Celebrating a delicious treat


In case you don’t already know it, I’m happy to report that I just discovered that this is National Ice Cream Month. For some folks, every month is ice cream month, but in this case it’s the International Dairy Foods Association behind it, declaring that July is when we honor “this delicious and nutritious treat.”

In 1984 President Ronald Reagan first signed a proclamation making July National Ice Cream Month. The third Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day.

According to what I read on the topic, the average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream annually, the highest per capita consumption in the world. Commercial ice cream manufacturers produce 898 million gallons of regular ice cream per year.

Although vanilla and chocolate remain the most popular ice cream flavors, American ingenuity has gone way beyond that simplicity to flavors such as bacon or blue moon, garlic or grape, tiger tail or tutti frutti, buckwheat or beer-flavored ice cream.

Although I’m more careful than I used to be about the amount of ice cream I eat, I must say it is still one of my most favorite treats. To go for ice cream with your friends or family is a happy outing. Having ice cream for dessert is nice. Making ice cream is a pleasant activity with a wonderful reward.

When I was a girl, my dad milked cows, so there was always an abundance of milk and cream. One good way to use it was to make ice cream, which we often did with a crank ice cream freezer on Friday evenings. My siblings and I turned the crank. Each of us wanted the first taste when the dasher came out of the can.

I’m thinking of all such memories I have that are associated with ice cream, like attempting to make ice cream with a Brownie troop. I’m not sure it ever really turned out right.

I remember being in Boston, where getting an ice cream cone from a street vendor came with the offer of having it rolled in chocolate sprinkles. I’d never heard of that before, but I liked it. I’d also never heard of penuche ice cream before I was in that part of the country.

I liked to take my late mother for ice cream when we were together, and I notice that my little granddaughter can do a lot of damage to an ice cream sundae. It seems to me that an ice cream treat appeals to all ages.

No surprise it has its own month, then. Of course, some of us could claim that every month is Ice Cream Month.