A few weeks ago, I told Ruby (goddaughter) a quick story about my favorite summer pastime. There was nothing more delightful to me than running outside in my [not at all revealing, ankle-length] nightgown whenever I heard the ice cream truck nearing my end of the street on a warm summer night. It was the most amazing scene...something quintessentially American, I think. Every house that contained a kid had its front door busted open and kids in all states of undress, before-after-during a meal, would run towards the street waving dollar bills in their hands, or tugging their curmudgeonly parents who reluctantly dipped into their wallets. And it was always so hard to choose! I remember always hating to get messy, and the rocket pop in red, white and blue was a certain mess-maker, but it was so good! The strawberry shortcake ice cream bars were awesome; so soft, sweet and bursting with artificial strawberry flavor. Or there was the latest novelty cartoon character with bubble gum eyeballs; my brother loved getting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle variety but my mom always fought with him about swallowing the gum. In the end, your ice cream treat generally just melted down the front of your shirt, and you were left with a saccharin-sweet aftertaste and the persistent nudging of your parents to GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH.
Ruby and I decided that since it was warm enough, we would have to make ice cream sundaes. We went to the grocery store, picked out our preferred flavors of ice cream and all the fixins, and then went home to create our masterpieces. Ruby loves chocolate ice cream, so we scooped two large scoops of it for her, plopped it into the bowl and covered it with hot fudge, chocolate sprinkles, whipped cream and a few cherries. I chose butter pecan (chicks dig it) and garnished it similarly. We sat down at the table, drooling and oogling our masterpieces, and dug in. So scrumptious. I cannot tell you how delicious a sundae tastes...especially after going well over a year without one!
Now that summer is approaching, it's the perfect time to dig out the ol' ice cream scoop and try some classic sundae recipes, don't you think? Well, I was extra inspired by this article I saw in the LA Times recently, wherein David Lebovitz suggests some interesting and unorthodox flavor combinations for our beloved ice cream. Everything from carrot cake ingredients to buckwheat are suggested in this article, which served to remind me of my top secret ice cream topping love of all loves. Wait for it! NERDS. I'm telling you, Nerds are the jam mixed into ice cream! Invite your family to a wacky ice cream taste test and have everyone mix in a random and unusual ice cream ingredient or two. You'll never know what might work! I wouldn't be surprised if warm french fries showed up in the mix, or even potato chips. The sky's the limit, isn't it?! If it's delicious, you could always suggest your flavor to Ben & Jerry's!