In Praise Of Chocolate Ice Cream

My mother always said that chocolate ice cream can solve pretty much any problem.  Or, if it doesn’t solve the problem, consuming chocolate ice cream will at least make you feel better about failing.  I have an abundance of ample curves in places that should be less curvy and more flat because I have spent a lifetime harkening to this advice. 

My mother was not too proud to offer her children chocolate ice cream to do her bidding. In fact, I first learned the meaning of the word “bribe” in conjunction with chocolate ice cream.  One day, my mother asked if she could bribe me with a fudgsicle to take out the trash.  I asked her what “bribe” meant.  After she explained, I told her I didn’t really want a fudgsicle, but would take the trash out anyway.  I’m sure my refusal of the fudgsicle left her wondering if we did, in fact, share the same DNA or if she had just found me under a cabbage leaf. When we were sick and refusing to eat, she would coax back our appetites by pulling a half-gallon carton of chilly chocolate out of the freezer.  Jimmy Buffett might have had his margaritas, but, in our house, the frozen concoction that helped us hang on was chocolate ice cream.   

Calories and curves aside, it is hard to argue with her position.  Chocolate ice cream is just awesome.  It is creamy and sumptuous and decadent.  It goes down softly and smoothly and with a sultriness that is almost tangible.  I can go up and down the counter at an ice cream parlor touting thirty-one flavors of ice cream, savoring the idea of each of the flashy flavors. Inevitably, I end up ordering chocolate.  I would live on chocolate ice cream if I could. 

Maybe it is possible to live on chocolate ice cream.  When I was a child, we always had waffles with chocolate ice cream for our birthday breakfasts. Don’t they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? 

At any rate, my mother’s chocolate ice cream cure ran into an ironic snag at the end of her life.  I guess she was testing the hypothesis that one can live on chocolate ice cream alone. During her last ten months, all she consumed was food based on chocolate ice cream.  She ate virtually nothing except Wendy’s chocolate frosties and McDonald’s chocolate milkshakes.  Sometimes, just to mix things up, I brought a thermal bag of ingredients and made her chocolate ice cream sodas.  I pulled out a small bottle of club soda, a jigger of half-and-half, a container of chocolate ice cream, a bottle of chocolate syrup and made the ice cream soda at her bedside.   I was the Benihana’s of the ice cream world. Her ice cream soda was dinner and a show.   

It is hard to imagine how it is possible to survive on chocolate ice cream alone, no matter how enamored with it you are. Day after day, I helped her drink her milkshake or ice cream soda.  It was really the only pleasure she could still enjoy. She continued to lose weight and to weaken.  She became more confused and restless.  She often punctuated short periods of wakefulness and connectedness with napping and detachment.   As I watched her fading away, little by little, I realized that it was not possible for her to survive on chocolate ice cream alone. 

I wonder if I will ever think of chocolate ice cream the same way again. 

What is your “guilty pleasure” in food?  What food would you live on if you could? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement@gmail.com.  

Have a sweet day!

Terri 🙂

10 thoughts on “In Praise Of Chocolate Ice Cream”

  1. this was very sweet……and chocolaty as well. How nice to have a memory of your dear mother enjoying chocolate anything.

    I do enjoy Ghirardelli chocolates. the 60% kind. I enjoy ice cream but mostly the vanilla flavor. Both
    sweets…..

    Thanks for the sweet card you sent…..

    1. Wow, Lois! Ghiradelli! There is a big Ghoradelli store and ice cream parlor at Disney Springs. I’ve always managed to stay out of it, but now that you mention it….. sigh 🍫🍦!!!!!

  2. Food is so much more than nutrition. There are all the memories that are conjured when we partake of or just think about food. Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend. Who doesn’t think about a roasted turkey with all the fixings? What is a birthday party without a cake? Coconut macaroons and brown sugar fudge will always make me think of my grandma. Fried oysters and marinated shrimp will always remind me of my dad. Oatmeal porridge will always bring memories of my granddaughter handing me my glasses before I’m up in the morning and saying – Here, Grandma, put these on and go make porridge. Chocolate ice cream and your mama – how sweet.

  3. While not chocolate ice cream, I still make stuffing for Thanksgiving, lasagna, and stew the way my mom makes them. None of them are the traditional ways, they are my mom’s way. I’m sure that will become bittersweet in the future.

  4. Funny how certain things bring up memories, food especially, does this. My dad would make a stew that I loved. I can’t replicate, but I taste it just thinking about it. Good memories💕

    1. Maybe you can’t replicate it because the secret ingredient- fatherly love- is missing. It is still great that you can taste it based on your beautiful memories!

  5. I love ice cream but it no longer loves me. 🙁 Occasionally I still eat it and accept the dietary consequences. My very favorite is coffee almond fudge. And I also discovered the new Ben & Jerry’s almond milk based ice creams which are absolutely decadent and don’t upset my stomach. So I have to avoid them unless I want to buy a new wardrobe…I can eat the carton in one sitting.

    My dad had high cholesterol and had been watching his diet for years, but when he was diagnosed with lung cancer we all knew it was his last Christmas. He (obviously) didn’t care about cholesterol anymore, and we indulged him with every treat he could want and more. Things my mom hadn’t baked in years, multiple fruit cakes, pies, cookies, you name it. He ate eggs and bacon every morning and butter on and in everything. Needless to say, we ALL gained weight. When I look at pictures from that year, my face looks like the moon. But we have some good food memories.

    1. I’m sure there is more to “healthy” than just physical wellness, Laurel. Luxuriating in all those delicious baked goods with your father may not have been absolutely perfect for your physical health, but I’m sure the memories you have of that time feed your heart and improve your emotional health! 🍪🍰🍦

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