When I was a kid, we used to make a lot of ice cream during the summer. I can remember cranking the old ice-cream maker, just waiting for it to get difficult enough to know that the ice cream was ready!
My dad loved to experiment with various flavors. Some turned out really well; others didn’t. When he tried making peanut butter ice cream, the peanut butter froze in little chunks rather than blending in. And when he tried licorice ice cream, he couldn’t taste the flavor enough, so he kept adding more to the mixture. When the ice cream formed, it was a strong enough licorice that even Dad had trouble eating it.
But one major success–at least as far as I was concerned–was peppermint stick ice cream. Whenever he asked what kind we should make, that was my answer. It didn’t take too many times before my brothers rebelled. They were tired of it and wanted something else.
Years have passed since then, and ice cream flavors have come and gone. Occasionally I could find peppermint, but not very often. Then a few years ago, either my eyes opened wider…or more people decided that peppermint and Christmas really do go well together–and peppermint ice cream started showing up on store shelves. Usually from around Thanksgiving through (maybe) mid-January. Not a large window of opportunity, but at least it was available then!
So now, for me, the Christmas holiday starts when I first see peppermint ice cream at the grocers. I could buy enough to try to make it last all year, but that would spoil the special-ness of it. So instead, I buy 3-4 half-gallons of it. That lasts the holiday season and satisfies my craving.
Isn’t it interesting what things are special to us around the holidays? what brings back those special family memories?
Hooray for peppermint ice cream!!