We All Scream... For Mac & Cheese?


Photo by Irene Kredenets on Unsplash


For the first time in 26 years, the Village of East Hampton is without an ice cream shop: Scoop Du Jour on Newtown Lane had to close its doors. Another covidian casualty.

I think Scoop’s closing might be partially my fault. I can’t remember the last time I took the hockey pucks out for a cone. It could also be the puckers’ fault: They all drive and have jobs. They could’ve gotten their own ice cream. Why does everything fall on me?

A friend who had a high school summer job at Friendly’s told me that working in an ice cream shop is wonderful because buying ice cream makes everyone happy.

She forgot about the parents.

It’s the parents who corral the kids while in line, persuade each kid to quickly pick their flavor, make sure they don’t drop the scoop to the floor, buys the crying kid a new cone when it inevitably falls, pays with one hand while holding the cone, and grabs 50 of those tiny napkins that don’t clean or absorb ice cream but instead stick to cones, fingers, and faces.

No wonder I can’t remember the last time I went to Scoop. I blocked it out.

I prefer to eat my ice cream at home. And I’m serious about it.

I like Turkey Hill’s Belgian chocolate, Dutch chocolate, and chocolate peanut butter cup, or Friendly’s chocolate marshmallow and forbidden chocolate. I will deign to eat coffee ice cream, but only if topped with Hershey’s syrup. Can you guess what my flavor palate is?

I’m not paid to endorse these brands, but if Turkey Hill, Friendly’s, or Hershey’s want to send me samples, my address is available upon request. Chocolate only, please.

I don’t like things in my ice cream. No chips, chunks, or cherries.

I eat my ice cream in a bowl, so I can stir it into what, as a child, I used to call mush. Mush is basically cold dairy soup.

My goal is to turn the whole bowl of ice cream into mush, but I never succeed. I don’t have the patience.

Chocolate. Bowl. Mush. I decree this is the only correct way to eat ice cream.

Mr. Hockey and the pucks don’t agree with my decree. Mr. Hockey eats his ice cream from a mug. A mug! The little puckers dabble in non-chocolate flavors like lavender, earl grey, or brambleberry crisp. What even is a brambleberry?

Can you believe the highfalutin flavors Big Ice Cream comes up with these days? A few months ago, the Ohio brand, Jeni’s, introduced Everything Bagel Ice Cream. Everything Bagel is not an ice cream flavor, it’s a food dare.

One of our family rules is to never do a food dare, but we tried the Jeni’s. It tasted like cold cream cheese icing with bits of sesame, poppy, salt, and garlic in it, violating my no-chunk policy.

Essentially, this flavor was a ploy to get us to buy more Jeni’s. They have a four-pint minimum on orders. Their next novelty flavor should be kale. Let’s see if people choke that down.

When I told friends this column was about ice cream, many asked if I’ve tried Van Leeuwen’s Kraft Mac & Cheese flavor. It’s not chocolate, so, no.

In the interest of informing you, the reader, I felt I should, but the website was sold out. I asked the hockey puck who lives in Brooklyn (home to all “unique” ice cream flavors) to find it, and the hockey puck’s plus-one said that we could probably make it ourselves.

(I’ll interrupt here to say that yes, some of the hockey pucks have significant others, and to protect their privacy, the family decided to call these people “hockey puck’s plus-ones.” It’s not great, but “hockey stick” or “goal” didn’t work. Believe me, I’m as disappointed as you are that my humorous hockey metaphor doesn’t have a deep bench.)

Anyway, the puck’s plus-one told me to buy two boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese along with some other ingredients. I bought three boxes because if the ice cream didn’t work out, at least we could eat some Kraft Mac & Cheese. Again, this isn’t a paid endorsement, but if KraftHeinz wants to compensate me, my email is below.

How do you make Kraft Mac & Cheese ice cream?

I don’t know.

Once the puck’s plus-one instructed me to buy whole milk powder and xanthan gum, I kind of zoned out and left the project to the pucks, et., al. I can say it’s the cheese packets that go into the ice cream, not the mac, so it didn’t defy my no-chunk rule.

As you’d expect, our homemade version was orange. And it tasted like Kraft Mac & Cheese, except smoother, sweeter, and colder.

I don’t think it will become one of the 31 flavors.

Since I don’t want to be partially responsible for the demise of yet another ice cream parlor, last week I took a few puckers to Big Olaf’s in Sag Harbor. It was much easier than when they were younger. We chatted and people-watched while in line on the wharf. We had no spillage or tears.

One puck got a pistachio cone, one got cookies and cream, and the dairy-free puck got mango sorbet. I, of course, got chocolate.

And out of habit, I grabbed 50 napkins. They were useless.

Published in The East Hampton Press on August 26, 2021

https://www.27east.com/southampton-press/we-all-scream-for-mac-cheese-1810352/


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