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A Dessert Created in Desperation

November 17, 2011

In a nod to the economy,  I’ve started buying non-premium ice cream.

And in a nod to pregnancy, the containers are quart rather than pint-sized.

Turkey Hill doesn’t feel as minimalist and special as Haagen-Dazs. I’m pretty sure that Turkey Hill is made by people in Pennsylvania, rather than by people in Pennsylvania who are pretending that they are in a non-existent northern European country, and it isn’t sold at every deli, whereas Haagen-Dazs is. But it’s really pretty good, and heck, it’s clearly more of an ice cream for the 99%, is it not?

How timely; perhaps I should eat a lot of it as a political statement.

Not to mention that it fluffs creamily, rather than splintering icily, unlike many of the other non-premium brands.

I know that foodies love vanilla, just like they love Margherita pizzas. These things provide a baseline for judging quality, blah blah blah.

I’m generally opposed to vanilla on maximalist grounds, but I bought a quart to accompany a pumpkin pie I made last weekend. For the occasion I did not buy butter pecan, which boasts both pecans and BUTTER, one will note, making it an automatically superior choice, but my husband likes vanilla, and I am truly selfless. Or, at that moment in Steve’s C-Town, I was enjoying thinking of myself as truly selfless—at least when it comes to the big things.

Anyhow, the pie didn’t take long to get et, but we’ve been saddled with a big container of vanilla ice cream ever since.

Yesterday I decided to have some, because I believe that ice cream has hydrating properties, though I also can see the point of view that that is a load of self-serving bull.

Anyhow, right when we have all of this ice cream on hand, we happen to be out of toppings that would normally entice me to eat a bowl of vanilla: chocolate sauce, interesting sorts of salt, bananas, Halloween candy.

We are even out of questionable toppings like prunes, and almonds. Frankly, it’s like prison around here.

Except, that could not be true. How could we be out of everything good? I wracked my brains, I wracked the cabinet, and I settled on a decision to grate a part of a triangle of Abuelita (read: Nestle) Mexican hot chocolate over my bowl of vanilla.

One of my sister’s best qualities was her gift giving . . . how shall we put this? . . . her gift giving mania. And for a long time, whenever she would encounter any sort of spiced hot chocolate mix in a retail establishment—which was more frequently than you might imagine, due to her absolute devotion, both theoretical, and practical, to retail establishments—she’d get a container for me.

I think that I had probably introduced her to the idea of chocolate with chilis and cinnamon in it when I lived in Texas, but she really took the concept and ran with it. It was only recently that I finished up the last of the spiced Mexican hot chocolate she’d given me. It was not easy to do, but I have a perseverant spirit.

And of course when it happened, I was sad.

We bought more. This Abuelita brand, on close inspection, has artificial cinnamon, ew, and no mention of chili.

In short, it’s not very boutiquey or even fun to think about. However, it does come in nice solid triangles, perfectly suited for grating into dust over your Turkey Hill Vanilla. Man, it was delicious.

I also put some Macadamia nuts we’d gotten at La Boqueria in Barcelona. I think those had salt and sugar on them. Macadamia nuts would make anything worth eating, of course, though they are not so much for the 99%, are they.

Nevertheless my Spanish-speaking sundae was delicious, rewarding, unexpected, and interesting.

Don’t ever give up, people.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Taylor permalink
    November 17, 2011 9:11 pm

    I’m ambivalent about vanilla ice cream, but I do know it is awesome with maple syrup on top, preferably the Vermont kind. I discovered it as a kid and it’s a real comfort food, although I rarely keep ice cream at home. Also turkey hill makes a banana asplit flavor that is wonderful ( but not always stocked at smaller city supermarkets) especially the banana part ( it comes neopolitan style)

  2. Alana permalink
    November 18, 2011 7:03 pm

    I love this post! And my favorite line, “Frankly, it’s like a prison around here.” My parents still laugh at me for eating sugar cubes as my after-school snack. That was all I could find! I was desperate. I hear you.

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