Friday, February 20, 2009

Ice Cream Talk with Oscar-winners

I was house managing a play when she walked in. She was not the only celebrity I'd met at Williamstown Theatre Festival, summer stock home of so many of Broadway's favorites and hopefuls. As she walked towards the theatre's entrance, I was faced with a moral dilemma I hoped I'd never face. But nonetheless I was forced to action—it cut me to say it, but I must do my job, and I must do it well:

"You know you can't bring that into the theatre, right?" speaking of the dish of ice cream in her hands. No food or drink was allowed in the theatre.

Remembering herself, she looked down at her Styrofoam bowl, complete with plastic spoon and overturned sugar cone—and gleefully sputtered, "I got here earlier, but I needed some ice cream so I left."

The following is what that made this moment in time such a pinnacle of my existence. Rather than asking where there might be a receptacle to dispose of her unfinished delight, she promptly inquired if there might be a freezer to store her sweet temptation. Dutifully, I escorted her.

There was much to discuss with my new compatriot in lactose. She had gone to the local place, Lickety Split, and was still reeling from how good it was. Enthusiastically, I told her she had to try their signature flavor, Purple Cow. "Ooh, what's that?" "Raspberry ice cream with chocolate and white chocolate pieces and a raspberry swirl."

For some reason, I did not ask her what flavor she had tried. I was feeling a bit shy, nervous to ask such a personal question, but felt confident enough to make a few sidelong glances. My leering soon left me deflated: she seemed to have a frou-frou coffee flavor.

Arriving at our rendezvous destination, I opened the freezer door for her with all the chivalry I could muster. Already inside the freezer sat a half gallon I had placed for storage earlier. "I am an ice cream fiend," I told her, feeling a little exposed. I felt safe, though, not at all ashamed or scared.

As her treat entered my secret place, I sneaked another peek at her dish's contents. At second glance it appeared to be deep, pure, and uniform as only chocolate can be. This put all my fears to rest. We walked the 15 second trek back to the theatre with smiles on our faces.

She entered the theatre and my friend who works in the box office called me over to ask where "Marisa Tomei and I" had walked off to together all "buddy-buddy." I told him I had taken her to a freezer to store her ice cream, and in saying this I realized I was probably the only person in the world who thought this to be more intimate than anything else we could have accomplished in such a short span of time. Mmm, ice cream talk. Foreplay for the loser.

• • •

As the play came to a close I took my post near the door as people exited. She came to me and asked me where the stage door was to meet the actors exit from. I directed her in the proper direction and told her with a knowing smile, "I can show you to your ice cream when you're ready." I looked forward to another rendezvous, once more sharing our passion, and again showing her the opulence of my frozen safehold. 

...But sadly, this is where our story ends. It seems our heroin, in all of her cravings, did not feel the need to come and claim her beloved.

Oh, how we all dream in this life! Dreams of theatres where ice cream can gain admittance, dreams of conversations with movie stars, dreams of Marisa Tomei inviting us over for sex and pie. How rare it is that we appreciate the dreams that we live daily more than the dreams we wish would come true. How rare it is to be so virtuous! To hold such virtue would be, well, the kingdom of heaven. Yes, and ice cream is the kingdom come to earth. Ice cream, one could conclude, IS life!

Indeed. And I hold the spoon.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Today's-as-good-as-any-to-treat-me-to-dessert Day!

Chocolate-covered strawberries. They might be my absolute favorite food. And I'm not at all opinionated about them, whether they are fancy, messy, fresh, chilled, dark, milk, big, or small, I will enjoy them. I'm not sure I could elaborate. But please take note, friends, since there are many occasions throughout the year to surprise me.

That being said, we'll move on to ice cream, a much more diverse ground for discussion:

Forrest Gump once said, "Stupid is as stupid does," and you'd would be doing quite a bit of stupid if you missed Turkey Hill's Box of Chocolates, a Limited Edition flavor whose half gallon package is covered in red and pink hearts for--I'm guessing--Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. Each spoonful of the chocolate-based flavor has chocolate flakes and, if that weren't enough, most bites also contain one of the many items you might find in a box of chocolates: chocolate raspberry cups, chocolate almonds and white chocolate chunks, each from Gertrude Hawk Chocolates. (If you go to their website, you'll find that they ship chocolate-covered strawberries. I thought you might find that interesting.)

Turkey Hill is a regional ice cream company specializing making and distributing premium ice cream to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States. Their tasty product is among the higher-end options available in half gallon varieties. You may have noticed that they, like one Canadian chocolate company, have chosen a bizarre set of words for marketing a dessert product. No need to fear: their ice cream is 100% turkey-free.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Story of How the Brubakers Came to America

It is one of my family's classic stories. When the Brubakers first came over to America, they were on the same vessel as the Hershey family. Since a charismatic nature runs in the family, it's no surprise that the Hersheys were quite taken by my forefathers. In fact, the friendship blossomed so much that the Hershey family asked the Brubakers if we would be interested in joining them in the chocolate business they intended to start in the new world.

"No," we said. "We intend to open our own grocery store."

Both families would later settle in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. There is still a large population of Brubakers there and, well, you know about the Hersheys. The Brubakers actually would go on to experience prosperity as grocers, but, suffice to say, there isn't an amusement park erected in our image.