Happy Soft Serve Ice Cream Day! (8/20)

Soft serve ice cream is not the best kind of ice cream, by far. No one goes to a Baskin Robins and just gets a cone of soft serve vanilla on a cake cone. Actually, I don’t even think it’s an option. That however, does not make the stuff any less of a desirable when it comes into play, especially because often times the soft serve ice cream machine is a self-serve bonus with cost of entry. 

Traditionally, they had been most often found over in the corner at a Chinese buffet. These days, you can also self serve the stuff at Golden Corral and a chain called Jason’s Deli. The greatest, however, was when they had one of those bad boys on the Royal Caribean cruise ship my wife and I went on last year. This thing was literally on my way everywhere, so it was not only my dessert after every meal (sometimes even after dessert), but it also was my pre-shore excursion delight, a post pool cool down, and a mid-money hemoraging break from the casino. 

An invention of the collected efforts of the founder of Dairy Queen (J.F. McCullough) and the founder of Carvel (Tom Carvel), technically, soft serve ice cream is a much less fattening way to go since it’s comprised of more than 40% air so you can’t get as much dairy fat from your cone. Before it becomes white and brown ooze on a cone, here’s what’s going on in the box. The machine combines a bit of dairy with a powdery suplement and injects the mixture with a huge amount of air. Hey, only three ingredients, sounds pretty healthy, right? Well, technically it’s fifteen ingredients when you include the composition of the powder, which is comprised of corn syrup, whey, monoglycerides, diglycerides, guar gum, calcium sulfate, cellulose gum, polysorbates 65, polysorbates 80, carrageenan, and magnesium hydroxide.  Wait, I forgot to mention “aritificial flavors.” So, let’s just call it an even twenty ingredients.

The secret to creating your own soft serve cone is patience and courage. Most people seem to think that just because they’ve never worked at a Dairy Queen or T.C.B.Y., they can’t make an awesome soft serve cone, even though the kid who makes your cone for you was trained for all of three hours total before he pours out your soft serve at McDonalds. You see it every time, people just yank the lever down, like it’s an old fashioned slot machine, and let the ice cream slop onto the cone till it barely breaches the top, the tail end usualling falling onto their thumb. If this sounds familiar, then next time try this, pull the lever down slowly till it barely oozes out. Hold the cone center till the ice cream almost fills the cone. Then, pull the cone outward so that the ice cream edges out slightly over the rim of the cone. At this point it’s just a matter of moving your fist in tight circles, tighter and tighter (but always slow) till you reach the desired height. For the Superman curl at the top, pull the cone down and then push it slightly back up and towards the dripto finish it off.

When you do it right, people always look amazed. Take a shot at 7-8 incher next time. You can do it!

See you Monday for National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day!  

About Jim Clark

"If it was worth doing, then it is worth writing!" -- Jim Clark -- Someone else probably said that before, and I'm sure that each semester she starts her Creative Writing 101 class by writing it on the board, but I never took that lady's class so I am taking her quote! I work in the world of advertising, but I write for a living. Here in the second decade of the '00s, we find ourselves in a culture where virtually everyone writes for a living. With all the clicking and clacking on Facebook, Twitter, emails and texts, our lives are more than ever intertwined with writing. At the same time, it's also become increasingly more important to shorten our thoughts down to as few characters as possible. So, now, more than ever, I think it's also important to hold a place in our lives for expanding and honing our thoughts through writing. This is my place for that.
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