Eat the ice cream

  My husband practices that old saw “Waste not, want not,” quite religiously with ice cream. 

           After his mother was widowed, she never kept ice cream in the freezer. Thrusting her leg forward, she would declare, “Look how my ankles have swollen after I ate ice cream last night!”

    It was obviously our fault. We had come in for a weekend visit with a bag of kid-friendly groceries including ice cream. Before we left, we ate most of the food. Only a bit of ice cream remained. My husband finished it off as a late night snack. He did not want to leave any to spoil in his mother’s freezer because she obviously did not want anymore; it made her ankles swell. She opened the freezer to prepare breakfast before we left and exclaimed, “where’s the ice cream? I wanted to eat some.”

    A stunned silence followed. “I ate it,” my husband admitted. After that, we left ice cream for her instead of finishing off the last few bites.

    We did not leave even a few bites of ice cream, though, after each of our stops at the modest restaurant we frequented on 167-S. My husband found “Motts” in Sheridan years ago; the menu included banana splits made with four-inch high mounds of ice cream, each doused with chocolate, strawberry, pineapple or caramel sauce, topped with nuts and a cherry. 

    My children’s benevolent father decided each of the children needed a banana split. 

    “Wow!” they said and began eating. None of them finished their split. My husband did it for them.  

    So the minute we saw an ice cream stand in Hot Springs last week, I knew we would stop. As he studied the board, a customer walked over to the trash and tossed away an ice cream cone. “Did you see that?” he exclaimed in a shocked voice.. 

    Another customer waddled past carrying a super high, thick cone swirled with a trim of lime green. 

    “What is that green?” he asked.

    “It’s flavoring they add to the outside.”

    “Looks good. What do you want?” he asked me, barely disguising the fact that he was already licking his lips.

    “Hmm, I was considering a dipped cone, but the homemade nutty buddy sounds good.” I weighed the options and decided on fewer calories and lower costs, “A dipped cone.”

    He brought back a tall cone with raspberry swirled around the edge. “Here, this is for both of us.” I sampled as much as I wanted before he reappeared with a wad of napkins surrounding a huge dipped cone and a monster waffle cone with ice cream doused with chocolate and peanuts. 

    We had enough ice cream for four or five people! All three cones began oozing ice cream. I bit into the top of the dipped cone, licked the side and considered how to attack the nutty buddy in my other hand.

    Hubby slid in and reached to start the car. “Oh, no! We are not driving anywhere with this much ice cream. Just sit there and eat.”

    He industriously attacked his raspberry swirl. 

    I alternated bites of chocolate saturated nuts with plain chocolate and ice cream. It has been years since I have eaten so much ice cream. I offered the nutty buddy to my “buddy.” It was an ice cream overload. 

    “I think I know why that person threw away their ice cream cone,” I admitted. 

    Ice cream dripped down my hands. My husband pulled sticky napkins off cones and kept on eating. The sticky mess threatened to ruin our drive home until I remembered our thermos of water. I unscrewed the lid, opened my door, leaned out and poured water over my hands.

    He did the same, collected the soggy napkins and carried them to the trash can. No ice cream cones hit the trash. When I reached my fill, he kept on eating saying, “I should not have ordered the dipped cone. That really was too much.”

    It was, and we enjoyed every bite without wasting a bit.

Joan Hershberger

About jottingjoan

retired former newspaper writer. Many children and grandchildren. One husband.
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