A Case for Ice Cream in Winter
There is an ice cream shop en route to the elementary school I used to attend called the Bubbling Brook. We used to stop there on many an afternoon, the entire carpool spilling out of the minivan to line up for what "The Bub" did best: rainbow sherbet (heavy on the raspberry), or a chocolate-vanilla twist with chocolate dip, which inevitably cracked and dripped down faces and shirts and onto leather-upholstered backseats. But the Bub was a seasonal place, and I can still taste the bitterness of the disappointmentjust as clearly as I can the sweetness of that sherbertof the day when we drove by only to find that it had closed for the winter, the windows through which the ice cream passed firmly shuttered against the long, cold months ahead.
I'm more of a mocha-chip girl these days, but I still feel a little twinge of sadness around this time of year at the sight of so many shops shutting down until spring. When it comes to ice cream, why must we be fair-weather friends? Surely I'm not the only one who would splurge on a cone on a snowy day or stop in for a pint to eat later, under the covers with a mug of hot chocolate. And think of all the missed seasonal flavor opportunities: cranberry-gingersnap or kumquat-eggnog swirl.
That's why Alexis Miesen and Jennie Dundas are my new heroes. They dared to open their organic, locally produced ice cream shop, Blue Marble, this month. And while they may not have a soft-serve machine to dispense those twists of my youth, they do serve fair-trade coffee and yummy treats from Baked. I stopped in for a cup of butter-pecan earlier this week. Silky and rich, with a decadent, nutty crunch, it was the perfect complement to the crisp fall afternoon. I didn't quite finish it, though, and left the rest in my boyfriend's freezer. When I came back the next day it was gone. Oh, the agony!
I'm considering this post an expression of my gratitude to Blue Marble, and also a plea to the Bubbling Brook on behalf of the students at my alma matter to stay open year-round. If you'd like to add your own shout outs, please do so. At Serious Eats, we're always on the lookout for noteworthy ice cream shopsno matter what the weather. And if you've got any brilliant ideas for cold-season flavors (what would go perfectly scooped over a slice of fruitcake?) tack those on as well.
About the author: Lucy Baker is a graduate student in the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. Before returning to school to pursue an MFA, she was an assistant cookbook editor at HarperCollins. She lives in Brooklyn and is currently obsessed with all things fennel.