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Ice Cream, Three Ways

July 24, 2012

1. Fancy

The kind you have to travel to a special shop and buy then rush it home, tucked in a special bag. Plastic sack of ice, a thermal grocery carrier, a cooler, a zippered lunch pack. Last summer, I bought these for a dinner date with a girlfriend — pistachio kulfi with saffron threads, and dark chocolate peanut butter. Instead of dinner in with fancy ice cream, we rode our bicycles across town to drink fancy drinks. The ice cream languished in the depths of my icebox, sprouting crystals and becoming spoiled, eventually taking on the smell of chicken stock, even though my freezer contains zero chicken stock. A lesson of sorts: if you’re going to over-spend on ice cream, you’d better eat every drop.

2. Home-made

I can never own an ice cream maker. Aside from breaking the number-one rule of my kitchen, which is “no single-use appliances”, there is not enough exercise in this world to address the situation that would sprawl across my ass if I had ready access to ice cream without leaving my home. Every summer, as each fruit and berry passes into then out of season, I revisit the issue…how awesome it would be to churn white peaches and sour cherries into sweet treats. And then I come to my senses: No. I must never, ever own an ice cream maker. Ever.

3. Parlour Style

Sometimes ice cream just plain needs to happen, NOW. Nothing fancy, nothing planned, nothing tough to fetch. Straight up ice cream: the junk from the supermarket; the kind from the corner shop (the lone pint of vanilla-almond shoved way in the back of the dairy case, riddled with icy hunks and gluey across its top from thawing and freezing and thawing and freezing again, each time the sketchy electricity cut out). The freaky shit off the truck that doesn’t melt when it hits the sidewalk but instead slumps against its own cone in a homogenous glob. Sometimes, ice cream needs to happen even when the sky is threatening rain. Best part about that? The storm washes the drips from between your toes during the walk home.

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