Cold Treats Can Warm The Heart

Nickel ice cream cones are a buck now.

Inflation has hit everything, but that kind of set us back when we ordered the “Dollar Special” at a drive-in fast food place recently. Size-wise, the cone was exactly the same as the ones we used to buy for Grandma and ourself most afternoons after school at Peter Pan, then in the building next door, which would become part of our
grocery store.

The one this time had a cardboard wrapping on the cone, so the server didn’t touch the edible part. Five and a half decades ago, the server touched the cone with her fingers, but sometimes wrapped the top dip of vanilla or chocolate in a delicatessen
paper, to slow the drip on 100-degree days, as we dashed outside and upstairs to Grandma’s apartment.

Then Dairy Queen was open only in the summer months, and sometimes on Saturday night after work, or Sunday evening, when we “went for a ride” we would go there. But, those nickel ice cream cones were a dime at DQ, and there was no selection of flavor.

It was always vanilla right out of the machine with a curlicue on top, just like now. Colored, flavored coating of chocolate or strawberry could be added, but that was a nickel more. Sometimes, we got an ice cream sundae; hot fudge in the middle of the summer was a favorite. Occasionally, we begged for a banana split, but they really cost.

Ice cream has always been a family favorite treat, and Mom and Dad usually got the very thick milk shakes that had to be eaten with a spoon. That is, when we went to the ice cream store, but Mom had the milk shake maker from the small restaurant they operated in the early ’50s, and frequently made milk shakes at home from scratch.

Homemade ice cream was hand cranked several times each summer, and it was another of those jobs we did, but not one we liked. In the earlier days, we’d go to the ice plant, buy blocks of ice, put them in a gunny sack and crush the ice by beating it with a sledge hammer. When brown sacks of pre-crushed ice became available, it was

Mom knew the ingredients without a recipe and often used farm fresh cream to make it “richer and better.” Usually several batches were made each time. We always got to lick the beater, and we’d eat several bowls so fast our head hurt. The remainder was   put in the refrigerator freezer, but it was never as good as right out of the cranker.

In the winter, sometimes Mom made snow ice cream, but that required a certain kind of the white stuff, and we can’t remember what else. We still like ice cream, and despite its nutritional aspects, the waistline suffers when consumption follows desires. A store-bought gallon is usually in the freezer, just in case we have that   uncontrollable urge.

It reminds us of Psalm 19:6: “That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.”