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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Frozen Memories




Wisconsin summers are quite hot, though I recall hearing that Milwaukee was "90 degrees in the shade", which astonished me, so I guess Green Bay was not quite that hot.

We had no air conditioning, and few fans. The open window was simply open. Still warm air outside and in. At night the sheets would stick to my skin as I turned over trying to go back to sleep.


In the daytimes, I would walk to The Corner Store, aka Boulanger's, to buy popsicles, which at that time were sold in thin paper wrappers. There were two popsicles inside, joined by a thinner area of popsicle that broke easily into two, the second to be shared or stored for later. The flavors were varied: I recall chocolate, blueberry, banana, orange, cherry, grape, lime, and root beer. I prefered lime. Of course, there were also Creamsicles, which were not pleasing to my palate, but would do in a pinch.

On Sundays we would go to Kaap's and have lunch (German food, very hearty); at the end of the lunch I would order a hot fudge sundae, which at Kaap's was presented royally. The one large scoop of their homemade ice cream (slightly crystalline, very strongly vanilla) was set before me in a footed pewter dish on a small plate. Beside it was placed an individual dark green sauce boat with a white interior, in which was a lake of molten, dark chocolate sauce. It was not of the gooey caramel consistency of some hot fudge, but had a thick, rich heavy, luscious consistency. It was too hot to stay on top of the ice cream, so it ran down immediately into the bowl, taking some of the melted ice cream with it. This did not deter me in the least. I began to carve spoon shapes into that globe, dipping each bite into the sauce below. At the end, there was sauce leftover in the sauceboat, which I drank eagerly, to my mother's dismay.

There was another ice cream company in town, Pleck's. They made the best ice cream I have ever tasted, bar none, and I have had a lot of ice cream! Their vanilla was strong and smooth, not buttery but just the perfect blend of sugar, vanilla and cream. I was horribly disappointed by other ice creams once I left Wisconsin. So low in flavor and richness. Ah well.

4 comments:

Osprey said...

We weren't bought sundaes, however I do remember in Canada (and at that time my parents were amused by the exotica and quite willing to try just about anything) that they signed onto some "buy a freezer and have ice cream delivered" scheme for a short time. The 1950s was absolutely full of those schemes. I never liked ice cream so I just would eat the cones (ordinary, I don't like the other kind). I didn't eat milk or butter, either.

Can they really have served anything in pewter? I can see it being used as a charger but not as a dish.

Young Geoffrion said...

Thank you for the popsicles. I was partial to lime, too, then for an age, ate nothing but banana while traipsing up and down EVERY street in Toronto during the summers. Orange was standard, hated grape and cherry and chocolate. Oh yes, there were Fudgesicles too, but I preferred Creamsicles until I began to make my own by pouring orange juice over vanilla ice cream in a bowl. There, I just thought you had to know that.
We went absolutely mad for pewter dishes - it was the lead, no doubt.

hba said...

Mmmm, I have the same love for Robinson's ice cream made in Leyland where I grew up (my dad and the owner, Bill Clegg, were friends in the same pigeon racing club). No ice cream is ever as good, especially the god awful Mr Whippy pap they server over here - like some alien diarrhea made of sugar and colouring. YUK! I want ICE cream, not some foamy extrusion you can dry and pack boxes with.

hba said...

What is this about pewter dishes?

I still have a (short section of) lead water pipe to my house - ah well :(