Thursday, July 23, 2009

Make A Date With Vanilla Today

I have been eating ice cream this month...

I am not going nuts about ice cream but somehow I seemed to have consumed more of it this month. There are no particular reasons and there is no sudden change of diet. It just happened. Sometimes, things in life just happened :)

While I dug into those delicious treats, little did I know that this month is National Ice Cream Month. Even though this is very much an American thing, I thought we should also celebrate this month as it is such a 'sweet' thing to do. Or if you like, we could designate another month as our very own 'Ice Kachang' month, just to add a local flavor to it, so to speak.

OK, how did July become the the National Ice Cream Month?

It seems that it happened 25 years ago, when America's 40th President, Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Day and the third "Sundae" of the month (19 Jul 2009) as National Ice Cream Day. To me, it is rather 'sweet' of him to do that as I would not have related ice cream to politics, would you?

He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90% of the nation's population (I wonder what happened to the other 10%). President Reagan even encouraged the people of the United States to observe these events with "appropriate ceremonies and activities." Nice!

If you are considering celebrating this sweet month, here are some suggestions (I'm giving you a good excuse to chomp ice cream).

1. Go on an exploration trip

According to the International Ice Cream Association, top and all-time-favorite flavor is Vanilla and the top 10 flavors include Chocolate, Butter Pecan, Strawberry, Chocolate Chip and Cookies & Cream. Go celebrate this month by exploring ice cream flavors which you have not tried before. Don't be a chicken, be more adventurous.

2. DIY and stay healthy

For the health conscious (but won't give up ice cream), you can consider a treat of home-made blend of ice cream and fruit. Take a small tub of sugar free vanilla ice cream, combine it with a cup of sugar free fruit preserves or fresh juices. Stir well. Pack the ice cream back in its container. Refreeze. Indulge.

3. Everyday is Sundae

Be creative and come up with your own style of Sundae. Choose your favorite fruits such as sliced kiwi, banana, strawberries, lychee or mango. Place fresh fruits in a dish. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Top with more fresh fruits. If you desire, sprinkle some chopped-nuts and chocolate rice or slap on some whipped cream. Want it wilder? Add durian. Want it 'stronger'? Add a dash of Bailey's.

4. Go in between

Sandwich is yummy and ice cream sandwich is yummier. Let's do it the 'Singapura' style: Buy some 'traditional' bread from your neighborhood shop. Put a small scoop of your favorite ice cream between the bread slices. Chomp immediately! By the way, National Ice Cream Sandwich Day happens to be on 2 Aug.

5. Do it the local way

You can celebrate this month even though you do not like any of the 'ang moh' aka western ice cream? Head on to your favorite hawker centre or foodcourt and get yourself a sumptuous 'ice kachang'. If you know where to get a good one, share.

6. Read up

Want to celebrate the month but not wanting to eat ice cream? Well, why not read up about the history of ice cream which has more than 4000 years of sweet and cool years. Err, by the way, why wouldn't you want to eat ice cream??

7. Buy me a treat

July is my birth month. Come celebrate the month with me and buy me some great ice cream treats!

8. Just for one day

If you would only want to eat ice cream for just one day in July (weight watching?), it has to be TODAY because it is the National Vanilla Ice Cream Day! Why not get a tub of the all-time top flavor of vanilla ice cream and celebrate the National Vanilla Ice Cream Day with Vanilla?? What a great idea!

Here are other special days in July designated for some ice cream flavors:

July 1 - Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day
July 7 - Strawberry Sundae Day
July 17 - Peach Ice Cream Day
July 19 - National Ice Cream Day (3rd Sunday of July)
July 23 - Vanilla Ice Cream Day

For some unknown reasons, Chocolate Ice Cream Day falls on 7 June.

If you are waiting for free ice cream, hang on till April 2010. Every year since 1979, Ben&Jerry will hold an annual event known as 'Free Cone Day'. On this very sweet day, Ben&Jerry outlets would give out free ice cream. This year, it took place on 29 April and in the previous years 'Free Cone Day' was on 21 Apr 08, 17 Apr 07 and 25 Apr 06. All the past few 'Free Cone Days' were on Tuesdays. Go figure when you can get your FOC ice cream fix in 2010.

Ice cream is probably the most popular form of dessert. According to Vanilla's "research", 12 out of every 10 individuals love ice cream. 7 of them will scream "I Love Ice Cream!!"; 3 of them love ice cream too but are too shy to scream; the other 2 love ice cream but would not admit.

The truth is, everyone loves ice cream. It is just a matter of degree. After all, there must be some kind of subliminal message when you spell "stressed" backwards, you get "desserts". We will always create a little space for desserts even after a big meal, no?

Happy Vanilla Ice Cream Day to all of you!

"Ice cream is happiness condensed."

~Jessi Lane Adams~

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