Ice Cream Was Made In Heaven    
by: Arleen M. Kaptur

It is smooth, creamy, cool and as much a part of summer and warm weather as sunshine and honey bees. Ice cream is God's little "treat" for hot breezes, dry throats and the need to laugh and enjoy the gift of today.

Whether it be little children, or golden agers, ice cream is universal and a part of everyone's mental scrapbook of favorite flavors, crunchy and colorful toppings and mounds of whipped cream that resemble soft clouds in the sky. Ice cream also has medicinal benefits - remember being able to eat all the ice cream you wanted when you had your tonsils removed? If you skinned your knee or fell off your bike, you were cleaned up, tears wiped off and as soon as that bell from the ice cream man could be heard, you were allowed to order up a bomb popsicle, an ice cream sandwich or a "turkey" drumstick - that cone filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate and nuts made you forget the pain not only of your scraped knees but of the embarrassment of finishing last in that bicycle race. It didn't matter any more because right there - in your hand - was the symbol of life at its best.

Even when snow would fly and mountains of the fluffy white stuff would let you make snow angels and snow people, ice cream made from fresh fallen snow was a treat that you promised your own kids would know about. It was part and parcel of the winter scene. But summer - this was ice cream's season of the year because while it melted faster than you could lick that cone, it made everyone a little friendlier, they smiled more, and while not everyone agreed on the best flavor, everyone agreed that ice cream would remain the top treat until the end of time. It just was and no matter how you dressed it up or served it plain, it was the perfect touch to any meal, the best cure-all for all of the world's ills, and even grandma and grandpa could make it by churning that handle on that old ice cream maker while you supplied the fresh berries and watched them disappear into the churn and come out as the best tasting strawberry or raspberry delight known to man.

Churches and town groups knew that Ice Cream Socials were the event of the year in front of picnics and barbecues. Everyone lined up for cones, cups, and pie ala mode. It was just a "neighborly" way to sit back and relax, get caught up on the latest gossip, and share a bit of down-home humor while the men folk talked about fishing, and who should have won that last horse- shoe toss. It was summer, it was perfect, and life was as it should be - enjoyable. You slept good at night and in the morning you could still giggle at your "ice cream" face, with chocolate and cream sometimes literally from ear to ear. Oh well, next year would bring another opportunity to top that killer sundae you thought up and others added to with flavorings and even broken up candy bars. You vowed to become an ice cream chef when you grew up.

Ice cream is a summer treat but it can be and should be enjoyed year-round. There is never a non-season for this creamy delight and no matter the age, time, season, or how much change you might have in your pocket - ice cream hits the spot and fits right in. Cones come in regular, dark sugar and now waffle type forms. Cups range from small to extra large and even fruit choices have expanded to include kiwi and tropical mangoes and Hawaiian nuts. While the "choices" may change for all the extras, the base ice creams of vanilla, and chocolate have a permanent place in the history of ice cream. With these two flavors, the sky is the limit to possibilities for man-sized sundaes and delicate lace-edged cookies with rounded scoops of sunshine tasting angel food. Everyone knew or should have known that ice cream was made in the heavens above and mankind was blessed to be allowed to share in this food that knew no competitors.

The best way to enjoy an ice cream delight anytime, any- where is with a friend. Sharing secrets, ideas, and hope for a bright future make that all-year treat even more special and unforgettable. You never outgrow your love for ice cream because while food fads may come and go, ice cream has been and will always be a favorite. Something to think about.

©Arleen M. Kaptur June, 2008
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