Eating/drinking. floats and other things.
The other night I found myself lounging on the sofa, hot and thirsty, and decided to try for the first time something called a Boston Cooler, a formerly unheard-of concoction of ginger ale and vanilla ice cream. Concidentally I had all the ingredients in the fridge; some remnants of vanilla ice cream that had been in my freezer for months, gathering shards of frost, and one lone bottle of ginger ale, a new brand I had not tried before and wasn't entirely sure if I liked. Together they were like magic. The fizzy bite of the ginger was softened by the sweetness of the ice cream, the whole thing cool and creamy and frothy and as instantly refreshing as diving into a pool. I foresee a long summer ahead, of drinking Boston Coolers at the end of a hot day, with the windows open or on the roof terrace or downstairs in the courtyard by the tinkling fountain.
Summer and hot weather calls for cold soda and ice cream, or even better, together, Sprite or 7-Up or root beer or coke or cream soda. I have made ice cream floats with all of these, with vanilla ice cream (the classic) or chocolate ice cream or mint chocolate chip or strawberry, or even Rocky Road or other ice creams that have chunks of chocolate or nuts that had to be eaten with a spoon after the last drop of soda has been noisily sucked up through a straw. The soda always fizzes madly, foaming over the lip of my glass and dripping down the sides and onto the counter as I scramble to drink some of it before it all puddles onto the floor. Someone tells me that if I pour the soda into the glass before adding the ice cream, it will make less of a mess. (Genius!). Now I have pint glasses that are narrower at the base, widening upwards and then curving in slightly at the lip - tulip-shaped, they're called; it helps to contain the foam (they're meant for beer). But I have lost the iced-tea spoons - I think my mother has them packed away somewhere - that were so perfect for stirring the melting ice cream into the rapidly flattening soda, the two melding into a cool, smooth drink. Never mind, a large tablespoon will do. I have everything I need.
The days have grown warm and sunny as we head towards summer and yesterday K. decreed that today we would have fried chicken (with all the necessary sides) and root-beer floats for lunch. She had gone to the supermarket to buy root beer and ice cream and dispatched her personal assistant (her eldest niece) to pick up fried chicken (plus hot rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, baked beans, and fried gizzards and livers, which we kept referring to as 'lizards,' and which are, let me tell you, the food of the gods). After lunch, stuffed and sated and still root-beer-float-less - we were all too full - everyone stumbled back to work as if we were sleepwalking (at least I was), and it was not until later that I headed back for a root beer float, the first of the season, sweet and fizzy and creamy-smooth all at once, with the deep, dark taste of root beer and the cool warmth of vanilla ice cream. Summer's here. Almost.