Night Owl Confessions, Musings and Other Posts.
Photo. Me. Age 13. Dressed for my first day to be an "official Dreyer's Ice Cream Taster"
My Grandma, Joan, had entered me and herself in a contest. All I recall is her telling me to stuff a blue glove with cotton, write a small postcard using any color of ink I wanted and she would so the rest. Grandma stitched the stuffed glove to look like it could hold a spoon. Added a plastic spoon and thread to connect my handwritten postcard.
Later, my mom, Lynda, told me both my entry and Grandma's entry won a trip to San Francisco to be official Dreyer's Grand Ice cream taste testers! We traveled together, and endured a great trip of a lifetime with my Grandma and my mom. We stayed downtown in a fancy, high rise hotel. We went on every tour imaginable. We spent 2 or 3 days tasting and helping develop new flavors of ice cream. I then invented the flavor "Rocky Road"!
Just kidding. But that is still my favorite flavor!
Every contest winner proceeded to eat every meal with a guaranteed dessert of ice cream. This included breakfast. Then the moment after you spend a whole day eating nothing but ice cream due to your "official taste tester" new job, they give you a year's supply of ice cream on top of that!
Sounds like heaven, but that. Did. Me. In.
I ate so much ice cream that I have a hard time wanting or eating it now.
I also recall that trip to SF with my mom and grandma opened me up to so many things!
1- ice cream, and a lot of it.
2- I saw my first gay man who was our waiter one evening. I recall being so curious about him and how cool and interesting I thought he was.
3- The sea air became a love of mine. I recall the first time I licked my lips and tasted salt when we rode on the ferry boat to Alcatraz.
4- I got to meet a guy named John, whose tongue was insured for a million dollars and how he could taste any funk, weirdness or Goldilocks recipe in the ice cream. It's like every day of his life was a taste testing dare! I recall him always wearing a red bow-tie and white lab coat, and how he would always take time out to joke along with me.
5- My ATF memory. Taking a trip to Sausalito. I recalled thinking "holy shit! (I've been cussing since the 4th grade) I would hate to be a kid learning how to ride a bike in this town." It's insanely hilly! Which now after this trip, staying and driving around, seems like an understatement. And then I fell in love with Shrimp Scampi and the delicious garlic butteriness of fresh shrimp.
6- How much I miss my grandma, yet am thankful I have this wonderful memory because of her.
This is my 3rd trip back, and tonight I ordered ice cream for the first time back in San Francisco. Rocky Road, of course. I ate it recalling that amazing trip and thought of my beloved and deceased grandma. Then I realized that even 26 years later, I ate all the ice cream I could eat back when I was in 8th grade. I guess that means there is more for all of you.