Sunday, July 15, 2007

National Ice Cream Day

I've been taking a mental poll recently of most-talked-about subjects in the O.R. (not pertaining to patient care or medicine). So far the top three items seem to be

3. The Red Sox / celebrities / other news items
2. What to do when we're NOT in the O.R.
1. FOOD.

We spend an inordinate amount of time thinking and talking about food.


Happy National Ice Cream Day, everyone!

After the last couple of posts, I need to write about something a little frivolous. Like ice cream.

On our recent vacation I noticed that on the two occasions we visited Ben and Jerry's for ice cream, we all chose the same flavors for ourselves.

Me: Chocolate Therapy
My husband: Crème brûlée
My daughter: Lemonade sorbet
My son: Vanilla with Gummy bears

So I thought, can I read ourselves into those flavors at all? ("If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be?")

My son is definitely vanilla with gummy bears. Sweet, reliable, tried and true, with a sprinkling of fun and some delightful, hidden treasures, spiritually and intellectually.

My daughter could be lemonade sorbet - sweet but a little tangy, too, slightly off-beat but with a style of her own, yummy and refreshing all in all. I think the best metaphor for her, though, would be rainbow sorbet, with its exuberance and festiveness.

My husband does happen to be French (or at least, half-French), like crème brûlée, smooth and sensual but also comforting. But the "fancy" name fails to convey his earthier side, the part of him that would build a log cabin for his family by hand if he had the time and resources.

As for chocolate therapy, perhaps it's too dark, multilayered, and mysterious to represent me, but I'll take it anyway. In truth I'm probably more like one of my other favorites, cookie dough.

My husband and I are as different as chocolate and vanilla, but Cookies & Cream is an ice cream flavor we agree on. How fitting - a marriage of both chocolate and vanilla, complex in texture, gritty yet oh-so good.

John Harrison, the official taste tester for Edy's Ice Cream (where can I get a job like that?!), was on the radio last Friday morning talking about his invention of Cookies & Cream ice cream (a claim disputed by Blue Bell Creameries and also by the dairy plant at South Dakota State University). He said if it hadn't been for a hail storm that wiped out a pre-purchased crop of peaches that the ice cream company was going to use for a peach ice cream, they might never have taken his Cookies & Cream concoction off the back shelf of the freezer and trialed it.

This story reminded me of a saying that was passed down to me during my training and that I often repeat to students: luck is more important than skill! :)


Another "list of the week," in honor of National Ice Cream Day: My Favorite Ice Cream Flavors:

10. Toasted coconut ice cream from Main Street Sweets in Tarrytown, New York tied with Philippine ube ice cream (ube, pronounced "oo-beh," is a purple yam - VERY purple)
9. Ben & Jerry's cinnamon bun ice cream.
8. Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
7. Mango ice cream if made with Philippine mangoes, which are the best in the world.
6. Selecta mocha ice cream (in the Philippines).
5. Hazelnut ice cream, especially the nocciolo gelato you can get in Italy.
4. Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Therapy - anyone seen this in grocery stores? Ate it in the parlor...
3. Häagen-Dazs Tres Leches ice cream - is this gone?
2. Häagen-Dazs limited edition strawberry shortcake - bought it once, then couldn't find it again; love their limited edition Belgian chocolate, too
1. J.P. Licks Oreo ice cream.

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