Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Just Some Ordinary Blog Stuff

Some time ago, for about four years, I worked at a stand-alone Baskin & Robbins. They always had the widest variety of distinct, quality flavors, and making an ice cream cake without the cake (called a "fudge nut," even if the nuts were replaced by sprinkles) was NOT a big deal; we had it done the next day, usually without fail. In fact, some of them were ready-made and proudly displayed in the cake freezer.

Of course, that stand-alone Baskin & Robbins is now as ancient history as Caesar or Napoleon. As is the other stand-alone Baskin & Robbins that once graced the east side of town.

The two B&Rs left in this town are both sort of halves of Siamese twins, the other halves of which are Dunkin' Donuts stores. Having worked at a B&R for four years, I know full well how things are supposed to work there.

I went to one of the B&Rs today; it was like entering the Twilight Zone. I asked for a fudge nut cake, and they asked me what it was. I explained, quite clearly, I thought, what it was and how to make it. Just use the cutter, shear off two notches' worth of a Mint Chocolate Chip tub (that's my father's preferred flavor; it's his birthday on Thursday), put it on a round white cardboard thing, remove the bit of tub that surrounds the ice cream, smooth some fudge on top with a thick swirl near the edges, sprinkle some sprinkles (or nuts) on the sides and the thick swirl, write a message on top in your favorite color (red always looks nice) with the proper frosting, and put the whole thing in a 9" box. That's all there is to it.

They refused to make it.

I didn't bother to count the small number of flavors that they had there; it would have hurt too much. It's a lovely day today, and I can really do without such pain. Back at the one where and when I worked, we had a maximum of forty-seven flavors, and, with the possible exception of the occasional "sugar free" flavor (and that "chocolate ribbon" thing, which, thankfully, didn't last), they were real, intense flavors that you could taste and savor. Most of the flavors that remain now are the most boring things imaginable, and I can't help but wonder if any of the seasonal flavors still exist. Love Potion #31, Egg Nog, Pumpkin Pie......those were frickin' awesome flavors. And, of course, my beloved Chocolate Fudge.......rich, dark, gooey.......the way chocolate should be. It's not really any of the "seasons" right now, so I can't tell right away, but my beloved Chocolate Fudge, a year-round flavor where I worked, seems to be totally extinct in my town now. Last time I saw Chocolate Fudge was when I took a drive out to Springfield....was it, two years ago now? I don't remember.......but somewhere on MacArthur Boulevard in Springfield, a little ways north of Penny Lane (the main, and perhaps only, reason anyone would want to go to Springfield*), a stand-alone Baskin & Robbins remains. Hopefully.

I don't know just how interesting this is to anyone, but I could go on and on and on about ice cream........

Anyway, I have a ticket to see Gordon Lightfoot in concert tomorrow.


*The Lincoln Museum is okay, but that and Penny Lane aside, Springfield seems very much a wasteland, with empty parking lots and chain stores, and very few signs of life. And since I just discovered while creating this post that Penny Lane does indeed do business online, you can just take advantage of that and not waste time driving through an endless lack of scenery to a largely empty ghost town.

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