20.12.18

Ice Cream Therapy

My family's relationship with ice cream goes way back.  My mother's parents started married life as owners of an ice cream shop in Salem (MA), but by the time I came along my grandfather was the comptroller for a chain of department stores founded by his father-in-law, and my grandmother had died 12 years earlier.  Ice cream, when we lived in Boston and later visited, meant Brigham's.  With jimmies.

Mom's favorites back then were rum raisin and butter pecan, but I stuck with "white" ice cream (note: it wasn't vanilla, because there was the pale yellow/cream version that was French vanilla and I just wanted the white version - none of the other colors appealed) Even today, I prefer vanilla but have graduated to allowing mix-ins like chocolate covered almonds, cookies, chocolate chips, etc. And, of course, jimmies,  Imagine how happy I was to move back home to find Brigham's Vanilla with Jimmies!


When we moved to SmallVillage in 1969, my father bought a hand-crank ice cream maker and for years one Thanksgiving tradition was to make homemade ice cream using snow from our background as a cooling agent.  Licking the dasher was a reward for helping.  More recently they've made ice cream at home using the stand mixer given to them as a wedding present. Despite being fervently lo-cal/no-fat, using heavy cream for this was an absolute must.

My uncle, for health reasons, lived in dry places like LA and Addis Ababa, finally moving his family to Jerusalem in the early 1970s.  Israel is not known for its ice cream, and one of his great pleasures when visiting my mother was taste testing various brands and flavors of ice cream.  Towards the last years of his life, on his Anchises blog, wrote about dying, ice cream and what would constitute a lesser quality of life.

Recently, my mother's health has seriously declined.  There's a gasping thing, Meige syndrome (or some other form of oromandibular dystonia) that makes it difficult for her to eat.  One of her doctors thought perhaps cold food would help - so my father brought in ice cream.  Not homemade, but store bought.  In her favorite flavors.  And it's working!  She went from unable to eat to eating 8oz/meal of high fat ice cream. 

Just as well one of their favorite musicals is She Loves Me, which includes this number:


(This was about to be published when the situation changed.  I'm still posting this, but with a heavier heart.)



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