Ehow.com really does tell “How To Do Just About Everything.” For instance, in case you were wondering how to celebrate National Ice Cream Month, here are six easy ways, complete with ingredients list and instructions. I particularly like #4, making an ice cream sandwich. (I would advise, however, to let the ice cream soften some before smooshing it between the cookies, and then freezing it before eating, so you can savor the taste without having to eat in a hurry before it makes a big mess.)
I have eaten very little ice cream in the past year and a half, and don’t miss it a great deal. It used to be my biggest temptation, but after a few months of abstinence I discovered it didn’t taste as wonderful as I remembered. Lately I have been enjoying a bowl of vanilla yogurt mixed with fresh fruit (strawberries or blueberries) as my evening treat. It’s just as delicious as ice cream, and it doesn’t leave me longing for seconds.
Still, I wouldn’t want to let down the dairy industry – or Ronald Reagan, who designated July as National Ice Cream Month in 1984. The International Dairy Foods Association explains that
The U.S. ice cream industry generates more than $21 billion in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens. About 9% of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of the nation’s dairy industry.
Last month, to celebrate the end of my stint in the Tot Lot at day camp – and to enjoy a cold treat on a very hot day – I treated myself to a small bowl of ice cream at Culver’s. I selected their flavor of the day, which happened to be Berries and Cream. I used to have to drive by to learn their flavor of the day, or stop in and pick up the monthly calendar, but I just discovered that they have a widget on their website that lets you look up the day’s flavor where you live. To make it even more handy, Culver’s lets you email or blog the widget, so here it is.
Today’s flavor, at our local store, is Double Marshmallow Oreo. Mmmm! Now if I drove to Davenport, I could have Georgia Peach today. If I lived in Ankeny or Des Moines, I could get Mint Brownie.
I used to think that mint cookies and cream was the best ice cream flavor I could think of, followed by coffee mixed with Heath Bar bits. Ben & Jerry’s makes both, with Mint Chocolate Cookie voted twelfth most popular (it scores 4.46 out of 5), and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch close behind (sixteenth and 4.42). Today, though, I am thinking their Berried Treasure sounds very good (blueberry and blackberry chunks with lemon sorbet swirls), even if it only scores 3.84 from customer voting. It’s even recommended in Eat This, Not That.
Fortunately, I’ve found that I can enjoy thinking about ice cream – and then enjoy eating my yogurt and blueberries (both of which are in the list of eight foods to eat every day in Eat This, Not That). Besides, the yogurt industry may be miniscule compared to the ice cream industry, but eating yogurt supports the economy too.