Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bobtail Year 2: A Dream of Spring

Not pictured: cursing commuters.
March is month ten of Bobtail Year 2, during which I receive two pints of homemade ice cream a month from Bobtail.

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Ah, spring. The season when Chicagoans cycle back to the beginning of the five stages of grief: denial. Usually there's a week or two of nice weather that arrives very suddenly. It starts with the sheets of ice on the sidewalks melting away into frosty puddles. Then the mounds of snow start to decrease in size, dwindling down to the permafrost layer that, by this point is several months old. Then the period known as "autumn's shame" begins, when the last bit of snow melts away, exposing all the garbage and dog poop that were left waiting beneath. And for a brief moment, all evidence points to the end of the bitter winter. Heh heh.

Witnessing this spectacle of climatory cruelty are millions of people breathing a little easier, smiling considerably more and joking about the aforementioned dog poop. To them, any full day in the thirties feels like a blessing of Biblical proportions. Once it hits 40 degrees, heavy jackets give way to light sweaters and there's some dude walking around in shorts. Optimistic individuals remark about how nice the weather is, while pessimists/Floridians say it is still cold and realists feel Cassandra-like inclinations to warn that the worst is yet to come. But first it gets better, jumping into the 50s--this year we actually entered the 70s for a day. There's a collective sigh in the city as everyone starts to think, "Maybe this is it. Maybe spring has actually arrived with the equinox."

Then we receive the biggest snow in seven weeks.

If I weren't a brick wall deflecting all emotion, this might just break me. Just in case, what were those stages K├╝bler-Ross says I should expect next?

It is this hope of a brighter (and warmer) day that we must consider when pondering a spoonful of Bobtail's latest flavor, A Dream of Spring, lemon ice cream with graham crackers and mixed berries. One small bite and we taste a refreshing hint of sunny citrus. The way the graham cracker dust soaks into the lemon ice cream adds a nostalgic feel that summer always evokes for those foolish enough to live this far north. And the frozen, whole berries waiting within are the perfect ice cubes for my daydream lemonade. A dream of spring, indeed. When I closed my eyes and took a bite, I almost believed it was safe to go outdoors.

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