Friday, July 25, 2008

I scream, you scream, we all scream...

I have a vague memory of riding on the back of my mother's bicycle in a hard plastic seat that mounted behind hers. I was probably 3 or 4 and she would pedal us to the Dairy Queen in Sheboygan, WI--a walk-up Dairy Queen surrounded by sticky picnic tables settled atop blacktop and swarming with wasps. The sultry sugar smell drew us in line in front of slatted screened windows through which we would place our orders.

I remember studying the signs--Buster Brown, Dilly Bars, Sundae, Dip Cone. Which delectable concoction to taste? The decision was always overwhelming--even today I find myself hesitating over the menu--would an Oreo cookie Blizzard be better than the Heath Bar?

Most times I'd opt for a dip cone and spiral it inside of my mouth trying to replicate the iconic DQ curl of soft serve that topped each dairy treat. Nothing was finer than riding our bikes up to Dairy Queen. Time passed and I rode my own bike behind my mother--a powder blue Spider
with a white basket festooned with plastic flowers. I'd choose the cherry Dilly Bar as a bigger girl, now able to eat it all by myself.

My family firmly believed in the ice cream treat. We got treated after passing swim lessons, after dance recitals, and after good report cards. Ice cream was a constant in our lives regardless of where we lived.

Time passed and we moved, and moved again, and moved twice more. Each time we moved, we found the ice cream just like the wasps did and we continued our regular jaunts for frozen sugar from the Big T in Thermopolis, Wyoming to Hansen's in DePere, Wisconsin. While in high school I landed a dream job as a scooper in an ice cream parlor. A summer job surrounded by 36 flavors of ice cream, no soft serve, thank you very much. In fits of gluttony I tasted every single flavor, including Rum Raisin (ick). I ate ice cream for 2 meals a day and my favorites changed from Tin Roof Sundae to Praline Pecan and then Mackinac Island Fudge. On Tuesday nights my best friend and I would go to the movie showing downtown and head over to our town's Dairy Queen afterward to split a large Oreo Blizzard. Like the wasps, teenagers hovered around the Dairy Queen.

Last weekend Mr. D and I loaded up Team Testosterone to head to the Dairy Queen in the town up the road. My mouth watered with anticipation--a Blizzard this time, definitely a Blizzard. The boys chattered about what flavor milkshake they'd choose. We pointed out the landmarks on 10 minute drive--the golf course, the dairy farm, the big pond with the rowboat. Then the supper club, cemetery, the city limits. Mr. D drove the Momvan around the corner and the Dairy Queen looked suspiciously silent. No sign advertised a special. No cars were parked in the lot. We pulled up and read the handprinted sign on the door: Closed 'till further notice.

Only one thing to be done: keep driving until we find another ice cream store.

So reader, Dilly Bar or sundae? Twist cone or milkshake? What's your poison when you pull up to the ice cream stand?


  1. If it's a regular ice cream place, I prefer coffee ice cream or chocolate peanut butter. But, if it's DQ, I'm all about the Blizzards.

  2. At the DQ (or any other ice cream joint) it's a chocolate ice cream snickers blizzard. The BEST!!!!

    If it's hand scooped ice cream, it's always a version of Chocolate PB Chunk. Or Mackinac Island Fudge, if there is no CPBC.

    Oh, you make me hungry......

  3. If it's soft serve, it's just a small cone of twist.
    If it's regular, I try to go for something with almonds in it,just a small cone (it sucks to be borderline diabetic).

    My memories of ice cream are Dad taking us in the Ford LTD Wagon, going to the dairy that made their own ice cream, then driving over to the municipal airport to watch the small planes take off and land.

  4. My whole family is ice cream fanatics; me, not so much. So I just have a bite of each of theirs.

    This doesn't mean I have restraint when it comes to sweets; ice cream is the only thing I can pass up!

  5. I always chose the M&M Blizzard at DQ... until they invented Georgia Mud Fudge. O.M.G. the deliciousness!

    When I was a kid, our feel good treat was a frosted smiley face cookie at a local bakery that later closed down because of rat droppings in the brownies or something like that. Ewww!

  6. There was a Dairy Queen right across the street from kids middle school at our last town. Every Friday afternoon they would go afterschool with their friends for a blizzard. I know that will live on in their middle school memory bank forever!

  7. Definitely chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard.

    Also, is there a Kopps Custard near you? I went there ALL THE TIME in college. I wonder if it's still there (in Brookfield?)

  8. No question. Peanut Buster Parfait. It was my craving when I was pregnant... and I was too poor to go to DQ.

  9. Hot fudge sundae with peanuts....yum.yum. Now, I want one!

  10. Banana splits have always been my weakness.Seeing as how I have changed my eating lifestyle (aka..A Diet)I have taken to eating a yummy treat(s)made by Skinny Cow.
    An oxymoron to be sure. ;p

  11. Ack! Really? That is where I live! So exciting that someone knows where Shevegas is. ;)

    And thankyouverymuch, now I am jonesing for a ice cream sandwich!

  12. I used to do the butterscotch dilly bar, and then moved up the the peanut buster parfait. Now, give me the moolatte!

    Sorry about your dairy queen!

  13. You naughty, naughty girl! Now you've got me craving a chocolate dip cone!
    Fun post! I'm drooling!

  14. I'm a Peanut Buster Barfait girl all the way. If I just want a little taste of those delicious ruffneck peanuts, fudge sauce and ice cream, then I go for a Buster bar. But I hate how the chocolate falls off the outside and ALWAYS gets on my clothes, so I usually struggle through the real thing.

    One of the DQ's near us closed, too. I'm can a DQ go out of business?

  15. It is pretty fitting that I am eating a dish of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream while I am reading your post!

  16. Aw I'm hungry for ice cream, dammit. I'll have to settle for a sugar-free popsicle. LOL

  17. I'll have a hot fudge sundae thanks!

    I've never been to a Dairy Queen - Braum's is the closest, I think.

  18. Brownie sundae, brownie sundae, brownie sundae... Mmmmm!

  19. At DQ I'm into mint oreo Blizzards lately; if i have a choice, I'm a slut for coconut and very fond of oatmeal or graham cracker ice cream! And if there's a Carvel around, it has to be a black cherry sundae with vanilla soft serve.

    We had the ice cream ritual, too. Right after a concert or play at school, our treat would be to go to Beier's, the ice cream parlor in Floral Park, Long Island. It took me forever to choose which of their neat sundae concoctions I would have, but there was definitely a preponderance of hot fudge sundaes with wet walnuts and real whipped cream. Those were the days~


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