10 years, 5 months.
Over the weekend, you spent hours carefully crafting the box from one of your sister’s 5th birthday presents into what started out as a race car (I think?), but eventually evolved into an ice cream store for your sister and cousins to buy treats from.
Conveniently, your sister already had plenty of plastic ice cream toys for you to give out when customers walked up to your ice cream store; which, now that I think of it, seemed more like an ice cream truck.
You even installed a pulley system, allowed you to place the ice cream in an after hours drop box… that’s assuming the ice cream didn’t melt by then!
4 years, 11 months.
I ended up getting a free dessert at the restaurant we went to for my 40th birthday; banana pudding that Mommy and I shared.
But before we knew that was going to happen, Mommy and I had already decided and announced that we would go by the fudge and ice cream shop for dessert.
So that meant you and your brother got a special ice cream treat on my birthday!
Out of the many flavors, you chose Superman.
(I kept it a secret from you that it’s just plain vanilla with a bunch of food coloring.)
You loved it! You were so proud, you made sure to tell your teacher about it the very next morning.
2 years, 3 months.
As we exited through the front doors of our church this past Sunday morning around 9:20 AM, one of the executive pastors turned to our family with an unexpected solicitation: “Frozen custard! Right here! Chocolate for vanilla?”
There was no reason to even bother asking why our church was giving free Culver’s frozen custard to all the members and visitors of The Bridge. They are known for committing random acts of kindness; like during the first week of school recently, they gave literally every school teacher in surrounding cities a free cup of Starbucks.
Somewhat miraculously, Mommy and I were able to convince both you and your brother that it wouldn’t be a good idea to try and eat your ice cream during the 10 minute car drive back to the house.
But the moment we made it to the kitchen, the two of you set up shop. There wasn’t much conversation going on during your chocolaty breakfast. In fact, I don’t recall either of you saying one word.
Instead, it was simply a matter of how much chocolate ice cream you both could scarf down until the brain freezes started kicking in.
The answer? Not a whole lot, really.
You both made it about 5 spoons in when you realized that while it was indeed great stuff, it was probably a bit too much awesomeness so early in the morning; on a mainly empty stomach.
I noticed only as I was washing your face afterwards, that you had the perfect chocolate mustache!
It’s a rare thing to be able to start a Sunday morning off right, with Culver’s frozen custard. But thanks to our church, The Bridge in Spring Hill, Tennessee, everything lined up just right.
Now that I think of it, you and your brother are pretty lucky kids!
Vanilla just got cool.
Should it remain a mystery or will finding out what gives these popular yet unquestioned items their flavor? Like a magician who actually reveals his tricks, so will I tear away the ancient veil. Obviously, sugar plays a huge part in all these flavors, what what else is added to make these flavors so distinct, timeless, and magical?
Cola: Citrus oils (derived from the peels of citrus fruits: orange, lemon, and lime), tamarind, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Cotton Candy: Fruits, berries, honey, molasses, vanilla and maple sugar.
Bubble Gum: peppermint, spearmint, menthol, vanilla and fruit.
“Superman” Ice Cream: Vanilla (plus several different colors of food dye.) Just vanilla. Seriously. That’s all it is and has ever been. The rainbow colors play tricks on our minds.
The common ingredient these mysterious flavors have in common, besides a whole lot of sugar, is vanilla. The connotation of the word “vanilla” sometimes carries the idea of being plain and ordinary. However, without it, these wonderful American flavors would not be the same. Vanilla: who knew?
So the legend goes, pregnant women get crazy cravings for weird food combinations. The token pairing of pickles and ice cream has become so familiar that it’s now a swanky maternity clothing store. But is it a funny cliché or simply a reality? For us, it’s the real deal.
Though my wife has not once dealt with morning sickness throughout the pregnancy, she has definitely battled leg cramps. Of course, I’ve documented how she’s overcome them, by giving her body a surplus of the nutrients the baby is taking. Yet since then, as our baby has been getting much bigger, the discovery of pickles (which provide electrolytes) and ice cream (which provides calcium) has helped ensure those leg cramps are kept at bay.
And hey, I’ve got no complaints. Last Friday night we had to make an “ice cream run” after dinner at the house. She chose a box of fat free Vanilla frozen yogurt, while I chose a low fat French Silk Chocolate. As usual, she liked mine better. Her secret to eating low fat ice cream is this- add two spoons of peanut butter and a little Hershey’s Syrup. Some might think this defeats the purpose of low fat ice cream. We’d rather live in ignorant bliss.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography: