I Love Ice Cream (Food Cop)

Thursday Night Dinner

Thursday Night Dinner (Photo credit: AxsDeny)

Last night I reached into our over-crowded freezer and pulled out a pint of Ben & Jerry’s” Phish Food.” It has everything I look for in an ice cream, chocolate (but not dark chocolate) a marshmallow swirl, a caramel swirl and chunks of dark chocolate fish. What more could you possibly want? It’s my go-to flavor for comfort although I have to say it was hard to resist that new coconut flavor they had in the summer. Oh my, I wonder how Phish Food would taste with some coconut in it? In my mind it reminds of a very old flavor that I used to love at Baskin Robbins when I was a kid “German Chocolate Cake” Ben and Jerry, how about it?

If I could choose any job at all I think I would be an ice cream flavor tester. (ARE YOU HIRING BY ANY CHANCE??) For the happiness quotient alone, it makes me smile just to think about it. I’ve forgiven Ben and Jerry for selling out to a big company, let’s face it, I would have done the very same thing. They are still involved, they have every right to enjoy their wealth and scoop what they sow. I love these two guys with a vision and a dream, these are two people I can say have made the world a better place. (And I’m not sucking up because I think I’ll get free ice cream, no one does that anymore.)  I truly like these dudes and I even visited their plant many years ago in Vermont, have a cow tee-shirt to prove it.

My husband likes “Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz,” but for me coffee is to be sipped slowly in the morning, steaming hot but not eaten with a teaspoon. I have tried his and it has a nice smooth quality but it’s not in my top ten list. See, now that I am writing about their ice cream, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that even having gained three pounds, I know we will be at their store tonight, waiting in line, asking for a free sample and then ordering. My genius son introduced me to the BEST way to order, because in our family, (except for my husband) rainbow sprinkles reign supreme. You order whatever size you want, with rainbow sprinkles and *THIS IS KEY* tell them that you want the cone in a cup! That way, they are not cheap with the sprinkles (guys: you should know this) as I can tell you they are when you just order a cone. Do you just LOVE THIS?    I know, I do too. Thanks, to my boy Tim for that idea. Everybody? “Thanks, Tim.”

I’m looking forward to dinner, it’s our daughter’s last night home before she leaves for college and she gets to select whatever she wants to eat. She has selected pizza and a cheese calzone with marinara sauce (YES!!!!!!!!) and I am really looking forward to that. Do you get the sense that we are a foodie family? We are.

GASP!!! There’s a PEEP in that photograph, another FAVORITE of mine, (but they have to be yellow marshmallow chicks) how fortunate was I to find a photo like THAT!!  I have written entire blog posts on Peeps. Check them out!

Okay, I’ve told you my favorite ice cream flavor. What’s yours? I’m licking my lips.

Photograph courtesy of the photographer, no rights owned.

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Carry On Tuesday – Only In Our Dreams

Eating Shiva

Eating Shiva (Photo credit: Mirror | imaging reality)

I felt virtuous when I sat, eating an open-faced veggie burger, with stone ground mustard and drinking ice water. I don’t feel the same way now. It’s three hours later and my son is having a barbecue for his friends. He came running up the stairs with a freshly charred hamburger on a bun dripping with ketchup and a slice of cheese slithering on top, shining with grease. I did not hesitate, I ate it  in one minute and I’m paying the price, in fullness and actual physical pain. I can’t lie; I have enjoyed it immensely along with the toasted marshmallow he brought up too. I know this game very well.

It started at birth with me, a six-week premature baby having to stay in the hospital until I gained enough weight to be able to come home. After that, my mother overcompensated and then I went full speed to fat or what they used to call “chubby.” I can pretend to eat healthy food now (most of the time) but I know that I will always be the fat, round, girl, that I have always been.

My mother could never figure out why I never wanted to go shopping when I was a child and a teenager, how could she not know? I was a very slim child only from age five to six until she decided to fatten me up, relentlessly, wherever we went. The Nestle’s Quik was at my side, spooned generously into my milk at every meal, like a religion.

Last year, I gained forty pounds when our house was demolished by termites and carpenter ants and we had to stay in a hotel, in one room, three of us and our dog, our disappointment and our dreams, dashed. My husband was also on medical leave for a snapped Achilles tendon, our sixteen year-old daughter cooped in one room with us while our house was built again from bare walls. That’s when you know who your real friends are, because it is at their house you are sharing a meal, they are asking you in and treating you like family, it saved our souls and sanity.

The only comfort in our lives was that our son was away in college was missing the trauma we were living through, and FOOD. We ate out at restaurants, two or three times a day. It was clear we were not eating healthfully, we were eating to comfort ourselves, dessert for lunch and for dinner every single day and night. French fries with your sandwich? Yes please. The only decision to make was what flavor milk shake we wanted, vanilla, strawberry or chocolate. Candy bars, cookies and crackers were stored in our hotel room like paper cups.

Piles of cakes and pies, white tendrils of coconut smiled down at us from its vanilla perch. Chocolate mousse cake winked at us from its place on the revolving cake display, cheesecake with strawberries, we denied ourselves nothing. Deep, deep down I knew what was happening though I chose to deny it; only in our dreams did I believe that we were not feeding our depression. When times were easier, better, we would deal with it. Then, we couldn’t cope with one more detail, one more restriction.

In three and a half months we moved back into our completely disorderly yellow house. For months we didn’t know where anything was. There are still boxes missing, items that some day we hope to find. I started taking responsibility for my unhealthy body. I worried about my heart, I started slowly and decided to eat more vegetables and less red meat. In the end, I lost forty pounds with another five to ten to go. I drink ice water with lemon instead of soda. I try not to have dessert but lately I have been craving something sweet. It’s a slippery slope; I have to be very careful.

I know I am the same chubby girl I was when I was little. I will always be that child in my mind and body; I will always be the last girl picked for any team sport, the fat kid, the ugly, stupid child. I don’t measure up, why should I be able to do something when my parents always said I wouldn’t be able to do it?

As we get older we make our own choices, we slip away from the past and make up our own rules, our own belief system, we cherish different qualities than those that we were taught. I taught my own children that they can do anything they want and they can do it well. Whatever they want to do they should do it with pride. There is nothing that they can’t do, nothing they can’t succeed at; in my heart, I love and like these two people. When they were young, if I was fearful for them, I hid it, because they had the right to experience life through their own feelings and not become unnerved because of mine. That, is what parenthood should be about. This was my gift to them; the gift of freedom, freedom to choose, but most of all, freedom to believe in themselves, knowing, always knowing, that I believed in them too.

We’re Allowed To Have A Horrible Day …..Or Two

dark and stormy

Image by lilli2de via Flickr

When I spoke to my friend on-line I told her I was thinking of writing a blog with the title “Losing Hope.”  I’ve learned to wait a little while and see how I feel later on. Granted, passion fruit sorbet and coconut sorbet helped a little. It was probably a combination of the sugar and the unique sorbet flavors that worked so well together.

The morning started with a phone call my husband made to a hiring manager. The good news? He is definitely the candidate that they want! The bad news? They don’t have the funding for the job.  This is the second time this has happened to my husband. He’s been unemployed for a year now. (Anyone know of a Software Engineer job?)  I see his sadness and as hard as I try to boost his spirits today I just sunk lower with him. I’ve been good and supportive but today was too much, so we acknowledged we were blue and then went out for an inexpensive Latin dinner (with a coupon) where he had tilapia (fish)with mole sauce and I had a quesadilla filled with spinach, mushrooms, cheese and horrors of all horrors, green peppers. After I finessed the green peppers to the side, I was happy.

We took our dog out for a short walk after dinner and as much as my joints hurt, and my knee locked, my fatigue overwhelming me, at least I did it. It was one of those perfect, beautiful, warm, dry evenings. It was also something my husband wanted to do and he does not ask for much. So, our 8-year-old mutt, Callie was in heaven, my husband was smiling and after giving myself a tiny push, I felt better too.

There were some “family” issues which bothered me but I got over it with helpful prompting from my husband as in “what do you expect? They always do that….”  Enough said. My mother warned me about not eating too much food on the free cruise and the chubby girl resurfaced and I felt my body inflate and swell.

It’s hard to be sensitive, I can be very empathic but also hurt easily. It doesn’t seem to be a lesson I’ve learned or accepted. I try to “not care as much” but it’s a skill I lack and don’t think I will learn it anytime soon. At least  I’ve learned to get over something quickly which in the past could have been long and drawn out.

I’m vulnerable, to diseases, to emotions, to temperature; we all are.  After trying to fight the knowledge of a cranky,  “snarky” day, I’ve learned (most of the time ) to just give in to it and ride the waves until everything calms down. You never know, maybe the next day will be filled with sunshine,  honey and bright blue skies; it’s possible. Allow yourself to have a bad day or more when you need it and don’t feel guilty about it; we deserve it.

Calling All Girl Scouts

There’s been a buzz around me and thy name is Girl Scout cookies.  I’ve been hearing  people brag about their recently acquired  Girl Scout cookies, describing the gooey caramel, the coconut flakes, the very minty chocolate, and the lush butter of trefoils. I am not feeling good about it. Isn’t girl scout cookie delivery a spring thing? Could it be that in my area, it’s just a later time zone. Could it be that there ARE NO girl scouts in my neighborhood and we won’t have the chance to linger over the cookie list and fight and choose and then buy them all? That doesn’t seem right.

Do I have such a pathetic life that when I googled Girl Scout Cookie I was thrilled to see that they showed,  actually showed this year’s offerings? What kind of nerd am I?? (Sung to the tune of What Kind of Fool Am I?).  I don’t even like some of the cookies to tell you the truth but I like to be asked, thus my philosophy in life. I don’t want to necessarily do something but I would like to be included, even though I may not want to participate. Just a question of good manners, I say.

I may  put in a few calls to the Girl Scout Cookie Hotline or something like it. I know! Facebook for Girl Scout Cookies? Everything  has a page on Facebook, why not cookies?  Knowing Facebook though, they probably already do.  I just want to know that if my family has been overlooked I could piggy back on another person’s order. Is that too much to ask?  I like seeing those cute little girl scouts with their sweet banners and green outfits with those horrible badges I had to clumsily sew ( or illegally glue)  when my daughter was a daisy, brownie  and a girl scout.  She was crushed when in third grade the Scout leaders wanted a break and there would no be Girl Scouts no more. The parents all secretly applauded.

I remember I would have to do special projects with the girls, all the moms took turns. I was a nervous wreck. Seriously, a Bio-Engineering degree would have been easier for me than that. Yes, it is a bit of an exaggeration but I am not an arts and crafts kind of person. I had to beg my friends to help me out.  I would get impatient at the one girl whose sullen face and refusal to participate made me nuts. All the”” pleases, and “thank you’s”, the cajoling and coaxing, would not budge her. If she wasn’t calling her mom every half hour to be picked up because she had some ache or another, she would refuse to participate and disrupt the class. Even though I adore children, I don’t think I would have been a very good elementary school teacher. This girl was sullen and mean and a brat and not nice to the other girls, except one (and she couldn’t get her to participate either) .  Eventually her parents put her in private school and from what I have heard, it worked out well. Being a member of  the Girl Scout troop?  Not quite the team player she should have been.

So, to all the Girl Scout members out there, please come to our house. We would love to buy cookies from you. I know the fights between my children will ensue. My son will buy “his own”, my daughter will  buy “her own”, and my husband and I will just buy a few to be good neighbors. I would be happy to support the  Girl Scouts and participate. Except if THAT one girl comes to my door again, I will steal a line from Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi and say: “No cookies FROM YOU!”