you had to talk to boys to get their order.

My first night on the job a trucker pulled in driving a semi. He ordered a big root beer float. I had been trained on how to attach the old metal trays with spring locks to the bottom of the vehicle’s opened window. This window was higher than a car window and the big root beer float in the glass mug heavy. I thought I had secured the tray to the truck window, but I thought wrong. Immediately, I was covered in root beer float. Talk about embarrassing.

The trucker was very kind. He ordered another float and said he would pay for both.

Having washed myself as best that I could, I returned with the second float. He told me to forget the tray and just hand him the mug, After drinking the float and paying for two, he even left me a tip! I knew this was the job for me. Root beer isn’t the worst perfume in the world.

I still enjoy ice cream in all forms and flavors. This is one of my favorites. It is easy and refreshing on hot summer days.

Banana Split

Ice Cream Pie

l purchased graham cracker crumb pie shell

1 and 1/2 cups chocolate ice cream

1 and 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream

1 large banana sliced

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

2 Tbsp. chocolate syrup

2/3 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Bake pie shell according to package directions. Cool on wire rack.

In a chilled bowl, stir ice cream with wooden spoon just until softened. Then spread the chocolate ice cream in pie shell.

In another chilled bowl repeat with vanilla ice cream. Spread vanilla ice cream carefully and evenly over the chocolate ice cream. Freeze for 4 hours or until firm, covered.

To serve, arrange layers of bananas and strawberries on top of slices of frozen pie. Drizzle with syrup and top with dollop of whipped topping.

The ice cream pie can be re-frozen, covered, without the toppings, if you do not want to serve the entire pie all at once.

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