It’s summer. It’s hot. It’s time for ice cream. Those three sentences follow in absolutely logical order, if you ask me.
And I once had the thrill of a lifetime, by getting to tour a Dreyer’s Ice Cream plant in Texas. This rich ice cream is labeled “Edy’s” in the East, so you know we’re talking crème de la crème, folks. And it all happened thanks to our son, Cassidy.
First, in case you’re new to this blog, I must tell you that I often enter recipe contests and cook-offs. And it’s been an absolute kick to win trips, appliances, furniture, and cash. So a few years ago, one of our sons (then age 10) followed in his mom’s footsteps and entered a Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream contest called “Invent Jeff’s Next Flavor,” one Jeff Gordon of Nascar, would personally select. Dreyer’s listed the basic things Jeff liked, and Cassidy came up with Cool Fuel, a “cool minty ice cream with streaks of fudge and injected with almonds.”
Out of 8,000 entries, Cass was selected as one of five finalists! And the only child in the competition. He was able to bring a couple of friends and we all got to tour the ice cream plant in Texas. Oh. My. Goodness.
It turns out that the peak moment of flavor is just before they freeze it for shipping, when it’s still soft. They let us sample wonderful flavors, using the lids as a spoon. Once it’s in the supermarkets, it will never be at such a perfect, soft state again. This is the stuff of heavenly dreams, folks.
Then they allowed each contestant to whip up their idea in the kitchen. It was glorious.
That evening Jeff went down the line. After he had tasted them all, he pointed to Cassidy’s, and said, “I really like that one,” at which point the man in charge pulled him aside and soon Jeff was choosing a similar one, but not Cassidy’s. When I inquired about this later, I was told that the public doesn’t always like “particulate matter” in ice cream, and the “other” one was virtually the same as Cassidy’s, but without the almonds. I chose not to make a stink about it, declaring a moral victory as it were, and then we were whisked off to an actual Nascar race.
Well… it turns out you can’t enter the pit area if you’re underage, so there we were, disappointed again. We had to wander around the parking area where drivers kept their motorhomes, as the other contestants got to see things up close. But then—as if heaven decided to make things right—we happened to be near Jeff Gordon’s gigantic trailer and his top mechanics let us have a complete tour of his digs! It was awesome. I was particularly impressed with drawers and drawers of perfectly organized, labeled tools for the mechanics to use. They showed us the whole place and even opened the fridge. This was a VIP tour unlike any the other contestants were experiencing. We were in Jeff Gordon’s home on wheels! The boys’ eyes twinkled with delight.
So, even though Cassidy’s picture didn’t end up on an ice cream carton, we had a fabulous time and an unforgettable taste of this glorious confection at its absolute best. I call that a win-win.
Speaking of Cassidy’s picture, here’s how he looks today, hosting That Late Show, which you can watch here.And, while you’re enjoying a creamy bowl of frozen wonder, why not read my latest novel, GOLDEN, which you can order on Amazon or Kindle. And if you’re out of ice cream, make your own in a baggie! Watch my YouTube Mom video here, where I show you how.