EDITOR JULIE IMEL DISHES THE NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Welcome to Summer
Welcome to our Sizzlin’ Summer issue! It’s an edition of electric city and diamond city that’s especially fun to create. Inside this special issue, you’ll find everything you need to prepare for the Memorial Day Weekend – from a complete list of concerts and festivals between now and Labor Day, to our favorite recipes for frozen treats and beverages, and alternative grilling ideas if you want to change up the menu and offer something other than traditional hamburgers and hotdogs.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed writing it. We’re looking forward to a wonderful summer of entertainment, art and recreation in The 570. Though this weekend marks the “unofficial” start to the season, we still want to say, “Welcome to Summer!”
A ‘cool’ grandpa
Anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I love goodies, and ice cream certainly falls into that category. While we chatted about our favorite flavors in the office this week, I realized that I owe all these years of sampling different ice cream flavors — and loving every minute of it — to two people (well, one person and one fictional character): my grandpa and Mister Softee.
Sounds weird, I know. But before you raise an eyebrow, let me explain. My mother had been told that my brother and I were lactose intolerant as kids, so Briers and Turkey Hill were nowhere to be found in our freezer. She was also very committed to providing us with healthy diets, and she baked fresh bread and healthy desserts and treats all the time, lest you start feeling too sorry for us. But she was firm about staying away from dairy products because of our “alleged” sensitivity, and there was to be no junk food. Potato chips, popcorn, candy, processed food — you know, all the good stuff — was not in our pantry. Granted, my brother would be bouncing off the walls if he even looked at anything containing Red Dye No. 5, so I don’t blame her for keeping a lid on that. But no ice cream? Seemed downright Medieval to me.
So when the Mister Softee truck came around our Grandparents’ house on Prescott Avenue one hot, Saturday afternoon, he gave us each a dollar to run out and buy whatever we wanted.
Whatever we wanted?
We were rich with power. Because I dreamed of this day for years, I knew exactly what I wanted: a chocolate and vanilla twist with Jimmies (those would be chocolate sprinkles for those of you who didn’t grow up in North Scranton). Just as I was crunching that last piece of sugary cone, my mother followed a few straggling Jimmies up the steps. She looked none too pleased. Although Jeff and I quickly gulped that last bite, she knew. Moms always know.
I started to wonder if I was going to die from eating all that dairy while she “had a private discussion” with her dad.
Private discussions are never good. Even at 7 years old, I knew that. Looks like things were getting sticky…
Obviously, I lived to write about this experience so everything turned out just fine. Apparently Jeff and I were misdiagnosed as lactose intolerant because neither of us ever had a reaction to ice cream or any dairy products after that. We were lucky; I certainly don’t recommend anyone who has been told they are lactose intolerant to just randomly start eating dairy products. (And today, there are other options for those who really are sensitive to dairy products. Check out page 17).
But thanks to grandpa and Mister Softee, the majority of my summers have been spent sampling the area’s finest ice creams from dairy farms in my own back yard. And I can’t imagine summertime without them.
That’s the (ice cream) scoop! Thanks for reading, and I’ll meet you here again next week.
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