Well, Summer is here and it's friggin hot. Granted, scenic Seattle,Washington is downright lovely compared to the sweltering, sticky, asphalt-melting Summer days I lived through in lower Michigan when I was a kid. I'm not kidding about the asphalt. We used to regularly go out to the street and pop tar bubbles with a stick for fun. The streets were literally bubbling.
One of the best ways to stay cool back then was to enjoy a nice frozen treat, preferably after having chased down a slowly crawling ice cream truck. But when you were denied that occasional joy, most of the moms in the neighborhood were smart enough to have something in the freezer, lest they want a living room filled with sweaty, angry kids in tank tops and swimming trunks.
Here's my top 5 favorites, in no particular order...
1. Bomb Pops
Bomb Pops were a staple of ice cream trucks everywhere when I was a kid. And the Bomb Pop was always a wise purchase because it was so huge! You got a lot of frozen treat bang out of your recently begged-for change with this treat. And the bonus was finishing the treat with bright blue lips.
2. The Nutty Buddy
When I was a kid, the Nutty Buddy was an almost adult frozen treat. It was so rich and sophisticated and possessed a delicate balance of flavors unlike our usual blast of imitation fruit flavor we got from our more common treats. You didn't get these a lot back then, but when you did, it was glorious. The pure poetry of the Nutty Butty is in that last bite of cone, where just the right amount of ice cream, chocolate and caramel pooled into one taste-bud shocking capsule of deliciousness.
3. Otter Pops
As a kid, our freezer pretty much always had a healthy supply of Otter Pops in it. Moms loved them because they were dirt cheap. I loved them because they had cartoon otters on them. I only wish I had saved some of those vintage wrappers. To this day, I have Otter Pops in my freezer and have no qualms about eating 5 or 6 in one sitting.
4. Orange Push Ups
If I had to pick a number one favorite from my childhood, Push Ups just might be the winner. I ate these by the boatload as a kid. That creamy orange sherbert and the clever pushing mechanism will never be forgotten. I even loved how gross the cardboard encasing got after 100 licks from a sweaty 7 year-old. I used to keep the circular plastic piece and the little plastic stem to use as parts for my giant, homemade shoebox spaceships.
5. Sno Cones
So simple. So
classic. Just ice with flavored sugar water poured over it. The beauty
of Sno Cones was in the fact that they were often found at special
events, like carnivals or big amusement parks, thus giving them a
slightly elevated standing in the frozen treats world. The best Sno
Cones were the rainbow colored ones from the ice cream trucks, though.
One of my favorite aspects of the Sno Cone was how once you ate all of
the rapidly melting flavored ice, there was a solid shot of fruity punch
pooled in the bottom that we'd slam back like a cowboy on a
So that's it for this week's
top 5 list! Tune in next week, where I'll ramble on about other lings I
like (or maybe dislike) in multiples of 5.
But since we're on the subject, what's your favorite frozen treat of yesteryear?