My dad and I have a tradition. After dinner, he'll look at me and bellow, "BLIZZARD!" Followed by my favorite flavor: "Banana cream pie!" Then he'd disappear for 20 minutes or so and bring me back a Dairy Queen blizzard, which I'd eat until I felt sick and watch the remaining melt into a puddle at the bottom of the cup.
Our tradition started in college, when I went home for the summer and Christmas, and it's continued since then, but really, getting ice cream together was always an activity I did with my dad as a kid. Then, it was Baskin Robbins, where I ordered vanilla ice cream every single time - that is, until I felt sick eating it one day and never ordered it again. After that, it was mint chocolate chip ice cream, which I ordered every single time until my mom remarked in passing that it "tasted like toothpaste". And I never ordered it again.
But anyway, I love ice cream - mostly because it's delicious, but also because it reminds me of my dad.
Erin, a reader of this blog (and now friend!), first introduced me to Udderlicious on Islington's Upper Street after we had dinner together at Ottolenghi (just a few doors down). We sat in the window and watched people go by while we chatted about all things West Coast (she's from San Diego) and ate our waffle cones filled with scoops of salted caramel and dark chocolate sorbet.
Not that I needed any excuse, but it's been unseasonably warm in London for the past two days, and after eating the leftovers from Alison's amazing, magical, healing stew last night, I had a sudden hankering for ice cream. Of course, while Dairy Queen is a 8-minute drive away back home, Udderlicious is about a 20-minute walk. But no matter - we had stew to digest and ice cream to "work" for!
We arrived to what seemed to be a fan gathering of sorts: the woman in front of us was gushing about how there's "no other ice cream shop like it!" in London and that Udderlicious had "made her day" with their selection of flavors (and I thought I was enthusiastic!). The next man in line ordered a large tub and said his "kids couldn't get enough" of the store's handmade ice cream, asking what their plans were to expand to other locations. By the time it was my turn to order, I was at a loss as to what praises I could offer, besides the feeble, "Um, can I take some photos for my blog?"
Of course, there were a lot of things I could say about why I love Udderlicious: their flavors, for one thing, are scrumptious. I'm a die-hard fan of their salted caramel but the peanut butter, wild cherry, and Nutella options always make it difficult to decide. Secondly, they make brownie and banana sundaes with hot chocolate or caramel sauce - similar to my beloved banana splits back home.
And finally, it's a lovely space to sit in - just look at those colorful pom poms and bunting! I dare you not to be cheered up by those decorations. John and I ate our cones sitting on a sweet wooden swing, which was a romantic way to end the evening, considering we'd eaten at home that night. It also made me realize that doing something outside our ordinary routine of catching up on emails, watching TV, etc. after dinner is necessary and fun.
What about you? Are you an ice cream fan?