Cathy Turner

Truly my favorite treat of all time is an ice cream sundae. And the best and most simple ones are made at my house. Breyer’s Natural Vanilla Bean Ice Cream® and chopped pecans piled high with Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup® drizzled daintily but fully over the mound. Awww…sweet. There are so many reasons that this is the best.

First of all the ice cream is supreme. To me, Breyer’s Natural Vanilla® is more icy than cream, and this is important. You see, I grew up eating Ice Milk. It’s what people in the 60s and 70s, who couldn’t afford ice cream, bought. Ice Milk was a cheaper alternative. And until I was in high school, I didn’t know this discrepancy existed. Thrifty Maid Ice Milk™ was our staple. Ice Milk lacked butterfat, so it was not as creamy. It was cold and sweet enough, and I had nothing against it until I went to the Lappin’s house my freshman year.

Jill Lappin was my friend. Her dad taught me French that year and her mother taught French at the local college. They opened their home to me. And at their house, Sunday meals ended with Breyer’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream® piled high with fresh chopped pecans and prettily drizzled with Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup®. I had been eating fake ice cream all my life. (And I had never had fresh pecans.) I just didn’t know what I had been missing.

Even our fake ice cream was fake. The small North Carolina mountain town that I grew up in had a Daisy Queen – not even a real Dairy Queen. In my growing up, franchises were non- existent. On some Sunday afternoons, my family would take rides in our car. We would all pile into our bulky Buick station wagon or into our stream-lined Rambler. And we would drive to Flat Rock to see friends or go down the Greenville Mountain curves or we would zag our way to Bat Cave or Chimney Rock or head up to Jump Off Rock in Laurel Park. But we would sometimes finish our ride by turning into the Daisy Queen. The choice that we were allowed was a vanilla cone or a vanilla cone dipped in chocolate. Those were the choices. I never knew about ice cream sundaes or banana splits or fudge brownie delights. It’s my guess that the cones were what we could afford. I never thought about it. My mom and dad got cones too.

When Jill’s family blessed me with those ice cream sundaes with fresh pecans, it was one of those things that I added to the list of things that I was going to do when I had a family of my own. And I have. I even blessed myself with one tonight. And I have been so blessed to share sundaes with so many people in our home. I still don’t care for creamy ice cream – too glucky. I have had sorbet in in Paris, gelato in London and frozen yogurt on Cox Creek, but Breyer’s Natural Vanilla® is still the best. It is light enough and delicious, and I can afford it. This treat reminds me from whence I have come. Makes me feel blessed and thankful. Where did you have your first ice cream sundae?

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