Summer time is almost officially here. The blast furnace arrives at 6:51 AM Eastern time next Saturday, and despite all the complaints about last winter, we will all be scrambling to keep cool. Do you remember saying back in February that you were going to slap the first person who complains about the heat? Well, have you crossed that line yet? Somehow, I have not, but I have come awfully close a few times once the humidity arrived.
Travel back in time with me to that gentle yesteryear of our youth. We were out of school, the summer was just beginning and we were just beginning to drive our mothers crazy. So crazy that the second she heard that cheerful sound of the bell on the ice cream truck as it rolled into the neighborhood, she was rummaging through her purse for the loose change that meant a sweet sugary treat for us and a few minutes of respite for her. We were banished to the back porch while we slurped down our ice cream so that we didn’t get drippings all over the house.
I remember like it was yesterday what my favorite cool treat was: the glorious, beautiful Fudgsicle. Now I am not talking about all those modern knock-offs. I am talking about the original! Forget those weak, wimpy Fudgsicle 100 Calorie Bars or the Fudgsicle Low Fat Pops. I want the original cream based product, not the milk based healthier for you imitations. The REAL THING was the only one for me. Oh, and you can forget that plastic stick with the drip guard too. It had to be a single stick made out of real wood. Why, because you could suck on that thing for hours afterwards and still be rewarded with the rich creamy chocolate taste. Also, with one stick, you never had to share. Heaven on a stick! That is what it was.
Unfortunately for me, the ice cream truck arrived pretty late in the afternoon after taking its route through many neighborhoods that seemed to be filled with Fudgsicle loving kids. About one in 5 times, the ice cream man would sadly shake his head and tell us that he was sold out of Fudgsicles. I would have to settle for a poor substitute; a cherry popsicle. They were nice and sweet but it was like kissing your sister, they weren’t Fudgsicles, the object of a pre-teen’s desire.
So, on a good day, there I would be, with my brother and sister, sitting on the back porch, listening to the fading bell of the ice cream truck as it continued the daily journey. That paper wrapper was coming off and then it was time to lick the frost off the Fudgsicle before taking that first bite of chocolate heaven. The sweat on my brow would instantly evaporate as that wonderful rich flavor, not to be found anywhere else on earth would melt on my tongue.
I hear a lot of conversations these days about how on earth did we survive summers in the south without residential air conditioning. Well we had one thing back then that is a rare treat these days. A real Fudgsicle with sugar, not fructose, corn syrup or even worse, something we can’t even pronounce. We had real, honest, bad for you Fudgsicles and that was good enough. What’s more, it didn’t hurt us… much! Oh MY!