Dessert Day 2022 (in memory of my Dad, Rob) is in the books and man, it was EPIC! I felt kind of like I was in the "Yes Day" movie/idea where any dessert was just an automatic YES. What could be better?! I know "Bodge" would have approved wholeheartedly and would have tried to get some of said desserts for free ;)
My Dad was a big ice cream guy. Some of his favorites were butter pecan, strawberry & caramel collision but also plain old vanilla was good too. Especially in the summer when he'd make fresh raspberry (from our garden) or strawberry sauce to put on top. He strongly believed that ice cream was an every night treat!
Any time cake or pie was on the dessert menu, you better believe that ice cream was automatically scooped on top. Shakes and malts were of course on his approved menu. He even had a malt machine from Mickey Lu's restaurant in Marinette. They didn't need it anymore and the owner, who was a family friend, gifted it to my Dad. He delighted in making our guests malts.
One of my Dad's favorite places to get ice cream was Bluemke's in Rosendale, WI (a town even smaller than Peshtigo known for being a speed trap). This is not an ice cream shop but rather a gas station! How Wisconsin can you get?! It was just over half way when we drove from Peshtigo to Madison which we did quite often since almost all of our extended family lived(s) there. A great place to stop and take a break, get gas and ice cream. What better combo! We'd usually have left late and were getting hungry for dinner by the Rosendale point so pre-dinner ice cream snack it was! Waffle cone and double scoop was a must for him!
We were not the "order dessert at a restaurant" family growing up... except at the Chinese Buffet in Menomonee, MI. And I guess this doesn't really count since the soft serve ice cream was included with the buffet. My Dad LOVED soft serve and it was always the perfect end to a very filling buffet dinner. We even would put a fried donut in the bottom of the ice cream bowls and then top with the soft serve. So bad, but soooo good LOL! A 59 cent cone from McDonald's was always a hit too.
A later addition to my Dad's ice cream menu were the F'Real shakes from Kwik Trip. They have a machine that blends the shakes/malts right in the cup. There's a freezer with all the cups and tons of flavors. He of course chose the extra thick setting. When he'd pick me up from Ripon or take me back, we'd stop at the Kwik trip off of Hwy 41 in Oshkosh for a treat, no matter the weather. Inevitably it would be icy and snowing but no matter... cold ice cream for the road trip win!
We all delighted in finding fun new places to get ice cream while on vacation too. I've carried this on to the Mealy trips to Cape Cod in the summers. Last year we found the BEST ice cream with so many flavors/choices in Hyannis. YUM! Vacation wouldn't be vacation without multiple dessert days, right?
I hesitate to even bring this next point up about my Dad's obssession with ice cream but I think it illustrates the kind of guy he was ;) Dairy Queen was the only ice cream place we had in Peshtigo (remember, this is a one stoplight town). Thankfully it was within biking distance of our house and many a trip was made in the summer to get blizzards. Heath was my Dad's favorite. I loved stopping and getting them on the way home from my waitressing job when I had a record setting tip earning day. Dad would always be so excited for me (and for the blizzard!). Some of you may know that DQ has a fan club where you can sign up with your birth date for a free blizzard and coupons. My Dad of course was the number one fan in this club and he even used some false names to try and earn more freebies. He did this with Culvers and Subway for subs too I believe.
I often think about him when we walk to our local ice cream place in Menomonee Falls; Pop's Custard. He would have loved their version of blizzards (snowstorms) and the old/small town feel it has. There is outdoor seating which he would have enjoyed in the spring or fall (not a fan of the heat of the summer). My almost-two-year-old Robbie (named after my Dad) may get his own dish or possibly even a cone this coming summer on one of our many walks to Pop's and it will be the best day of his life for sure. He's already just like "Grandpa Rob" in his love of ice cream/desserts!
Continuing the raspberry ice cream sauce tradition!
Come on guys, where's my ice cream?!