Summer's heading our way. Although it doesn't feel like it today as a galeforce wind howls around the house. Having a foretaste of summer earlier in the week, it feels as though winter's returned. One of the things I really enjoy about summer is a frappé. No, not the Greek one, but the one that, on a hot summer's day, The Husband will rush home when he returns from the weekly shop in Robertson. If it's not too late. That caveat is because I have a problem with cafeine. Strictly Coffee describes it as an iced latté, but as fond as I am of a latté, and theirs, too, the name doesn't do them justice: they are more like milk shakes. Thick creamy and made with Strictly Coffee's own roasted beans.
First Ice Cream Memories
My first memories of ice cream go back to when I must have been about five. We lived in a flat (apartment) on the Quigney in East London, South Africa. In summers, and on a Sunday, my parents would pack us in the old (well she wasn't then) Anglia, and head out to Buffalo Pass. We'd spend the day in the sun, under trees wearing little more than a pair of shorts. One of the things I remember (don't ask me why), was that I had a little red Matchbox bus.
My bus did things buses of that vintage and design were never intended to do. It traversed dust roads,
man Fiona-made mountains and branched up and down trees. By the time we headed home in the late afternoon, the bus was covered in dust. As was the child. It became a ritual to stop at The Friesland on the way home.
The Friesland Milkbar is now an East London institution and even then, was known to produce the best ice cream on the planet. My mother always had rum and raisin. I think I had cholcolate.
So added to the the dust and grime, were the sticky dribbles of ice cream. Once we got home, the children were dunked, clothes and all, into a bath of bubbles from - I kid you not - Softly washing powder. My mother reserved it for her "unmentionables", woolies and children.
Back to the Friesland for a minute: long time friends who return to East London - even more than fifty years later - make the not negotiable pilgrimage for ice cream.
Still in East London and then in Grahamstown
When we didn't head out for the day, we'd be at home and the parents would have an afternoon zizz. With hindsight, it was probably a necessary nap after a Saturday night. I have never been one for an afternoon kip, so I never understood my father's fury when the ice cream cart came calling. I can still hear him:
If the ice cream man rings that bell once more, I'll wrap that bell around his neck...Or words to that effect.
I have no real memories of buying anything from one of those carts in East London, although I do remember doing it - quite often - after we moved to Grahamstown. My favourite was a mint ice cream dipped in chocolate on a wooden stick. I remember sucking the minty, creamy liquid through the hard chocolate crust which melted far too quickly.
The modern iteration of my favourite ice cream from fifty years ago Source
I remember doing this when the cart stopped at the end of the drive way and I was able to persuade my mother to part with 12c.
Ice Cream and Dad
Two of my fondest childhood memories of my father was not long after we moved to Grahamstown. Both were on Saturday afternoons and are associated with ice cream. The more frequent, and occasionally with Mum was at a little café in the High Street which sold soft serve ice cream. One could have plain (vanilla), strawberry or chocolate or a mixture of the two. It didn't take me long to realise that plain was best, but better when wound around a Flake and dipped in chocolate. That didn't happen often. Still doesn't. The second was also a little café, most definitely not in the High Street, but across the way from one of the two town cinemas. The Olympia Café made its own ice cream. It was served in cones
Grown up Ice Cream
I rarely now have ice cream, and when I do, it's as a dessert and often shared. Three are memorable. The first because it was decadent, enormous and well, just completely and unexpectedly over the top. The Husband and I were on holiday in our favourite seaside spot and decided to have dessert. The house special was recommended. I cannot tell you anything about the rest of the meal because it was forever eclipsed by what landed on our table.
It was served on a dinner plate. It was a pavlova of fresh cream, ice cream, fresh strawberries and lots of red sweet stuff drizzled liberally over it. It would have served ten let alone two. It was delicious. We did our best. Did we finish it? I have no idea.
The second and equally memorable is the honeycome icecream we often shared at a little restaurant in McGregor started by folk who are now friends. It is not overly sweet and a shared bowl is the perfect end to a meal. I remember one cold winter's evening, after a leisurely meal in front of their fire. We were the last in that part of the establishment and they were tidying up.
Stay, relax.There we sat, with our chairs pulled up to the fire, my feet on the The Husband's knees, sharing a bowl of icecream, whiling the rest of the evening away.
Can I bring you?
It's no wonder we moved to McGregor.
If I have to choose
Regular readers know that I occasionally participate in a contest that has us choosing our three best, worst or something things. I wasn't sure I was going to, this month, but reading other entries got me thinking. Then, it's also the penultimate month that it will run. The team is taking a well-deserved break.
Before getting to my choices, thank you to the team of @nickyhavey, @plantstoplanks, @chees4ead and @foxyspirit. Hats-off to a group of people who have been consistent and dedicated to running (very smoothly) a contest that, if one delves into it, is complicated. Necessary to keep things fair and above board. They've done all of that with aplomb.
Q will be missed and I hope he returns, well rested, at some point.
Now, I'm grown up, and if I occasionally must include ice cream in the grocery shop, it will either be vanilla or blueberry. And if Kurt and Andre have their honeycomb ice cream on offer, it will always be gratefully accepted.
Until next time, be well
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa
Post ScriptI am doing my best to post every day for November as part of @traciyork's twice yearly #HiveBloPoMo challenge. This is my third attempt. All my posts are to the the Hive blockchain, but not all from WordPress. Details about the challenge (on the blockchain) are here and on WordPress, here.
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