When I think of ice cream, I think of the cones my Italian grandma kept in her tall tin cabinet in her Maywood dining room and the way we’d fill them up with orange sherbet from her cold case. She and my grandpa were the first ones to live on their road, Augusta Street. In the 1940s, when they built it, Maywood was less a Chicago suburb, more a farm town, but then by the time she and I were eating ice cream, some 40 or 50 years later, there we were, surrounded by bungalows with fenced backyards. When I think of ice cream, I think of a restaurant in Wheaton where I used to order chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce and chocolate sprinkles and how it came in a tall silver dish with a long spoon. I think of hot summer days. I think of late nights and TV. I think of Tim, my ice cream lover, and how he researched ice cream makers for weeks before we added the one his cousins would buy us to our wedding registry list. I think of the time we visited our family in Ohio for a birthday party and someone pulled out homemade strawberry ice cream that my brother-in-law’s dad had made for the occasion. But for the rest of my life, when I think of ice cream, I hope I will also think of these first few years of marriage with Tim, living in our white brick house, becoming our own family, keeping the gelato maker in the guest bedroom, making ice cream by the quart, eating it on our brown leather sofa and how this week when we were eating it it was by the tree.
We had coconut milk in the pantry and, for those of you asking for a non-dairy ice cream, here it is—creamy mint ice cream studded with chocolate chunks.