It has happened.
I’ve had plenty to say about lentils and garlic scapes. I’ve been filled to the brim with musings on bran muffins and mushroom flatbread. And now I can’t find a thing to say about strawberry ice cream. I’ve totally blanked. Stymied by ice cream.
Anne Lamott, in her book Bird by Bird, recommends when you are suffering from writer's block—when the words just aren’t flowing (and perhaps after you’ve freaked out and thrown stuff)—to sit down and write a letter to a mother, a son, or a childhood friend. I realize Lamott likely didn’t mean to suggest a note composed to an ice cream flavor, but in a way strawberry ice cream is like a long lost companion. And so I begin ...
My dearest strawberry ice cream,
I blame you, in all of your innocence, for my confusion with how to deal with you. You’re a frozen slurry of hope, simplicity, and sadness. Like a well worn one-eyed teddy bear, in dessert form.
You’re a cannon ball into the beginnings of summer. You remind me of balmy nights chasing fireflies just after dusk. Of putting on the screen doors for the season. Thinking of you opens up the shutters and lets the fresh air in. As I write this, I find myself humming “Summer Breeze” by Seals and Crofts. You’re blowing through the jasmine in my mind.
But also, you don’t try to pretend to be something you’re not. What you see is what you get: a light pink hue with bright strawberry bits that have sat stewing in their own juices before being mixed into cream sweetened with sugar. Some may view you as boring. But you’re more classic than clichéd.
I feel bad for you too. You’re often a cast away, the left behind flavor in Neapolitan ice cream and overlooked by most anyone past the age of eleven. Saying this now makes me realize you’re probably in need of a good therapist. You’d likely benefit from spending some time discussing your inner demons lying down on an oversized sofa. I know you have some. You’re nestled in many childhood memories, where adult-sized problems often begin. Like it or not, you probably come with some baggage.
But it’s okay. You represent flip flops and the dreams of summers past. You’re adored by tattered sentimentalists and are eaten by adults with youthful hearts. So I will think of you fondly, for always.
With sugar cones and spoons,