And now for your summer enjoyment
For centuries, humans have sought ways to deal with the heat of summer. Escaping to cooler climates; heading to a swimming hole; wearing lose, soft cotton clothing; finding a nice shady spot to nap, are just some of the ways even the ancients tried to manage the heat.
Yet humans have been even more creative over the years with what they eat or drink to help with the heat. Let’s face it, a nice tall glass of iced tea or lemonade is hard to beat when it’s 90 degrees and feels like it’s 105!
As far back as the 5th Century BC, the Persian royal families enjoyed a dish made from saffron, vermicelli, fruit and iced rose water. King Solomon liked to consume iced drinks during the harvest season. Alexander the Great was known to mix together ice, snow, nectar and honey as a treat. One of the Caesars must have known about that recipe, because he would send his peeps to the mountains to gather snow that he would cover in fruit and juice.
By the 7th Century AD, the Chinese had developed a dish using camphor, buffalo milk and flour, which could be viewed as the first ice cream. I do not know that it would sell very well today at Baskin and Robbins! Marco Polo actually brought back a recipe from his Far East travels that was called sherbet and “Cream Ice.”
By 1660, the Italians were enjoying a new dish called gelato – my favorite! When we’ve gone to Italy, I always volunteer to go pick up whatever we need from the grocery so I can stop off to pick up a chocolate gelato along the way.
In 1744, Scottish colonists brought an ice cream recipe to this country and the first advertisement for ice cream appeared in the May 12, 1777 edition of the New York Gazette. Sounds like ice cream pretty much coincided with our country’s birth! Since then it has become a part of our fabric. When I was growing up, every household had an ice cream freezer. I remember when Dad bought our first electric freezer. No longer did we have to take turns cranking on the freezer!
Dairy Queen started the variations on ice cream. In addition to their soft-serve version, they created a variety of other ways to consume ice cream. In our little state of Arkansas, TCBY was born – This Can’t Be Yogurt can still be found in the O’Hare Airport and a few other places. As you go down the grocery store ice cream isle, there is now every imaginable version of ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, sherbet, popsicles and other delights!
Ice Cream has become so prevalent in our country that we average consuming 23 gallons of ice cream per year. Some of you must be really eating a LOT of ice cream because we do not eat quite that much in our household. Nevertheless, if you want an excuse to have some nice cold ice cream this weekend, do I have the best excuse for you to imbibe!
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared the third Sunday of July to be National Ice Cream Day! That just happens to be this Sunday, July 19. To help in any rationalization you might need, Reagan described ice cream as “a nutritious and wholesome food enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States.” Who doesn’t want to be patriotic?
So this weekend help the dairy industry and enjoy a nice cool dish of ice cream with your favorite toppings. I recently bought Banana Split Boats to introduce my grandkids to that great American treat. If you need a reminder of the contents of a classic banana split, give me a call!
And please call us if there are weightier matters related to your financial life you need to discuss. If you want to stop by, I’m pretty sure there’s some ice cream in our freezer!
Rick Adkins, CFP®, ChFC, MBA
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