Posted tagged ‘ice cream’

“Squeaking squirrels squandering away their square shares!”

September 16, 2018

Today is another lovely day with warmth and bright sun. The breeze is so slight the leaves barely move. It is a quiet day but then most days around here are quiet. A dog occasionally barking is about the only sound. I have nothing on my dance card today. Yesterday a friend came by and we had cocktails and appies on the deck. Henry even visited. It was a wonderful way to spend the late afternoon.

I woke up close to eleven this morning. Henry got me up at seven to let him out, but I went back to bed. Seven was too early, too middle of the night to me.

When I was a kid, Sunday rituals were sacred. Mass was first then it was hanging around the house until dinner, usually around two. If I went anywhere beyond the backyard, it was on a whole family excursion. Every now and then we’d go for a Sunday ride. I had one back window, my brother had the other, one of my sisters was in the middle of us and my other sister sat in the front seat. Cars in those days had full front seats from one window to the other. The shift was on the steering wheel. Some of the rides were on back roads. I remember getting excited when we’d see a farm with cows. I remember stopping for ice cream. That was the best part of the ride, even better than the cows. My favorite ice cream for the longest time was chocolate chip then mocha chip then mint chip. The pattern is easy. Give me chocolate. My father’s favorite was vanilla, but he never ate just plain vanilla. He covered his ice cream in Hershey’s syrup so thick there was like a river of chocolate surrounding the vanilla.

The spawn chewed the outside string of lights again. I’ve given up. I’m flying the white flag. That is about the fifth strand done in by a spawn of Satan, a rat with a puffy tail, a squirrel. I went hunting for a solution. The only one I found was to cover the strands with PVC piping. That seems like a lot of work, a lot of measuring and cutting to fit the short spaces between the lights. I’ll just stay in the dark.

“Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.”

September 14, 2017

The humidity is making the day sticky and uncomfortable. Last night was the same. I ended up cooling the house by turning on the AC. Both Gracie and I slept comfortably.

Today is sometimes cloudy and sometimes sunny. Rain is a possibility, a holdover from Irma. I don’t mind as it hasn’t rained in a while.

Yesterday I filled all the bird feeders and washed off the deck and the deck furniture with the hose nozzle on jet. It was a power wash of sorts. The birds had left calling cards.

Today I have errands. The lens fell out of my glasses so I need to get them fixed. The old pair I’m using sits at an angle on my ears so I have to keep tilting my head when I read. It’s a bit disconcerting. I also need a few grocery items with toilet paper topping the list.

My house is still dusty, and I still don’t care.

Gracie is just fine. She scared the heck out of me last night when she barked at me. She had been standing beside me and staring for a while so I had blocked her out. The bark made me jump. It was an I’m hungry bark even though she had already eaten dinner and her after dinner treats. I tried to ignore her but it didn’t work. I got the paw, twice. I fed her another small can, and she was fine. I bow to her whims and wants.

I like ice cream. My favorite changes with my moods. Coconut was a favorite last summer. Couple it with hot fudge or caramel, both salted or unsalted, and it’s food bliss. Lately I’ve bought mint chocolate chip gelato. It needs no enhancements. Vanilla by itself is boring to me. It begs for toppings like hot fudge or peanut butter cups and maybe some jimmies (sprinkles to those of you not in New England). I like a sugar cone. It adds to the ice cream, but a sugar cone often ends up with a hole in the bottom. That means licking the ice cream from the top and the bottom. It’s a talent to keep the drips away. I’m very talented.

“we can watch x-files together while we browse the internet for info on area 51?”

August 27, 2017

I’m not sure the adjectives running through my head are quite descriptive enough to tell you about the morning, but I’ll give it my best shot, the old college try. (Every now and then I do like to pepper my musing with a few idioms.) Today is a delight filled with sunshine, blue skies, cool temperatures and no humidity. It is a quiet day, almost a throwback Sunday from the 50’s when church and Sunday family dinners were the highlights of the day.

I have a couple of errands. I need bird seed and the two things I mentioned yesterday: hot dogs and toilet paper. I also need to plant the flowers I bought the other day and any other perennials I might find today. Those are the only items on my lists, and my dance card is totally empty for the rest of the week. The plays are done, my friends are traveling and my larder is filled. I do have some laundry, as usual, but I haven’t yet run out of underwear. I was thinking a Mad Hatter move and ordering some new ones so I don’t have to do wash quite yet, but even I think that’s might be a bit extreme and massively lazy.

I heard acorns hitting the deck again yesterday. The spawns are at it again. I don’t go barefoot out there anymore, and poor Gracie yelped when she stepped on an acorn. The spawns seeking vengeance against me. I swear I heard cheering when I first stepped on an acorn remnant.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is celebrating its 40th anniversary. I’m watching it now which I expect explains my delay in posting. I can’t take my eyes off the screen when the UFO’s are on it. They are amazing with their colored lights, just like Barry said when he called them ice cream and toys. I smiled the whole time. It is still a wonder of a movie.

I’m in the camp of those who believe there is intelligent life elsewhere, not just on Earth, though I admit I sometimes wonder about Earth. It seems a bit of a conceit to think we are it.

“Quiet diplomacy is far more effective than public posturing.”

August 18, 2017

Yesterday was a perfect day. The weather was warm but breezy enough to keep the heat at bay, the sun shined all day and we even found a table by the water at lunch. My sisters arrived with cake and presents. We went to lunch at one of my favorite places. As a surprise my sisters had invited my friends, and I was definitely surprised. My lobster roll was filled with huge chunks of lobster and the fries and onion rings were perfect. Just ask the gulls who snapped up the French fries we threw on the rocks. After lunch we came back to my house for cake and ice cream and presents. My sisters had chosen the best cake, mocha, and my favorite ice cream, coconut. After that, I opened my presents and was overwhelmed by the generosity of my sisters and my friends. We then sat on the deck a while chatting and laughing. I can’t imagine a better day, a better birthday.

Today is cloudy and a bit humid. The breeze is blowing the top branches of the oak trees. Rain is predicted for later. I do have to go out but not far and off the main roads. The bird feeders need to be filled again, and the fountain is empty of water. Gracie drinks much of the water away. The fountain is the perfect height for her. I fill it, she drinks it and we do this several times a day. She has a water dish on the deck but she ignores it. Dogs aren’t logical.

Quiet seems to be the order of the day after the excitement of yesterday. I don’t hear a sound: not a kid, not a car and not even a bird. I had Alexa play sixties rock, but I kept singing with the music instead of writing so I turned on the TV to MSMBC. It is still reacting to Trump’s latest diatribe so I turned that off. Instead, I watched the Food Channel with Giada who was making a Peruvian chicken dish and showing pictures of her trip to Peru. I suppose I could just turn off the TV, but I’m not in the mood for quiet, for silence. I have stuff I could do, but I don’t want to do them. I’m just fine with being a sloth, napping on the couch, wearing my comfiest clothes and going barefoot.

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”

April 13, 2017

You’re probably wondering where I am this late in the day. I spent the morning following Gracie as she had balance problems. That happens most mornings, but then she figures it out and adjusts her gait, but she didn’t today.  I walked her down to the yard a couple of times and sat waiting outside for her. I was glad she was quick as that famous Cape breeze is making it chilly despite the sun.

Captain Frosty’s opened today, and we made our annual pilgrimage. I had the shrimp plate with a couple of clam cakes and onion rings instead of fries. The plate was so filled it should have had an annex just for the onion rings. Captain Frosty’s is always the first of our haunts to open for the summer. The ice cream shop is usually next. I’m always excited as shops open for the season. Each opening brings us closer to summer.

Yesterday I was able to cross off all but the one errand which has graced every list I’ve made since the first of the year: getting my hair cut. It is now on the top of tomorrow’s list. Every day I am bound and determined to get it cut but I don’t and have no reasons why not.

Gracie is standing beside me on the couch. Her muzzle is about 6 inches from my face, and she is staring at me. I know all the signals. She wants out. That means slowly walking her down the stairs, staying out with her then calling her up the back stairs, an easier climb for her. The whole stair thing is strange. She won’t go down the easy stairs. No, I have to take her down one step at a time on the scary stairs, the ones she is afraid of as she slides, but Gracie, being a rather intelligent dog, figured out on her own that the other stairs are easy to climb. I’m glad as she doesn’t need my help.

I’m going to take Miss Gracie out now. She has barked once right at me in impatience. That drives me crazy, and she knows it. Smart dog!

“Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort.”

July 26, 2016

I’m close to screaming in frustration. Today will be hot yet again. That the humidity will be less is small consolation. I have the AC off for a while, but the temperature in the house has risen three degrees already so soon enough I’ll be stuck behind closed doors and windows. I did finish one of my errands yesterday, but that still leaves one more for today.

The kitchen in the house where I lived the longest was tiny. When the oven was lit, the kitchen quickly got hot and stayed that way long after dinner was finished. My mother, during the summer, cooked on the stove top. She made stuff like pasta, hamburgers, fried dough and even hot dogs. She never grilled. Her dinner sides were sometimes potato salad or pasta salad. She never made a green salad. Dessert was always a maybe dependent on what was in the house. It could have been cookies, Oreos of course, or ice cream or a popsicle. My favorite popsicle was root beer followed by a close second, cherry. If neither was available, an orange would do just fine. 

Some people I know don’t ever eat leftovers. I don’t get that. Some food tastes better the next day. My chili is always best the day after I make it so I usually make it the day before I need it. That way any fat gets skimmed. I like leftover pasta. Add fresh garlic bread, some cheese and you have a perfect meal. 

Winter has comfort food. It keeps us warm and brings back memories. Summer has hot dogs and hamburgers best cooked on a grill. You have to toast the buns. 

My mother used to make piccalilli every fall when there were green tomatoes. She made New England style piccalilli with those green tomatoes, red peppers, onions, brown sugar, cider vinegar and some spices like mustard powder and a few others I don’t remember. She’d give us all a couple of jars. I’d use it sparingly so it would last longer. I swear a hot dog with my mother’s piccalilli was perfection in a bun. 

“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.”

July 5, 2015

Last night was wonderful except for the cold. I had to laugh when I looked at my guests and four of them were wearing their sweatshirt hoods and two of them were also wrapped in afghans. The rest of us also donned a sweatshirt or a jacket but no hoods. Dinner was a success from the appetizers to the dessert. The movie Independence Day was the perfect choice even though all of us had seen it. We clapped at the end of the president’s rousing speech about July 4th now being Independence Day for the world. Bill Pullman is way over the top, but I figure alien invaders bent on world annihilation deserve a speech more than a bit histrionic. Dessert was ice cream, just what we needed on a cold night, but the hot fudge and hot peanut butter sauces made the chill worthwhile. The evening ended quite late, after midnight. By the time I did a little cleaning and checked my e-mail, it was close to 3, but I still wasn’t tired. I watched a little TV, the perfect soporific, and shortly thereafter went to bed. I crawled out of bed at 11 this morning. I hope my neighbors didn’t wonder if I survived the night as my paper was still in the driveway.

One of my most memorable days was July 4th when I was around 12 or 13. We didn’t go to the fireworks, but I could see them from the hill behind my house. The colors would burst into circles first one then another. Some were single circles. Some were triples. They were beautiful. A couple of my neighbors were also watching and afterwards they invited in for a root beer. We sat around the kitchen table talking. The conversation went all over the place. They didn’t speak to me as if I were a kid, and that’s what I remember the most, how that conversation was the first tug of adulthood. I was a pushmi-pullyu looking in two different directions. Little changed that night, but the changes were starting.

“Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money. “

May 11, 2015

The sun is gone and clouds have taken over. Maybe rain they said in the paper. I’d be fine with that. It hasn’t rained in a long while.

My neighbor and I get together every Monday. She is Brazilian and wants to learn to speak English better so we just chat. First, though, I had to explain that you don’t need a computer to chat. Face to face works even better. She said that was good to know. Today was a strange word day. We talked about jimmies and sprinkles and frappes and milk shakes and rotaries and roundabouts. We also talked about singular verbs sometimes needing an S as she is prone to leave it off. Good to know she told me. Nicee, my neighbor, and I share a love for coconut ice cream. Her favorite in Brazil is corn ice cream. I was dubious but she swore it tasted the best of all. Her son is graduating from high school this year, and she showed me his new suit and wanted to know where the bottom of the pant leg should be: above the shoe, at the top of the shoe or covering the shoe. I told her I’d check on-line.

I graduated from high school in the days when girls wore dresses and boys wore suits and ties under their gowns. The girls wore white gowns while the boys wore green, our school colors. We sat on one side while the boys sat on the other. Our graduation was outside in front of the school. Some of us were on chairs while those in the back sat on a small bleacher. The Class of 1965 sign was hung above the top-tier of the bleacher on the front of the school. It fell during the ceremony and a few guys were knocked off the bleacher and one guy was knocked out for a bit after he hit the ground. The news traveled fast among us whispered one to another. It was the highlight of the ceremony. I remember the speaker was from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and he was quite boring. We chatted a bit while he spoke and were careful not to be too loud. Scholarships were given out, and I remember reading my dad’s lips after getting mine and he was asking me how much. After what seemed hours came the awarding of our diplomas. My parents gave me a party, and I remember my mother made chicken and eggplant parmesan. My gift was a typewriter to take to college. I was thrilled. I still have it stored in the cellar. I last used it during my teaching years before the computer made it a relic.

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”

August 16, 2014

The sun is in and out of the clouds. The day goes from strikingly sunny and beautiful to cloudy and dark. The weather in the paper said partly sunny. I guess I didn’t think about the other part.

On Saturday, the day before I left for the Peace Corps, my mother asked me what I’d like for our last family dinner together for a long while. I answered right away: roast beef, mashed potatoes, peas and gravy, all my favorites, and that’s what we had. It is still one of my favorite meals. Mashed potatoes are the height of comfort food for me. My mother’s mashed potatoes were always fluffy and lump less. She used a hand masher, one of those metal ones with a flat grill bottom. I sometimes watched her. She wielded that masher as if it were a weapon in the hands of a master swordsman. She’d add butter and milk and keep mashing. I even remember the bowl she always used to serve the potatoes. It was a wide, not tall, bowl. She’d add the potatoes and put a few pats on butter on top. It was a thing of beauty.

My favorite ice cream changes. When I was a kid, we didn’t have all the choices and exotic flavors we have now. Back then my favorite was a dish of plain old chocolate made exquisite by adding Hersey’s syrup. When I was in high school, it was mint chocolate chip in a sugar cone with jimmies all over the ice cream. I used to buy it at Brigham’s. Mocha chip was my favorite for a while, and I still sometimes buy it, but lately I have been into coconut topped with dark chocolate sea salt caramel sauce. It tastes as superb as it sounds.

I like vegetables, quite a change from when I was growing up. Back then I ate potatoes, peas, corn and French green beans, all of which came from cans. I also ate carrots but they were disguised and hidden in the mashed potatoes. In Ghana I couldn’t get many vegetables. I ate garden eggs which are small egg plants, okra, tomatoes, yam, onions and one year I had green peppers grown from seeds I got from home. I really missed vegetables which I wouldn’t ever have imagined when I was a kid. My favorites are still peas, but corn on the cob and summer tomatoes are on my list of favorites. Just no beans ever!

Traveling gave me the chance to try new foods, and I tried all sorts. I didn’t even know the names of some of them. The food didn’t have to look good as I had grown out of the stage of judging foods by its appearances. I think maybe it was Ghana which taught me that.

“Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.”

May 4, 2014

Dare I risk saying it aloud and perhaps ruining the spell? Well, I am a risk taker so here it is: spring is finally here. Yesterday was a delight. I opened windows to the fresh smelling air and was on the deck in the sun for a while replenishing my vitamin D. It was in the 60’s again. Today is no less a delight with the bright sun making a return engagement though the morning is a bit cooler than yesterday’s.

My lawn was mowed in the late afternoon, and the sweet smell of that fresh mown grass filled the air. The grass, a deep spring green, is still lush from all the rain. It is perfect for bare feet even after being mowed.

I still have a Sunday mentality left over from my childhood. Saturday is for chores and errands. Sunday is for church if you’re so inclined, family time and a quieter day than the rest. Today is perfect for a ride after dinner and a stop for ice cream on the way home.

My town used to have a Dairy Queen. We’d ride our bikes down and get small vanilla cones with chocolate dips. My father was indignant when we called it ice cream. He always corrected us and said ice milk. It comes as a powder to which milk gets added in the mixing machine. My father worked for Hood Ice Cream, real ice cream, not ice milk, so the difference was important to him. I didn’t care. It was still ice cream to me though the ice milk did melt faster than real ice cream. The cones from DQ were never my favorites. They were tasteless. Sugar cones from ice cream shops were the best though sometimes the ice cream would leak from the bottom cone tip. It was a race to make sure the top of the ice cream didn’t melt or the bottom didn’t leak all over my shirt. I had ice cream crazes. Mint chocolate chip with jimmies (as we call them) was one as was mocha chip. I ordered one or the other for the longest time. Lately coconut has assumed the top position as favorite. Add some caramel sauce with sea salt and it is a dish fit for the gods.