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I love ice cream. No, wait. Let me try that again. I LOVE ICE CREAM! If you do not at least enjoy ice cream from time to time, I am suspicious of you and question everything about you!

For some, ice cream is a summer time luxury to be had while standing outside with a tall cone, ice cream dripping down the back of your hand. For me, ice cream is a welcome guest in my home 365 days a year. And when you have ice cream, there is no such things as a paltry scoop. I mean really? Who just eats ONE scoop of ice cream? Years ago, Mario and I would stop at the store on the way home just to pick up two pints of Ben & Jerry’s. I would vacillate between strawberry cheesecake (which also happened to be the favorite choice of my two pet chihuahuas) and oatmeal cookie (which I can never find anymore!). That evening, I’d excitedly make my way to the kitchen to retrieve my pint of pure perfection ready to start a movie. Perhaps we got through the opening credits and I would be half done. First scene, GONE! Mario, clearly suffering from some kind of mental collapse, would put the top back on only after having had a few spoons worth. Again, WHO DOES THAT?!?

When I traveled in Italy I ate a lot of gelato. At least one cone a day sometimes two. I mean, gelato should be given its own mini-series on tv. If an alien race visited our planet we’d only have to hand them a cone dripping with nocciola (usually what I had) and they would think us the most advanced civilization in the universe. One very hot day in Florence, Katie and I stopped at one of the many gelaterias for an afternoon refreshment. Keep in mind, I was on a shoe string budget backpacking around Europe for months and needed to be extra frugal. I’d go out of my way to only book a bed in a hostel for not more than $15 a night. Back on the bench in Florence’s Boboli Gardens I leaned over to ask Katie how much she paid for her sad little two scoop cone. You see, my packed high with glorious gelato waffle cone only came out to $11! Katie laughed so hard at this she almost snorted her gelato right out her nose.

I like all the ice cream things! Except coffee ice cream. That is an abomination. But mostly any other flavor works. I like toppings on top of my toppings. I like regular every day standard ice cream. I love gelato. I like fried ice cream. I like soft serve and hard ice cream. A simple cone with sprinkles? YES! An elaborate sundae with all the things? YES YES! Sometimes going to a place like Cold Stone can bring on a state of panic because of the choices. I don’t want sprinkles or brownie bites. I don’t want chocolate bar shavings and I don’t want chocolate or caramel sauce. No, I want IT ALL. I want all the toppings, all the sauces, all the chopped up cookies, cakes and brownies that can fit. Basically, when I do ice cream, I don’t mess around.

My parents like to tell the story about a now mostly defunct ice cream shop in New York City back in the day called Jahn’s and my uncle Arthur. They had a dish called aptly, “The Kitchen Sink”. With enough ice cream to provide adequate brain freeze to the residents of a small country, The Kitchen Sink is everything an ice cream lover’s heart desires. As fellow blogger, Polly Sundae wrote, “So what is in a kitchen sink under all that homemade whipped cream?  It starts with two scoops of every flavor of ice cream Jahn’s offers; Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Coffee, Butter Pecan, Cherry Vanilla, Pistachio Almond, Cookies & Cream, Vanilla Fudge, Chocolate Chip, Mint Chip, and Sherbet.  On top of that they add fudge and caramel sauces, banana, pineapple and nuts, mountains of fresh whipped cream, and enough sprinkles and cherries to fill your heart’s desire.  There might have been more in there; it was hard to keep track of everything.  No two servings and no two bites were the same.  Once a layer of flavor was uncovered a new one emerged below.  It would take a team of dessert archeologists to pick apart the delicious madness that is The Kitchen Sink, and they would need to work fast!  As it was, our last few scoops were a wonderful ice cream soup.” Well, back in the day you could take The Kitchen Sink challenge offering you prizes galore should you finish. My uncle Arthur, who tended to eat at the pace of a great sloth, chose himself as possessing the right kind of temperament as well as mastery of avoiding brain freeze, took on the challenge. He tried, he put in a valiant effort. One little spoonful at a time he hammered away. It wasn’t an easy battle from what I hear and he may have had to been wheeled out!

At the end of the day, whether it is inhaling a pint of Ben & Jerry’s on my couch, enjoying gelato on a boat turned gelateria in Como, Italy, carefully constructing the perfect combination of ice cream flavors and toppings at some fantastic little ice cream shack along the beach or running barefoot on the hot blacktop after the ice cream man during every summer of my childhood, you may find that if you scream and I scream we all scream for ice cream!

The Dentist Disaster I ordered at Cabot’s in Newton, MA.

How we do ice cream night during our family vacation

A must for soft serve custard ice cream along the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore.

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