News of the Week: Goodbye Candy Hearts, NASA Turns 60, and Alex Trebek Might Quit Jeopardy!


There are many things in this world we think we can count on. The sun will rise in the east. The checkout line we choose at the supermarket will move the slowest. Adam Sandler will make bad movies. We also know that every Valentine’s Day we’ll see those pastel-colored candy hearts with messages on them.

But that might not be the case anymore.

NECCO, which stands for the New England Confectionary Company, was the oldest continuously operated candy company in the U.S. I say was because it suddenly closed down last week, without any notice, leaving 230 employees without jobs. The company was sold to an unnamed candy company, and the new company hasn’t said whether they’re going to continue candy production. Some employees have actually filed a lawsuit. The NECCO website was still available until very recently, but it seems to have been taken offline.

The company also made NECCO Wafers, a candy I remember from my childhood that is always unfairly maligned. Sure, the black licorice ones were gross — black licorice candy is always gross — but there was something satisfying about having the others melt on your tongue. The company also made Clark Bars, the Sky Bar, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Mary Janes, my mom’s favorite candy, and for that fact alone I’d like to see the new company rehire all of the employees and continue to make all of the candies. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t want to.

Space News

This past week could have been dubbed “Space Week” because there was so much space-related news that I couldn’t keep track of it all. There was the story about NASA’s new spacecraft TESS that is searching for new planets; the news that NASA doesn’t have anything for astronauts to wear if they go back to the moon; and the story about the first eight NASA astronauts that will be flying on Space X and Boeing space missions (hopefully they’ll have something to wear).

And if all that wasn’t enough, it’s also NASA’s 60th anniversary, and the agency made a special video to celebrate the milestone.




Here’s an interview that T. Keith Glennan, then head of NASA, gave to the Post’s Robert Cahn in 1959 about the then-new agency’s plans for space travel.

Jones, Morris, Hoffman, Thome, Trammell, and Guerrero

That’s not the name of a law firm; it’s the list of the men inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, this past week.

If you’re already wondering who’s going to be on the 2019 ballot, has posted its list of potential inductees. You’ll probably see Mariano Rivera but not Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds.

The Answer Is: Who Is Alex Trebek?

I have two questions about this story. The first one is: Why did Alex Trebek give an interview to TMZ’s Harvey Levin, of all people? Trebek told Levin that his contract is up in 2020 and there’s less than a 50/50 chance he’ll actually continue (he’ll be 80). He does offer two suggestions on who should replace him, though. (There was a rumor a few years ago that Matt Lauer might replace Trebek … but that’s not going to happen.)

Oh, the second question I have is this: Since the exclamation point is an official part of the Jeopardy! title, does that mean I need to put an extra exclamation point at the end of the title if the story is exciting or shocking? Like this: “Alex Trebek Might Leave Jeopardy!!”

These are the things that keep me up at night.

WWII Time Capsule Found

Mike Wimberley needs your help.

Wimberley is a contractor who was working on a home in Cleveland when he found a World War II–era time capsule. It was buried by a soldier named Richard Silagy and includes Silagy’s family pictures, his hat, and even an M14 shell.

Wimberley wants to return the time capsule to Silagy’s family. If he can find them, that is. That’s where you come in. Are you related to Silagy or know anyone who is? Wimberley searched on Facebook but so far hasn’t had any luck.

The Ice Cream Man

How long have you been at your job? I don’t know you personally, but I’m going to guess it hasn’t been seven decades.

That’s how long 81-year-old Allan Ganz of Peabody, Massachusetts, has been selling ice cream. Yup, he started when he was just 10, driving around in the ice cream truck with his dad, who also did it for many years. He says he might sell the truck after this summer, but would like to continue to work for the new owner one day a week. After all, selling ice cream is the best job ever.

I think the real story here is that he has listened to that ice cream truck song for 71 years and hasn’t gone mad.

RIP Patrick Williams, Bill Loud, Judith Appelbaum, and Doug Grindstaff

Patrick Williams was a prolific composer for movies and TV shows, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Columbo, Lou Grant, and too many others to mention here. He died last week at the age of 79.

Bill Loud and his family were the stars of one of the first reality shows, PBS’s An American Family. The show was both praised and criticized for its depiction of a real family that always had cameras filming them. He died last week at the age of 97.

Judith Appelbaum wrote one of the classic how-to books for writers, 1978’s How to Get Happily Published. It was the first book I read about becoming a writer. She also wrote for The New York Times Book Review and was managing editor for Publisher’s Weekly. She died last week at the age of 78.

Doug Grindstaff was one of the people who came up with all of the sounds on Star Trek, including the transporter, the phasers, and even the doors opening on the Enterprise. He died last month at the age of 87.

This Week in History

First U.S. Patent Issued (July 31, 1790)

The first patent was issued to a man named Samuel Hopkins, who invented an improvement “in the making of Pot ash and Pearl ash by a new Apparatus and Process.” I don’t know what that is either.

MTV Is Launched (August 1, 1981)

The very first video shown was, appropriately enough, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles.




This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Dripping Cones (July 29, 1944)

Stevan Dohanos
Dripping Cones
July 29, 1944;

I don’t know why the little girl in this Stevan Dohanos cover thinks she can carry six ice cream cones and get them to her friends across the street before they melt or slip out of her hands. It might make for a fun video game, though — sort of an ice cream–oriented version of Frogger.

Today Is National Watermelon Day

Watermelon is one of those foods that I love but can’t eat any other form of. Meaning, I had a glass of watermelon juice one time and I thought it was rather unenjoyable, even though I’ll eat pieces of watermelon all day long (see also: peas and pea soup).

But I might be up for recipes that don’t change the form of watermelon too drastically, like this Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint or this Watermelon Fire & Ice Salsa.

And if you don’t like watermelon in any form whatsoever, then get out your knife and make one into a keg, a football helmet, or even a shark.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day (August 8)

I mentioned this last week, and it really is one of the stranger food holidays. It’s a way of getting rid of the massive amounts of zucchini that are grown this time of year. The best time to do it is at night when your neighbor is asleep.

Book Lovers Day (August 9)

If you have any zucchini left after the above celebration, you might as well combine that holiday with Book Lovers Day and buy the cookbook What the #@)*! Am I Going to Do with All These Zucchini???


30 Vintage Recipes of Delicious Dairy Delights

Wisconsin dairy farmers share their home-cooked recipes. Find crumb cake, cream cake, strawberry punch, and more from America’s Dairyland, circa 1949.

A calendar from June 1949 with dates featuring recipes.
The June 1949 Diary Calendar from The Country Gentleman. (Click to Enlarge)

Dairy Foods Calendar

Originally published in The Country Gentleman, June 1, 1949

June is National Dairy Month. These recipes featuring milk and milk products come from dairy-farm homemakers in Wisconsin and give you 29 good ways to serve your family nature’s best food.

1.         Cottage Cheese Jam Tarts

(Makes about 2 dozen)

Sift together 1 cup of sifted flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cut in 1/3 cup of shortening until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal. Add 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, and work into a smooth ball. Chill 1/2 hour, or until firm. Roll out on a floured pastry cloth 1/8 inch thick. Cut in 3-inch squares. Place a teaspoon of cranberry sauce, or fruit marmalade, in center of each square. Fold over and pinch edges together. Bake on ungreased baking sheet in a hot oven (425° F) 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

2.         Uncooked Salad Dressing

(Makes 1 quart)

With a rotary beater or electric mixer, beat together 2 beaten eggs, one 15-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup of melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 cup of vinegar. Store in a quart jar in the refrigerator. Thickens overnight and keeps well.

21st-century tip: Sub in coddled (gently cooked) eggs for raw ones.

3.         Beets in Sour Sauce

(Serves 4 to 6.)

Add 2 tablespoons of flour to 1 cup of thick sour cream. Cook in top of double boiler until thickened, stirring constantly. Add 1 tablespoon of prepared horseradish, 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Add 3 cups of sliced, cooked beets, drained. Reheat, stirring occasionally.

4.         Bunnies

Trim the crusts from sliced bread. Spread with butter and nippy spreading cheese. Roll up as for jelly roll, wrap each roll with a slice of bacon, and fasten with toothpicks. Broil in oven or over an outdoor fire. Good for Saturday-night supper, picnic style.

5.         Butter Crunch

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a heavy saucepan. Stir in 1 cup of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour. Add 1/4 cup of water. Cook over low heat until a drop of the mixture forms a soft ball in cold water (236° F). Quickly pour mixture over 4 cups of corn flakes, mixing thoroughly until well coated. Spread out on large pan to cool. Form into balls and chill. Serve in place of cake or cookies with ice cream.


Flakey cheese pastries on a plate

6.         Ham-Cheese Turnovers

(Makes 9 turnovers)

Combine 1 1/2 cups of ground cooked ham, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped dill pickle, 1 teaspoon of dry mustard, 1 teaspoon of onion juice, and 1/4 cup of mayonnaise. Sift together 2 cups of sifted flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Cut in 5 tablespoons of shortening. Add 2/3 cup of milk and mix to a soft dough. Turn out on a floured board and roll 1/4 inch thick. Cut into nine 4-inch squares. Brush with melted butter. Place a triangle of thinly sliced cheddar cheese on half of each square. Top with a spoonful of the ham mixture. Fold dough over to form a triangle, and press edges together. Bake on a greased baking sheet in a hot oven (425° F) 25 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

7.         Frozen Pineapple Salad

(Serves 6)

Set temperature control on refrigerator at lowest point. Combine 2 cups of thick sour cream with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in 1 cup of drained, sweetened, crushed pineapple and 1/4 cup maraschino cherries. Pour into freezing tray of refrigerator and freeze until firm. Cut into squares and serve on lettuce or other greens.

8.         Butterscotch Squares

(Makes about 1 dozen squares)

Cook 1/2 cup of butter and 2 cups of brown sugar over low heat until bubbly around edges. Cool. Add 2 eggs, beating well after each addition. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 2 cups of sifted flour, sifted together with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Stir in 1 cup of dry, shredded coconut and 1 cup of chopped nuts. Spread in a greased shallow pan (10 1/2 by 15 inches), and bake in a moderate oven (350° F) 25 minutes.

Rhubarb dessert in a glass.

9.         Rhubarb Cream Mousse

(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

Set cold control of refrigerator to coldest point. Mix together 1 cup of mashed, cooked rhubarb and 1/2 cup of sugar. Cool thoroughly and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Fold in 1 cup of heavy cream, whipped. Pour into freezing tray. Freeze until firm (2 to 4 hours). Serve with topping of sweetened whipped cream.

10.      Cheese Ring

(Serves 6)

Mix together 3 cups of cooked noodles, 1 cup of grated sharp cheese, 4 beaten eggs, 3/4 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of tomato catsup, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a well-buttered and floured ring mold. Set in a pan of hot water and bake in a moderate oven (350° F) 40 minutes, or until firm. Unmold on a hot platter; fill center with buttered June peas or creamed mixed vegetables. Garnish with deviled eggs around the ring.

11.      Gingerbread with Cheese Filling

Combine 1 cup of cream cheese, 1 cup of chopped dates, 1 cup of chopped nuts, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add enough cream to make mixture of a spreading consistency. Split open hot gingerbread. Spread cheese filling between layers. Serve at once.

12.      Dairyman’s Delight

(Makes 6 servings)

Stew a 4-to-5-pound hen until tender (2 to 3 hours). Cut meat from bones, cube, and brown in butter. Add 1/2 pound of cooked noodles, 1/2 of a large green pepper, chopped, 1/3 cup of chopped pimiento, and 1 cup of cooked whole-kernel corn. Stir in 1 cup of chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn into a buttered baking dish, and cover with 1/2 pound of sharp cheese, cut in cubes. Bake in a moderate oven (350° F) 30 minutes.

13.      French-fried Cheese Sandwiches

(Makes 4 sandwiches)

Spread 8 slices of white or whole-wheat bread with butter. Lay slices of American cheese on half the slices of bread. Press on top slices, and cut sandwiches in half. Beat 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt together until well-blended. Dip sandwiches in egg-milk mixture and fry slowly in butter until golden-brown, and cheese is melted.

Peppermint ice cream with candy canes poking out.

14.     Peppermint-Marshmallow Ice Cream

(Makes 1 quart)

Set temperature control on refrigerator to coldest point. Scald 1 cup of milk. Add 14 marshmallows and stir until dissolved. Cool. When cold, stir in 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/2 cup of finely crushed peppermint-stick candy, and 1 cup of heavy cream, whipped. Add a few drops of red food coloring to give a delicate pink color. Blend coloring carefully.

Pour into freezing tray. When partially frozen (about 1 1/2 hours) return mixture to bowl. Beat with rotary beater until creamy. Return to refrigerator and freeze until firm. Ground sweet chocolate may be used in place of peppermint for chocolate ice cream.

15.      Buttermilk Cupcakes

(Makes 12 large cupcakes)

Cream together 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 cup of sugar. Add 1 beaten egg and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon flavoring. Blend thoroughly. Sift together 1 1/2 cups of sifted cake flour and 1/2 teaspoon of soda. Add to egg mixture alternately with 1 cup of buttermilk, stirring just enough to blend after each addition. Pour into greased cupcake pans and bake in a moderately hot oven (375° F) 25 minutes.

16.      Cheese-Stuffed Potatoes

(Serves 4)

Bake 2 large potatoes in a moderately hot oven (375° F) 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until done. Cut in half, lengthwise. Scoop out insides and mash with milk. Add 1 cup of cottage cheese, 1 tablespoon of chopped chives, 1 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Fill potato shells with mixture. Dot with extra butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a moderately hot oven (375° F) 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and thoroughly heated.

17.      Scalloped Salmon

(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

Drain and flake one 1-pound can of salmon. Reserve liquid. Fry 2 cups of 4-inch bread cubes in 2 tablespoons of butter, stirring constantly until evenly browned. Remove from pan and spread half of the cubes in the bottom of a buttered, shallow baking dish. Cover with salmon. Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter and stir in 2 tablespoons of flour. Add 1 1/4 cups of milk. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in salmon liquid. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/3 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over salmon and cover with remaining bread cubes. Bake in a moderately hot oven (375°F) 25 minutes.

18.      Refrigerator Butter Rolls

(Makes 2 to 3 dozen rolls)

Combine 1 cup of scalded milk, 1/2 cup of butter, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cool to lukewarm. Add 1 cake of yeast, crumbled fine, and 2 beaten eggs. Add 2 cups of sifted flour and beat well. Blend in 2 more cups of sifted flour. Cover and chill in refrigerator several hours, or overnight.

Roll out on a floured board to 1/3-inch thickness. Cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter and brush with melted butter. Fold each roll in half Aid place on a greased baking sheet. Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Brush with melted butter. Bake in a hot oven (425°F) 10 to 15 minutes. (This dough will keep in the refrigerator for several days and may be used for coffee cake, sweet rolls, or tea rings.)

19.      Sour Cream Potato Soup

(Makes 6 servings)

Cook 3 cups of diced potatoes, 1/2 cup of chopped celery, and 2 tablespoons of chopped onion in a small amount of boiling, salted water until just tender. Do not drain. Press through a sieve. Heat 3 cups of milk in double boiler until warm. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and the sieved potatoes. Mix 1 cup of thick sour cream with 1 tablespoon of flour until smooth. Add to soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly.

20.      Lettuce with Sour Cream Dressing

(Serves 4 to 6)

Mash yolks of 3 hard-cooked eggs. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, 1 cup of sour cream, and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Mix thoroughly. Makes about 1 cup of dressing.

To serve, tear a medium head of lettuce into small pieces. Sprinkle with salt and mix with desired amount of dressing. Garnish with finely chopped hard-cooked egg.

Vanilla ice cream in pods

21.      Eddie’s Ice Cream

(Makes 2 quarts)

Set temperature control of refrigerator at lowest point. Scald 2 2/3 cups of milk. Combine with 1 1/3 cups of sugar, 1 1/3 tablespoons of flour, and 2 beaten eggs. Mix well and cook in the top of a double boiler 20 minutes, or until mixture coats a spoon. Cool. Add 2 2/3 cups of light cream and 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Pour into 2 freezing trays. Freeze until mushy, about 1 hour. Turn ice cream into a large bowl and beat with rotary beater until smooth. Return to refrigerator until firm.

22.      Buttermilk Biscuits

(Makes 2 to 3 dozen biscuits)

Sift together 4 cups of sifted flour, 4 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of soda. Cut in 1 cup of shortening until the consistency of coarse meal. Add 2 cups of fresh buttermilk, and mix well. Turn out on a floured board and knead until smooth and easy to handle. Roll out to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut with biscuit cutter and bake on an ungreased baking sheet in a hot oven (425° F) 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

23.      Chocolate Sundae Sauce

(Makes about 1 cup of sauce)

In top of double boiler melt 1/4 cup of butter and 1 square of bitter chocolate. Stir in 1 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup of cocoa, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and 3/4 cup of light cream. Cook over hot water until smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Serve warm over ice cream.

24.      Spoonbread

(Makes 8 servings)

Stir 1 cup of corn meal into 2 cups of milk, and cook over low heat until a mush is formed. Cool. Add 3 well-beaten eggs, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 cup of milk. Beat well and turn into a buttered baking dish. Bake in a moderate oven (350°F) 40 minutes, or until well-browned. Serve from baking dish while hot. Use butter liberally.

25.      Chocolate-Chip Pie

Combine 12 finely crushed graham crackers, 2 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar. Press into the bottom and sides of an 8-inch pie pan. Bake in a moderately hot oven (375° F) 5 minutes.

Heat 1/2 cup of milk. Add 15 marshmallows and stir until dissolved. Cool. When cold, fold in 1 cup of heavy cream, whipped, and one 2-ounce square of unsweetened chocolate, shaved fine. Pour into cooled crust and chill until firm. Makes one 8-inch pie.

26.      Breakfast Crumb Cake

(Makes 8 servings)

Sift together 2 cups of sifted flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of soda, 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/3 cup of sugar. Cut in 1/3 cup of butter until consistency of coarse meal. Add 1 slightly beaten egg to 1/3 cup of buttermilk. Combine quickly with dry ingredients. Spread in a 9-inch square buttered cake pan and cover with crumb topping.

To make topping, combine 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 1/4 teaspoons of cinnamon. Cut in 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake in hot oven (400° F) 25 to 30 minutes.

27.      Veal and Peas in Cream

(Makes 6 servings)

Brown 1 1/2 pounds of cubed veal steak and 1 chopped onion in 3 tablespoons of butter in a heavy skillet. Add 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup of light cream, and 1 cup of milk. Cover and simmer until tender (45 minutes to 1 hour), stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of cooked peas and salt and pepper to taste. Cook 2 to 3 minutes longer. Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes.

28.      Eggnog Pie

(Makes one 9-inch pie)

Heat 1 cup of rich milk and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg in the top of a double boiler. Beat together 3 egg yolks, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Add to milk and cook, stirring constantly until mixture coats the spoon. Soak 1 tablespoon of gelatin in 1/4 cup of cold water and add to custard. Let cool. Add 1/2 cup of shredded coconut and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Fold in the 3 stiffly-beaten egg whites. Pour into a 9-inch graham cracker crust, chill, and top with 1/2 cup of cream, whipped. Sprinkle with grated semisweet chocolate.

21st-century tip: Sub meringue powder for egg whites.

29.      Sour Cream Cake

Cream together 1/2 cup of butter and 2 cups of brown sugar. Add the yolks of 3 eggs, and beat. Sift together 2 cups of sifted cake flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of cloves, 1 teaspoon of allspice, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of soda. Add to creamed mixture alternately with 1 cup of sour cream. Fold in the 3 stiffly-beaten egg whites. Bake in a greased loaf pan in a moderate oven (350°F) 45 to 50 minutes.

Strawberry cocktail in a glass, with strawberries, on a wooden table.

30.      Strawberry Punch

(Makes 4 servings)

Clean and sieve 2 cups of strawberries. Mix in 1/3 cup of sugar. Chill. Add 2 cups of milk and 1/2 pint of strawberry ice cream, stirring until the ice cream is partially melted. Pour into glasses. Garnish with whole berries.

Frozen and Gelatinous Wonders from the 1950s Fridge

Marvelous salmon salad, jellied consommé, soda fountain fare, and more recipes for fans of midcentury cookery:

So Cool and Refreshing

Originally published in The Country Gentleman, July 1, 1953

Here are 10 good ways to beat the heat — tempting salads, drinks, and desserts, all frosty cold from your freezer or refrigerator.

Jellied Consommé or Madrilène


It’s the ideal way to begin supper on a hot summer day. And what could be easier to prepare! Just chill the canned consommé or madrilène in the refrigerator for at least four hours until firm. Open cans and serve, cold and shimmery, in chilled bowls or cups. We’ve garnished the soup with slices of avocado for color accent. Lemon wedges bring out the flavor. For an extra illusion of frostiness, it’s fun to serve your jellied soups in crystal bowls surrounded by lots of crushed ice.



Chocolate Sundae Cups


The idea for this good party dessert came from Mrs. Glenn Lesan of Mount Ayr, Iowa. To make chocolate cups, melt one 6-ounce package of semisweet chocolate pieces and 3 tablespoons of butter in the top of a double boiler over hot water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir until of a good spreading consistency. Swirl the chocolate mixture on the inside of paper baking cups. Place the chocolate-lined cups in cold muffin tins and chill. To serve, remove paper and fill with your favorite flavor of ice cream. Makes 6 sundae cups.



Orange Sherbet Punch


Try this creamy cold punch on a hot afternoon and see how truly refreshing it is. If you don’t have a punch bowl, serve the punch in a soup tureen, one of your pretty mixing bowls, or even a large flower bowl.

Combine 3 cups of canned grapefruit juice and 1/4 cup of lemon juice in the bowl. Add 1 quart of orange sherbet by scoopfuls. Then pour 2 quarts of ginger ale over the juices and sherbet. Stir lightly and serve. Makes 4 quarts.



Banana-Marshmallow Cream


Use your prettiest mold for this luscious, rich refrigerator dessert. Melt 1/2 pound of marshmallows in 1/2 cup of light cream over boiling water. Stir occasionally until smooth. Combine 1/2 cup of chopped nut meats, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of grated lemon rind, and 1 cup of finely diced bananas (2 small bananas). Add to the marshmallow mixture and cool. Beat 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream until stiff. Fold into the cooled banana mixture. Pour into a 1 1/2-quart greased mold and chill until firm. Makes 8 servings.


Marvelous Salmon Salad


Drain a 1-pound can of salmon, saving the liquid. Remove skin and bones. Soften 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup of cold water. Add enough water to salmon liquid to make 3/4 cup of liquid, and add to salmon. Bring to a boil and add softened gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Combine with 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons of pickle relish, 1/2 cup of chopped cucumber, 3/4 cup of chopped celery, 2 tablespoons of chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Fill a 1-quart mold. Chill until firm. Serves 8.


Frosted Honeydew Salad


This one is impressive enough for a party, and takes only minutes to prepare. Pare a honeydew melon, cut a slice from one end, and remove seeds. Dissolve 1 package of raspberry gelatin in 1 1/2 cups of hot water. Chill until partly thick; then mix with 2 cups of raspberries. Fill melon and chill until firm. Whip an 8-ounce package of cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of cream until fluffy. Frost outside of melon. Slice and serve.


Tomato Aspic Mold


This pretty salad is made from a new product, canned tomato aspic, that holds its shape at room temperature (a big help during warm weather). The aspic can be served right from the can, or it can be melted down and combined with other seasonings or foods — hard-cooked eggs, chicken, tuna, celery — and then regelled in just a few minutes into any shape mold.

We’ve arranged halves of hard-cooked eggs in the bottom of an oiled star-shaped mold, then poured the melted aspic over the eggs, and allowed the aspic to become firm.



Soda Fountain Fare


To make “Tahiti Turnbuckle,” mash half a banana and a scoop of vanilla ice cream together in a tall glass. Stir in 1/3 cup of pineapple juice. Add 2 more scoops of ice cream, then fill with ginger ale.

To make “Cocajav,” mash a scoop of chocolate ice cream in 1/2 cup of strong coffee. Add another scoop of ice cream, then fill with cola.

To make “Green Destroyer,” bruise mint in glass. Add 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Fill with lemon-lime carbonated beverage.



Dutch Potato Salad and Cold Cuts


A perfect combination for the Fourth of July: To make salad, cut 2 pounds of potatoes, cooked and drained, into cubes. Fry1/2 pound of diced bacon until brown. Add 2 medium onions, sliced, and 1/4 cup of chopped green pepper, and fry until onions are golden. Combine 1/4 cup each of vinegar and water, 1 tablespoon each of flour and sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon each of celery seed and caraway seed, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Add to bacon mixture and cook until thickened. Pour over potatoes and mix lightly. Serves 6.


Tropical Freeze


This is one of the most delightful frozen desserts we’ve ever published, and it can be made in just a matter of minutes. Combine 3/4 cup of orange juice, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, 1 teaspoon of grated orange rind, and 1 cup of sugar. Whip 1 cup of whipping cream until stiff. Fold juice mixture into whipped cream. Pour into a freezer tray and freeze, stirring once when half frozen. Serve in sherbet dishes, garnished with sliced orange. Makes 1 quart.


Healthy Weight, Healthy Mind: Pay Attention to Lose Weight

We are pleased to bring you this regular column by Dr. David Creel, a licensed psychologist, certified clinical exercise physiologist and registered dietitian. He is also credentialed as a certified diabetes educator and the author of A Size That Fits: Lose Weight and Keep it off, One Thought at a Time (NorLightsPress, 2017). See all of David Creel’s articles here.

Do you have a weight loss question for Dr. Creel? Email him at [email protected]. He may answer your question in a future column.

As we go through daily life, multiple thoughts enter our heads like a parade that never ends. Each thought may lead to an action that can trigger more thoughts, more behavior, and so on. Our minds relentlessly create judgment, worries, memories, and ideas. For those of us concerned about weight, these thoughts are often related to eating. Like a game of tennis played on the court of life, our thoughts and behaviors are constantly in flux, moving us toward or away from healthy places. When it comes to food, the back and forth of our tennis match may go something like this:

It’s nine p.m. and you just finished watching your favorite TV show. Now the food commercials start. In less than 30 seconds you see a woman seemingly transformed by a bite of creamy Greek yogurt. Her eyes close and her head tilts slightly to the side as her lips close softly around this magical spoonful of raspberry swirled yogurt. “Wow, that looks great,” you think. You respond to that thought by heading to the refrigerator. You pull the door open and see yogurt, some cheese sticks, and, oh—there’s the chocolate sauce. Seeing chocolate sauce reminds you of ice cream in the freezer. Perhaps you should make sure it’s there.

Yep, you still have ice cream. You open up the container and consider “cleaning up” the ice cream stuck to the inside edges of the carton and then scraping and tasting until all is symmetrical and level. Should you scoop some into a bowl?

If you decide to eat ice cream, your beliefs about that behavior also have a lot to do with how much you eat. Thinking about the flavor instead of the health effects of ice cream can lead to overeating.

Over time, strings of behavior and thoughts like the ones above can lead to bad habits. It’s like we’re stuck playing tennis on one part of the court. Upcoming chapters will help you learn to change your environment and alter your thinking, but the first step to interrupting these thoughts and breaking bad habits is to pay closer attention to what you’re doing.

The first step to interrupting these thoughts and breaking bad habits is to pay closer attention to what you’re doing.

We have discussed motivation and the idea of committing to the process of weight management. This commitment is not simply about how we think—we also commit to taking action, because actions propel us to improve our health and transform our bodies. More importantly, some practices eventually shape our perspectives and become part of who we are.

As a young man, I learned a valuable lesson about dangerous patterns of thoughts and behavior—a lesson that would eventually help me break the risky and costly habit of speeding. At two different times in my 20s, I received multiple traffic tickets within a year. Not only did it cost me money I didn’t have to spare, it earned me two separate trips to defensive driving school. If you’ve never attended a defensive driving class, take my word, it isn’t a great way to spend Tuesday evenings. After my second set of enthralling group interactions, I decided I didn’t really like the idea of paying fines and watching videos about the dangers of speeding. But speeding was sort of a habit with me. I told myself I was driving with the flow, but in reality I drove with the flow in the far left lane. To avoid getting additional traffic tickets I did two simple things: I noticed the speed limit wherever I was driving, and I frequently checked my speedometer. I stopped “going with the flow.” I began paying attention.

“Going with the flow is one way of describing ingrained habits for eating and exercise. We need to pay attention in order to change eating and activity levels. It may seem you don’t eat differently than other people, and that may be true, depending on who you compare yourself to. But if you’re gaining weight, or maintaining excess weight, then going with the flow probably won’t lead to weight loss.

Come back each week for more healthy weight loss advice from Dr. David Creel.


North Country Girl: Chapter 19 — Duluth Dentists Gone Wild

For more about Gay Haubner’s life in the North Country, read the other chapters in her serialized memoir. The Post will publish a new segment each week. 


My dad would shake his head over the Cs on my report card from gym and home ec, ignoring the As in math, history, science, and English (Bs in Spanish); did he not know who I was? I had always excelled at anything that required brain power; ask my fingers or legs or arms to do something, and I was as helpless as an earthworm.

My grades were good enough that my parents had no compunctions about pulling me out of seventh grade for a week. A dental convention in Mexico City was the tax-deductible impetus for a tour through Acapulco, Taxco, and Cuernavaca. My dad thought the exposure to a foreign culture would be good for me. Heidi was not yet two, and Lani, as usual, was the middle child afterthought: they got left at home with the sitter. I, the smart one, the lucky one, the anointed, flew south with my parents and grandparents.

My father’s favorite thing was to travel without hotel reservations. I was not on the trip to the New York City where my parents had to spend the night in a second-floor walk-up hotel in Harlem, back when Harlem was Harlem. I was on the family skiing trip in Wisconsin over a holiday weekend, when we drove for hours in the dark, passing one neon NO VACANCY sign after another. In the middle of the night we finally stopped at a hunting lodge that had closed for the season, but whose owners had stayed on. By a miracle this lovely old couple were awake and felt sorry enough for the exhausted-looking family to let us spend the night in one of the unheated cabins. They even made us breakfast.

This, however, was an American Dental Association trip, which meant fancy hotels, bus tours, and meals at restaurants where the most Mexican item on the menu was a margarita. In Acapulco my parents and I were given a luxury two-bedroom suite at the El Presidente hotel, as evidently the roll away bed had not yet been introduced to Mexico. Floor to ceiling windows looked out over the famously beautiful Acapulco Bay, a vision I thrilled to again while watching the first season of I Spy, and then, eight years later, from the balcony of a high-rise condo, while making out with a playboy from Chicago who was twenty-two years older than me.

Acapulco Bay
Acapulco Bay. (Nammer @Flickr, Wikimedia Commons)

My first day in Acapulco I was pulled sputtering and floundering out of a fierce undertow by a sharp-eyed dentist while my own dad was getting drunk at the bar. Heavy drinking Minnesota dentists plus cheap Mexican booze equaled a non-stop party that started in the morning with Bloody Marias and ended when someone got hurt or sick. Dentists were jumping off roofs into pools, getting into fistfights, laughing so hard on burro rides they pissed themselves. I was the only kid in this group, and as I was small and quiet (even when drowning) I went as unnoticed as a salt shaker, even by my own family.

I finally piped up during a drunken dinner at a fancy restaurant when I saw a flaming baked Alaska cross the room and was struck that here was the height of sophistication. Cake, ice cream, meringue, and a fire! If only I had a baked Alaska of my own I could die happy. I was certain that my request would not be granted: the usual answer to “Can we have dessert?” at a restaurant alternated between concern for our teeth from my father and “We have ice cream at home” from my mother. But my dad was tipsy and in a benevolent mood and my mom was too busy worrying about what drunken dental hijinks were in store that night. I felt like a princess when the waiter set the blue-flamed baked Alaska in front of me. It was Neapolitan ice cream set on a slice of chocolate cake, surrounded by hot, sticky, marshmallow-y goo, and it was delicious.

Baked Alaska ice cream
Baked Alaska. (Ralph Daily, Wikimedia Commons)

The last day in Acapulco the dentists who were not too hungover and their wives gathered around a open space between the hotel and the beach to watch three men dressed as Aztec warriors fling themselves off a 40-foot pole, anchored by vines knotted around their ankles. While I watched agog as they twirled around the rotating pole, I overheard two dental wives discussing the night before. Little pitchers do have big ears. A taxi driver had offered to take some of the dentists and their wives to see a “show” at a whorehouse.

Totonacs of Papantla, Veracruz performing the “voladores” ritual. (Frank C. Müller, Wikimedia Commons)

During the show, one of the group, in a perfect storm of drunkenness, decided to participate. But it was a not a dentist, but Mrs….here the woman’s voice dropped to a whisper, so I’ll never know which of the wives, hiding behind the cat’s eye sunglasses and under ugly straw hats purchased for way too many pesos from the voracious beach vendors, women who were sun-burned or coping with Montezuma’s revenge or hungover or all three, which of these demur ladies had ripped off her clothes and jumped on to the stage at the whorehouse and into the arms of the leading man.

TV Dinner
Swanson Mexican Style Dinner. (

Once away from the Acapulco nightlife, the dentists dried out and recuperated in Taxco and Cuernavaca, pretty colonial towns with pastel houses covered in bougainvillea, that featured boring tours of silver and pottery stores. In Taxco my father stepped off the tour bus and, instead of heading for the air-conditioned hotel for lunch, took me into the most flyblown, dingy restaurant on the plaza. We sat by the greasy front window at a table as sticky as flypaper, even though miraculously the 500 flies buzzing around our heads seemed able to resist setting down there, preferring to wait till the food arrived. As my dad was ordering the enchiladas suizas (how did he even know what that was? The only Mexican food I had seen in Duluth was in a Swanson’s Mexican Style TV dinner, where every brown component in the foil tray tasted the same), my mom and grandmom appeared at the open doorway, afraid to step inside in case germs clung to the soles of their shoes. Both moms ordered us to get out of there and not touch anything. I dutifully obeyed, but my dad just grinned and tucked into a huge platter of green and white something, while the waiter stood behind, waving off flies with a menu. My grandmother turned bilious just looking at the enchiladas; my dad finished the whole thing, burped, gave the waiter the equivalent of 90 cents, and felt absolutely fine.

My mother was not so lucky. She not only got sick from almost everything she ate, she had a terrible reaction to the smallpox vaccine the Dental Association recommended she get before traveling south of the border. She spent the night of the big formal gala at the actual convention in Mexico City puking and watching her arm swell up to the size of an elephant’s trunk. I was sent off to find my dad at the party, which was held on the top floor of our fancy hotel. He refused to leave, being several margaritas in and, never having experienced any illness himself outside of killer hangovers, didn’t believe anyone could get sick from a shot. I grabbed some food off a tray and went back to our room, my book, and the scary sounds emanating from the bathroom.

I was now a sophisticated world traveler.  I had been out of the United States! I never missed an opportunity to mention my travels, until even my best friend Wendy finally asked me to shut up about Mexico. But summer camp provided a whole new audience. I embellished my travelogue for my bunkmates, giving myself a handsome 16-year old Mexican boyfriend, Andres. In this new version, it wasn’t a balding orthodontist from Edina who pulled me out of the undertow in front of the El Presidente hotel, it was Andres, who then fell instantly in love with me, a reverse Little Mermaid. I spun a tale of Andres sneaking into our suite when my parents were out; how we would make out passionately on the sofa overlooking the lights of the bay. I confessed that Andres tenderly tried to stick his hand under my shirt, but I held him in check, despite his protestations of undying love. I told and retold the story of my imaginary romance so often that I almost came to believe it myself. For the two weeks of camp, I was the most popular girl in our bunkhouse, and even the counselors looked at me as if I might be interesting.

I came back from camp that seventh grade summer, basking in my fraudulent role as resident boy expert and sadly aware that I didn’t want to go to camp anymore. What if all of those camp girls who boasted of boyfriends and their extensive knowledge of sex were just big fakers too?

Magazine Ad
An ad for Grit Magazine. 

I had just gotten home when Wendy called to tell me that she had overheard Rick Bryers (one of my heartthrobs) and Steve Puloski talking about me. Two boys who knew I was alive? I couldn’t imagine what they had to say. Could they possible think I was cute? Wendy in all her innocence or malice, told me “Rick told Steve he had seen you at the Northland pool” (my racing thoughts: I did look adorable in my first two-piece suit, a red and white Hawaiian floral, what was Rick Bryers doing at Northland Country Club and….HE NOTICED ME AND KNEW MY NAME) “and Steve” (who was universally despised by the entire seventh grade for many reasons, including putting Fizzies in the biology teacher’s fish tank and showing up at all of our houses trying to sell Grit magazine or packages of seeds or greeting cards) “Steve said to Rick…flat as a board, huh?” After that there was a roaring in my ears. I hung up the phone and vowed I would never go to school again.

But I did, and eighth grade followed seventh as if it were Ground Hog Day: I was the star pupil in English, math, science, and even boring Minnesota state history. I was still chosen last when sides were picked for volleyball (why couldn’t the gym teacher simply divide the class in two?) and still regularly forgot to bring my gym uniform to school. I endured a second year of being taught useless domestic skills in home ec. I forgave Wendy for squashing my dreams of true romance with Rick Bryers and spent as many weekends as I could at her weird dorm apartment. We’d flip through that month’s Seventeen magazine, debate the merits of Napoleon vs. Ilya, review every comment made to us by a boy during the past week for signs of infatuation (“When he asked me what the caf had for lunch, did he want to sit with me?”), and try to figure out what the popular girls had that we didn’t (which was, in the end, their popularity, which made everything else — their clothes, their hair styles, their manner of speaking — admirable and something to emulate). We were two glasses-wearing, violin-playing nerds, but we had each other.

North Country Girl: Chapter 13 — Food, Glorious Food

For more about Gay Haubner’s life in the North Country, read the other chapters in her serialized memoir. The Post will publish a new segment each week.

Every Duluth organization met over a breakfast or lunch (if not at the clubhouse bar), as parents and kids were expected to dine en famille. If it wasn’t Friday, dinner at the Haubners had a large meat component, along with a starch and at least two veg. Gravy arrived at the table often and in a barge. Even though I was a picky eater, I had my favorites: Beef tomato, which my mom had learned to make at a Chinese cooking class she took in Hawaii, and which resembled no Chinese dish ever. It was tinned tomatoes, strips of steak, and green peppers that had to be prepared in an electric skillet for authenticity. It made a brownish soy sauce gravy and was served over huge lovely beds of overcooked Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice. Chicken and dumplings boiled away for hours on the stove; it made a bland white gravy often  served with egg noodles for extra starchiness. There were a few non-gravy menus.  

Parents at dinner
My parents having dinner. (Author’s photo) 

Mom rubbed the outside of immense pork roasts with a mixture of spices that made eating the salty crispy fat bits the best part. I failed the see the charms of the boiled dinner — ham or corned beef simmered with potato, cabbage, and onions into a uniformly grey mess, but I adored the required accompaniment of brown bread that came in a can — bread in a can! — thickly sliced and thickly covered with butter. In summer there were hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks on the barbeque, overseen manfully by my dad (until he moved out and I was assigned to the grill); ketchup was the only condiment although there was usually a jar of sandwich pickles somewhere. 

There were homemade chocolate chip cookies and banana bread and a crisp and flaky apple pan dowdy that was made with a pound of lard. I tried not to think about what exactly lard was even as my heart rose every time I saw that blue box peeking out of the brown paper grocery bag. Baked goods were washed down with milk from glass bottles, which appeared a few times a week in the silver Springhill Dairy box on the side of the house, a box adorned with a drawing of a cow who looked very contented. 

Dinner was eaten in the dining room at 411 Lakeview (the banquette table in the remodeled kitchen was for breakfast, lunch, and the rare occasions my dad brought home take-out Chinese food). Memorable events at that long, highly polished mahogany table include my projectile vomiting as a result of my dad forcing me to eat a boiled brussels sprout (it took years for me to try one again, and even today I prefer them burnt to a crisp). Then there was the dinner party when our long-legged neighbor, Joe Kraft, who habitually teetered on the hind legs of his dining room chair, pushed his balancing act so far that he cracked the legs off the chair. He went sprawling to the floor and my mom flew into such a rage that I fled upstairs to my room. 

Dinner parties were regular occurrences; Duluthians were great socializers. My mother held weekly bridge parties, setting up card tables in the living room, fixing a special dessert, and arranging tempting tiny nut cups at each place filled with cashews or waxy chocolate Brach’s Bridge Mix (“Don’t touch anything!”). My parents, those madcaps, had learned the Twist so they could show off at a dance party they threw in our basement after it had been de-ratted. My parents went out almost every Saturday, leaving Lani and me in the hands of a bored teenager who spent all evening on the phone. Only on those nights were Lani and I allowed to eat in front of the TV, dining on actual TV dinners. I loved the turkey one, even though when you took it out of the oven the cinnamon-y stewed apples were so hot they singed your tongue, while the so-called stuffing nestled under the paper-thin slices of white and dark meat remained ice cold. The upper right compartment of the tin foil tray contained whipped potatoes with absolutely no taste at all, so they were mixed with an equal amount of butter. The sitter reappeared at 10 to pick up the half eaten trays and shoo us to bed, where I lay awake, convinced that I’d never see my parents again. 

When Lani passed the stage where she was enjoyed throwing fits so rabid that she sent everyone around her into fits as well, our parents started taking us out to dinner. There was the Fifth Avenue, with spindly tables and pink and black wallpaper depicting people carrying baguettes, riding bikes, and wearing berets. Every meal there began with a basket of popovers right from the oven, steam rising above the white cloth, so hot that butter melted immediately on them; a burnt tongue was a small price to pay for such loveliness. There was the Flame restaurant, down by the harbor, where they announced the names of ships that were crossing under Duluth’s “famous” aerial bridge. The Flame had a short man in a bellhop uniform stationed at the door and an immense and frightening lobster tank. There was the Pickwick, long and dark and medieval, with stained glass windows on the side and a view of Lake Superior from the back. I loved their chicken, with its salty blackened skin, ignoring my mother’s “You can get grilled chicken at home” stink eye. Starting about two months before Christmas, the Pickwick bar offered Tom and Jerry’s. A drink named after a cartoon! A Tom and Jerry was warm, heavily spiced eggnog fortified with brandy or rum. I was allowed small swigs; it was the nectar of the gods. 

The Flame restaurant postcard. 

The swankiest restaurant was the London House, with cut glass dishes of celery and carrot sticks and black olives, tri-part stainless steel salad dressing servers with Blue Cheese, Thousand Island, and French (I used French by the teaspoon as it was the only one that didn’t make me puke to look at it), and baked potatoes the size of cantaloupes, that came with their own servers holding sour cream, bacon bits, grated Cheddar, and diced onions. Everyone got steak or prime rib or lamb chops or fried shrimp. We ate ensconced in huge red leather booths; my parents knew everyone who passed by our table. We girls were supposed to order something not too expensive, eat all of it, and shut the hell up.  

Every once in a while a tinkle of piano and song would drift up from Tin Pan Alley, a mysterious basement piano bar where children were strictly forbidden. This joint was the favorite destination of my mother’s pals Karin Luster and Gloria Hovland, who imagined themselves glamourous chanteuses making a pit stop in Duluth on their way to stardom. Gloria also wrote songs, which she sent out to agents, hoping one of them would catch the ear of Tony Bennett or Perry Como. She was convinced that the music publishers were stealing her melodies and would cock her head like a robin anytime she her a few bars of Muzak.  

In Duluth’s bustling downtown there was The Chinese Lantern, which had huge portions of blandly delicious Cantonese food and the best prime rib. There was also the dreaded Jolly Fisher, permeated with a nauseating smell of fish, which made me so ill that I couldn’t swallow as much as a french fry. Not wanting to repeat the brussels sprout episode, my parents stopped taking Lani and me along when they ate there, leaving us at home to enjoy our TV dinners. 

I think our favorite meals were the ones we ate when my dad wasn’t home. Pretty much everything tasted good in Duluth in the 1960s: there weren’t a lot of artificial flavors or preservatives, no microwaves, and the only sweetener was cane sugar. At drive-ins (it wasn’t fast food then as it wasn’t especially fast) everything was prepared fresh right when you ordered it. We’d sit and wait for our Kentucky Fried Chicken (we would have been mystified by the initials KFC): watching the fry cook in the little paper hat take the pieces of chicken we ordered (Lani and I liked drumsticks), dredge them in batter, and sink them in the Fryolater.  We took the waxy bucket home, almost too hot to hold, perfuming the car interior with eleven different herbs and spices. The mashed were real potatoes, the pallid gravy slightly floury, the biscuits were buttery, light, and fluffy, the cole slaw uneaten. I have no idea when everything went so terribly wrong. 

Fried chicken. (Shutterstock) 

For my mom to buy Kentucky Fried Chicken we needed ready cash, which was always in short supply at our home. But if we went through all our coat pockets, the couch seats, and the bottom of my mom’s purse, we could come up with enough change to go to the London Inn and get 15 cent hamburgers, fries, and onion rings. The London Inn’s parking lot was always filled with cars and teenagers and blasting radio music, all tuned to the same station, WEBC. 

The onion rings were even better and the burgers grilled over an open flame at Nick’s, but Nick’s was in the West End and my mother was loathe to drive the 20 minutes. If the London Inn counter was eight deep in teenagers, we would head to the A&W, where a brown-and-white costumed carhop took our orders and returned with a heaping tray of food and once in a great while, root beer floats, which she perched precariously on the half-opened car window. More than once, my mother got splattered with root beer, melted ice cream, and ketchup when she upset the delicate balance created by three heavy glass mugs. 

Root beer
A&W root beer float. (Shutterstock) 

The A&W’s floats were good, but there was really only one destination for ice cream:  Bridgeman’s. A dime bought a single scoop cone. A Tin Roof Sundae, with chocolate sauce and roasted peanuts, was eighty cents. Bridgeman’s had fresh peach ice cream, studded with pale pink chunks of frozen fruit, but only in August. The shakes and malts came straight from the blender in a tall, heavy glass and topped with whipped cream, along with some extra in the silver blender jar to make sure you achieved maximum ice cream freeze head. An evil second cousin had showed me how if you dipped the end of your paper straw end into the malt, you could shoot it up to the ceiling and it would stick. (This was the same distant relation who also gave me a lit firecracker to hold.) I would not have dared to so sully the pristine white and stainless steel interior of Bridgeman’s.  

North Country Girl: Chapter 7 — We Have Ice Cream in the Fridge

For more about Gay Haubner’s life in the North Country, read the other chapters in her serialized memoir. The Post will publish a new segment each week. 

TV, board games and toys, and school were indoor activities. But year-round, with the exception of raging blizzards, my mother ordered me to put down my book and go “play outside.” We had enough kids on Lakeview and Vermillion for a good game of Spud (very few cars went down our single-block-long street) or freeze tag. I had a particular fondness for “Mother May I;” little prig that I was, I delighted in sending kids back who forgot to ask permission. “Red Light, Green Light” was too prone to cheating, and always ended up as “I saw you move!” (a lie) countered by “I didn’t move!” (another lie).  Once a summer, the ice cream truck magically found its way to our block to interrupt our street games, and I would lose my mind with desire for a Nutty Buddy only to by informed by my mother that if I wanted ice cream we had some in the fridge.

Ice Cream truck
Ice Cream Truck (Chip Griffin, licensed under CC BY 2.0) 

My mom was stingy with treats, doling them out occasionally and always one at a time. Each year we went to the Norshor theater to see the annual Disney feature, missing only “Bon Voyage” as it was condemned by the Catholic church for having a scene where the harried American dad is accosted by a Parisian hooker. Going to the movies was treat enough. Getting popcorn or Junior Mints from the snack bar would be gilding the lily.

It was the same at the Northland Country Club pool. Once in a great while I would be allowed to buy a frozen Snickers or Milky Way at the snack bar, at the exorbitant price of fifteen cents, five cents more than the going rate. Mostly we arrived at the pool after lunch and were forced to exist on grapes from home. But once or twice a summer my mom, my sister Lani, and I would sit up on Northland’s gracious veranda, looking out over the pool and first tee, and order divine hamburgers and golden French fries with brown crispy ends. I would slather everything on my plate with ketchup; Lani would leave most of her food for my mom and I to finish up. I later found out that my mom was afraid my dad would be mad about her minor country club charges; he was too busy losing hundreds of dollars in the never-ending Northland poker game to even notice our once a month lunches on the bill.

We were allowed hot chocolate when skiing at tiny Mount du Lac, but that bordered on a life saving measure when we came out of the zero degree cold with soggy wool mittens and frozen-over ski boot laces. The Mount du Lac “chalet” was a squat square concrete building, with window seats overlooking the three ski slopes (beginner, with the jerky tow rope that yanked me forward, landing face in the snow; intermediate, with the impossible to balance T-bar that dumped me on my back; and advanced, where I never managed to set ski on). The chalet had a jukebox and a pinball table, both of which I was dying to play (probably to postpone my return outside). Putting a dime in either of these machines was regarded by my mom as the height of wastefulness. When I finally got to play pinball, with my own dime, I was astonished at how quickly and surely the silver balls tumbled to the bottom and down the hole, failing to set off even a single bell of pinball success.

Why anyone would put money in a jukebox baffled my mother. “You can hear the same songs for free on the radio!”  Pinball was even worse in her eyes: not only did you throw away a dime that could have bought an ice cream cone, candy bar, or bottle of pop, your brain cells curled up and died when you played such a stupid game.

Since all my mother’s efforts to transform me into the outgoing, cute, popular girl that she had been had failed, my mother turned her attention to protecting and improving my one asset, my smarts. She regarded comic books (except for the tedious Classics Illustrated) and Mad magazine as insidious destroyers of children’s intelligence: “If you read comics it will make you so stupid you won’t be able to read anything else.” I couldn’t get enough of that forbidden fruit. A neighbor girl stopped asking me over to play because I could not be budged from her older brother’s breathtaking collection of Mad magazines.

Comic book cover
Wikimedia Commons 

My preferred reading was definitely lowbrow, but I would read anything. When I ran out of library books, I resorted to our World Book Encyclopedia, or the lavishly and gorily illustrated children’s bible (heavy on the Old Testament) that somehow washed up on our living room bookshelf. There were also a few ancient children’s books that I read over and over: The Story of Live DollsThe King of the Golden RiverThe Five Little Peppers, and Alice’s adventures both in Wonderland and through the Looking Glass.  Eventually my mother realized that I was not to be bullied off of the couch and into the clique of popular Congdon Elementary girls. If I was going to have my nose in a book every waking hour, it should be a book that would improve my mind.

One glorious day I came home from school and found a brown box from the Classics Book Club addressed to me. Getting anything in the mail with your name on it was thrilling. I had long pleaded for my own subscription to Highlights for Children just for that reason, but that was not going to happen while my father could bring home the torn, scribbled-on old Highlights from his office. Inside this book-shaped box was a book, Shakespeare’s Comedies, the plays printed in mouse type on tissue thin paper nicely bound in gilded imitation leather. I started right in on The Tempest, reading the Miranda part out loud and understanding maybe a tenth of what was going on.

The next month brought the Tragedies. I had figured out how to skip the boring parts of the plays, which were everything except the lead female role: I dragged my finger down the page until I found lines for Juliet and Cleopatra and Ophelia, which I declaimed aloud from my sofa stage. The following month the Histories arrived which I barely cracked. Henry, Henry, Henry. Where were the good female roles?

Then came the dunning letters. Which were also addressed to me. My mother had thoughtfully put the subscription to the Classic Book Club in my name, but she had never bothered to pay for it. According to them, I owed $36.00 and my membership would be revoked and I would never receive the next book in the series — Plato’s Republic—  unless they received payment in ten days. Where was I going to get the astounding sum of $36? I went to my mother in tears. She looked at the letter, crumpled it up, and tossed it in the garbage. Even more than she hated wasting money, my mother loved getting something for nothing; we had the books already, so why pay for them? But the letters kept coming, informing Miss Gay Haubner that the Classics Book Club was about to take legal action to recoup their money. For months, I expected someone to show up at the door and arrest me.

North Country Girl: Chapter 3 — The Charms of South Dakota

For more about Gay Haubner’s life in the North Country, read the other chapters in her serialized memoir. The Post will publish a new segment each week. 

While we spent every Sunday in with my dad’s parents, we saw my mother’s parents in Aberdeen once a year, over a long summer visit. We traveled by train, my sister and I in matching navy blue coats and white gloves, first south to Minneapolis and then switching train stations, onto another train heading west. We arrived in Aberdeen in the middle of the night; my grandpa Bill would meet the train and carry us sleeping girls to his car. When I woke up the next morning and saw the faded rose trellis wallpaper I knew I was up in the tower room of my grandparents’ Victorian house. My grandmother Nana loved babies, cats, and wallpaper: the dining room featured huge tropical leaves, like a Rousseau painting and a small downstairs bedroom had a meticulously detailed Old West landscape that encouraged daydreaming about cowboys and Indians.

Dale and Joan
Uncle Dale and Aunt Joan (Photo from the author’s collection)

Nana had a large garden plot across the street, where she grew vegetables; her huge side yard was dedicated to flowers, my Uncle Dale’s white box beehives, and my Uncle David’s pigeon coop. I was a bit frightened of those beady-eyed birds and my mother thought the pigeons were filthy and disgusting and forbid me to go near the coop, one rule that I happily obeyed.

Uncle David, a weird old bachelor, who had once been a noted small town athlete (too oddball for team sports, he was a champion ice skater, runner, and singles tennis player), lived with my grandparents. My Uncle Dale and Aunt Joan lived across the street, and produced a baby a year, to my grandmother’s delight; she adored lap babies, happy to spend hours rocking them and soothing them with an almost tuneless lullaby. I’m sure all of us cousins are disturbed by early memories of being ousted from that warm and cozy nest in favor of a smaller and cuter kid. Eventually even the youngest grandchild got dumped out of Nana’s lap, to be replaced by a cat.

Those visits to Aberdeen were my first chance to really wander and explore outside the confines of a yard, by myself or with a cousin or two trailing behind. Kids were let out of the house after breakfast, expected home at noon for “dinner,” eaten with my grandpa and uncles and any workers from their house painting business who happened to be around; and then sent off again to play until dark.

Ice cream pop
Creamsicle (Pixabay)

Aberdeen was a flat plains town, with a looming water tower that was visible from everywhere and marked the way back home. Unlike Duluth, a city that was all up and down hill, Aberdeen was perfect for bike riding. It was a lot hotter than Duluth and no one cared if we cousins turned the hose on each other, creating mud pits on the lawn. There was also that height of civilization, a municipal pool, just down the street, entry 50 cents. (Duluth, proud of its lakeside status and crisscrossed with rivers and creeks, scorned pools.) A short bike ride away was a playground whose main attractions were a snack bar and a rusty, creaky merry-go-round; we older cousins forced the littler ones to push us while we lay on our backs, heads hanging off the sides to better swirl our brains, until one of us was flung off or a pusher lost her grip and went tumbling under the spinning metal wheel. We had gravel from falls embedded in our knees all summer long. I was given a dime to spend at the snack bar there, where I was always torn with indecision.

Dr. Pepper bottle
Wikimedia Commons

Should I get a Dr. Pepper or a pink Creamsicle (vanilla ice cream coated with raspberry sherbet)? Neither was available in Duluth, though sometimes I could find a misshapen and ice-encrusted orange Creamsicle at the bottom of a store’s ice cream freezer. The Dr. Pepper, icy cold and mysteriously delicious, came with a challenge: I had to lean into that coffin-like cooler, holding the lid up with one hand, the other navigating the bottle through a metal  maze until it was finally freed at the end, without smashing my fingers. I would have to drink the entire thing right there, as the empties had to be deposited in a wire rack next to the cooler. An already melting Creamsicle I could take with me, some of the pink and white mess dropping off to sizzle on the sidewalk, some creating a sticky mess on my rubber bike handle grips.

Nana kept her hair eggplant red, and wore her rouge high on her cheeks like a kewpie doll. She had to start every morning with dry toast and coffee lightened with evaporated milk. She had grown up next to her father’s cheese factory in Wisconsin inhaling the fumes from solidifying milk, and the scent of most dairy products made her sick. She was happiest hoeing in her garden or rocking a baby or collecting a new cat; the best-smelling stews on the stove were reserved “for my kitties.” My grandpa Spellman was a kind quiet man, a dead ringer for Cab Calloway, and the only adult I knew who read the funnies in the newspaper; I would hop in bed with him on Sunday mornings so we could page through the colored comics section together, admiring all of them: Ella Cinders, Steve Canyon, Beetle Bailey, Dagwood, Dondi, even Mary Worth, a soap opera in pictures.

Sunday Comic strip
Ella Cinders (Wikimedia Commons)

Aberdeen had a very minor league baseball stadium, where no one in my family ever went, and a downtown lined with two-story, red brick, glass-fronted shops. On Saturday nights, we brought blankets to the park, where the adults sat around the band shell, listening to the town brass band, out of tune but spiffy in their dark blue uniforms, while the kids ran amok. Afterwards we went to Lacey’s Dairy for ice cream; I always got a cone of White House, vanilla with candied cherries and walnuts.

Another Aberdeen-only treat was my Uncle Dale’s homemade root beer, sweetened with honey from his hives. He brewed up a dark mixture with squares of root beer flavoring, yeast, tap water, and honey, poured it into glass pop bottles saved throughout the year, sealed them shut with a fascinating bottle cap press, and stored them in his basement to ferment. We kids were always warned not to open the bottles until Uncle Dale said. I could never wait that long—certainly the root beer had to be ready by now!—and at least once a summer I snuck down to the basement with a bottle opener, took a mouthful of warm, sweet, flat liquid, poured the rest down the sink, and sneakily hid the empty bottle.

Post Travels: A Brief Visit to Ireland — Day 4–6: The Wild Atlantic Way

Steve Slon attends a conference of travel writers in Ireland and does a little sightseeing, as well. See the entire series

Day 4: Cork

For the next few days we will be traveling south and west along what’s known as the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s a tourism trail that meanders along the coastline, marked by signs with an up-and-down zigzag pattern that looks a bit like waves if you look at it one way and a bit like what WAW would look like if you joined the letters together and eliminated the crossbar line from the A.

The symbol for the Wild Atlantic Way. (Wikimedia Commons)

The landscape changes as we roll from Kilkenny down through Tipperary toward Cork, with hedgerows giving way to stonewalls.

On to the city of Cork.

Cork is a port town, famous for being the last port made by the Titanic before its fateful journey.

Cork has a museum of butter, where apparently there’s a sample of a 1000-year-old slab of butter. We didn’t get to experience this museum, unfortunately.

Fun fact: One thinks of Guinness as being the national beverage of Ireland. In fact, it’s more of a Dublin thing. Here in the south, those from Cork drink Murphy’s stout. Kinda violation of the local ethos to order a Guinness.

Stopped in Glengariff on the coast, where we boarded a ferry to Garinish Island.

We took this little ferry to Garinish Island.

The island was privately held until being bequeathed to the Irish people in 1953. Beautiful Italian garden by Annan Bryce and Harold Peto, the famous garden designer.

The lovely walkways and gardens at Garinish Island.

Sea lions lazed on the rocks on this little outcrop of Garinish Island.

Self portrait on Garinish Island.

We spend the night at the Beara Coast Hotel in Castletownbere, where our room has a wonderful view of the harbor.

My dinner companion is Don Dowling, who does some independent work as a travel guide, but for this trip is our bus driver. Over the course of the meal, Don regales me with quotations from Sherwood Anderson, Yeats, and a little bit of Shakespeare. I’m humbled as much by his power of memory as by his intelligence and erudition.

Don Dowling was our exceptionally erudite bus driver, frequently regaling us with quotations from Sherwood Anderson, Yeats, Shakespeare, and others.

Day 5: Ring of Kerry

Joined by local guide Paddy O’Sullivan, who speaks in a thick Cork accent that’s a bit hard to understand, we take a gentle walk on Beara Peninsula, stopping at the ruins of Donboy Castle, dating to 1200.

Beara Penninsula.
Beara Penninsula.
Paddy O’Sullivan told us the history of Donboy Castle (in the background at right). His thick Cork accent was sometimes difficult to understand.
Estelle Slon grimaces under the weight of a cannonball excavated from the ruins of Donboy Castle.

In the afternoon, drive part of the beautiful Ring of Kerry. The sun has broken through and we stop at a lookout point called “Ladies View.” The name comes from the visit made by Queen Victoria in 1861 with full royal retinue. Her ladies in waiting scouted the area for appropriate places for the Queen to enjoy, and they were so taken with this location that it evermore bore the name “Ladies View.” The region was practically bankrupted by the Queen’s visit, since it took a small army to move her around as she brought not only clothing but furniture she was accustomed to wherever she traveled.


This gorgeous viewpoint along the Ring of Kerry was named “Ladies View” after Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting became entranced with the site as they scouted the area for suitable activities for the monarch during a visit to Ireland.

In the afternoon, we stop at a small museum dedicated to Skellig Michael, a rocky island eight miles offshore where early Christian monks created austere living quarters 1400 years ago. The museum is on the mainland and sells tickets for the boat ride to the island, weather permitting. We don’t have time to make the journey, but doubt it would have been possible, thanks to rain and fog. Skellig Michael is popular with Star Wars fans, as it was the site of the final scene in the 2015 movie The Force Awakens, and will continue to have a role in the 2018 release, The Last Jedi.

Skellig Michael. (Jerzy Strzelecki, Wikimedia Commons)

Our after-dinner talk is with astronomer Steve Lynott about the Kerry Dark Sky experience. The International Dark-Sky Association (bet you didn’t know there was such a thing) has designated the Kerry region of Ireland as one of only three “Dark Sky Reserves” on the planet—places where there is very little artificial light messing with your ability to see stars. On a clear night, the view here is stunning. Or so we are told. It’s been cloudy for past few days, so we don’t get to witness the night sky firsthand, but the subject of light pollution is an important one. I learned from Lynott that when you have been exposed to normal electric lighting, it takes your eyes more than 20 minutes to see in the dark. Red light doesn’t have the same effect. So, next time you go sky gazing, screw a red light bulb into your flashlight, Lynott says.

Day 6: Valentia Island

A gentle walk along the shore on Valentia island. The name suggests Spanish origin, but in fact the word derives from the the Irish word Beal Inse (which translates as “Island in the mouth of the sound.”) Our walk takes us up a long gradual rise where there are reputed to be great views of the Skellig Islands, but we’re all fogged in. An eerie, otherworldly mist surrounds us. No ocean view today, but a pleasant feeling to be walking near the shore with only the sounds of sea birds and gentle lapping of the waves to tell us where we are.

A walk in the fog along the coast line on Valentia Island. Somewhere off in the distance the dramatic triangle-shaped Skellig Islands would be rising up from the sea.
A typical view of pastureland along the coast on Valentia Island.

Afterwards, a visit to an ice cream stand connected to a small dairy farm of about 100 cows.

We stop for what has to be the greatest ice cream in the world, made by a small dairy farm on Valentia Island.

The farmer scornfully says most commercial ice cream relies too much on skim milk; says he throws out the skim and uses only the rich cream. His cows are outdoors almost all the time, grazing on grass. The ice cream is out of this world.

That evening, arrive in Dingle, driving down roads so narrow our bus has to pull over and stop to allow cars to pass in the opposite direction.

Dingle is a quaint tourist town that has remade itself as a foodie destination. After checking out local crafts (some very fine weavings) and some touristy junk, we grab a beer at Foxy John’s, a hardware store/pub where, at 6 p.m., the music starts playing.

Inside the Weaver’s Shop in Dingle, we admired the loom of Lizbeth Mulcahy and her gorgeous wares.
At 6 p.m., music breaks out at Foxy John’s in Dingle—part hardware store, part tavern.

Afterwards, dinner at Global Village, a Michelin recommended restaurant right across from Foxy’s. The food is not at all like the hearty Irish fare one expects in these parts. Rather it’s the delicate, carefully sauced, small-portioned, type of eats one associates with the continent. Did that sound snarky? I didn’t mean it to. The food was delicious.

News of the Week: Peanuts, Cracker Jack, and an Unforgettable Ice Cream Song

Peanuts! Get Your Fresh Peanuts Here!

Last year’s Peanuts movie was more well received than a lot of people anticipated. I think a lot of people thought it was going to harm the memory of Peanuts in some way and were pleasantly surprised. This Monday morning, May 9, Cartoon Network will have a sneak peek of a new series of Peanuts shorts. The shorts are done by France’s Normaal Animation and they have actually been airing overseas for the past two years. The series will then move to Time Warner’s Boomerang channel, where it will be shown every day at 11:30 a.m.

This could be fun. Now I just have to figure out where Boomerang is on my cable system.

Ice, Ice Baby

I have a confession to make. I don’t like it when coffee shops or bars put too much ice in my drink. Sure, put some ice in there, but don’t assume that I want a ton. Too much ice not only makes the drink more watery if you don’t drink it fast enough, it often makes the drink overflow to the point where it’s messy and the cover doesn’t go on correctly. If it’s not “cold” enough, I’ll take full responsibility for my bad ice decision.

Now, having said that, it would never occur to me to actually sue the place that gave me too much ice, but it did occur to Stacy Pincus, who is suing Starbucks for $5 million. But she’s not suing because the drinks are watery or too cumbersome. She says that the chain advertises how many fluid ounces are in their drinks, but that the number includes the ice that is in each tall, grande, or venti cup. She thinks this is a rip-off.

The company says that customers know that an iced drink has to have ice in it.

Maybe the woman should get Jackie Chiles to represent her.

Thinking Outside the Box

Homemade cracker jack

Hey, remember the prizes that come in Cracker Jack boxes? Well, you’ll have to remember them, because they’ve gone away.

Instead of getting a prize in every box, you’ll now have to download an app and scan the QR code that will be on a sticker inside the box. It’s all part of Frito-Lay’s attempt to make the beloved snack and its packaging more contemporary.

If you don’t like this, go Like the Facebook page that someone set up to protest the changes.

Is this change really necessary? Are Cracker Jack boxes not flying off the shelves fast enough, and Frito-Lay thinks it’s because of the prizes inside? Are Cracker Jacks so delicious that no one cares about the prizes anyway so they might as well get rid of them? I can’t imagine any kid who would rather scan a code than actually get the prize right away. In this day and age when everything is going digital, you’d think that Cracker Jack would want to stand out a bit and still retain their prizes for fans. Now it’s just another digital “product.”

Hopefully, this will turn out to be just an experiment, a test for baseball season to see if customers want it permanently. If the comments on the official Cracker Jack Facebook page are any indication, people already hate it. I mean, a box that says “Prize Inside!” is a lot snappier than one that says, “Download the App and Then Scan the Bar Code for a Mobile Digital Experience!”

Because I know that’s what I want when I buy my snack foods: more “digital experiences.”

And the Nominees Are…

I don’t know anything about the Tony Awards, other than that they’re named after Frosted Flakes cereal mascot Tony the Tiger, but I think I can summarize this Broadway season rather succinctly:

Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton,.

The acclaimed musical set a record with 16 nominations, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Actor in a Musical (Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr.), and several costume/design/lighting nods. The previous record was held by The Producers in 2001 and Billy Elliott in 2009, each with 15 nominations.

The Tony Awards will be broadcast June 12 on CBS.

RIP Mister Softee Songwriter

His name was Les Waas, and he was the adman who came up with the ice cream truck jingle you’ve probably heard 100,000 times every summer (and one you won’t be able to get out of your head the rest of the day if you watch this video — sorry in advance!):

It was originally written for Mister Softee ice cream but now it’s everywhere.

Waas passed away April 19 at the age of 94, though his death was first reported last week. He wrote almost 1,000 other jingles for various companies, and was even president of the Procrastinators Club of America.

Is There a Mistake in the Iconic Iwo Jima Photo?

This picture of Marines raising the flag on Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima in 1945 is one of the most famous photographs in history. But what if we’ve been wrong about it this whole time?

An investigation has started into the identity of one of the Navy men depicted in the photograph after two historians raised questions back in 2014 about who was and wasn’t in the photo. The picture was taken by Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press. The historians aren’t sure that Navy Corpsman John Bradley is actually in the photo, based on where he was stationed, what his job was, and what equipment is being worn by the man in the photo.

One interesting piece of trivia people might not know is that the picture actually shows the second flag that was raised on that spot that day. The first was raised and taken down and replaced with a larger flag.

Our New National Mammal


Have you wondered what our National Mammal is? Well, we haven’t had one until now. It’s going to be the North American bison.

A bill to make the bison the first National Mammal of the United States has passed Congress. Now all they’re waiting for is a signature from President Obama. If he signs it, the bison will join the bald eagle a our national animal representative. As National Bison Association Executive Director Dave Carter says, “The National Mammal Declaration not only recognizes the historic role of bison in America, it celebrates the resurgence of bison as an important part of the American environment, diet, and an emerging part of the agricultural economy.”

The bison almost became extinct in the 19th century. At one point there were fewer than 2,000 in the U.S., and now there are half a million.

It’s National Barbecue Month

You know the warm weather is coming when everyone starts to bring out the barbecue recipes. Here’s one for Baked Barbecued Chicken — Spicy Southern Style. Here’s one for Hoot ’n Holler Baby Back Ribs. If you’re more of a shrimp-on-the-barbie type, this Spicy Chipotle Grilled Shrimp might hit the spot. And if you don’t know what the heck you’re doing on the grill, here’s our handy guide on what to do and not do.

I’m actually using some barbecue sauce in the dinner I’m making tonight, but it’s a total coincidence. I’d be using it even if May were National Chocolate Custard Month.

Oh, by the way, May is also National Chocolate Custard Month.

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Mother’s Day (May 8)

Who’s the woman behind the third–most-popular day for sending greeting cards (after Christmas and Valentine’s Day)? Her name was Anna Jarvis.

President Harry S. Truman born (May 8, 1884)

Did you know that the “S” really doesn’t stand for anything specific other than a tribute to both of his grandfathers?

Astor Place Riot (May 10, 1849)

in this major New York City event that a lot of people don’t know about, 25 people were killed and 120 injured.

Nelson Mandela
Alessia Pierdomenico /

Nelson Mandela becomes President of South Africa (May 10, 1994)

Mandela promised to serve only one term, and he stepped down in 1999.

Irving Berlin born (May 11, 1888)

In 1951, the songwriter told The Saturday Evening Post how surprised he was by the success of “White Christmas.”

Katharine Hepburn born (May 12, 1907)

The actress rang up an impressive list of award wins and nominations, even if Dorothy Parker didn’t think much of her Broadway work.

May/June 2015 Limerick Laughs Winner and Runners-Up

Ran out of ice cream at children's picnic

From accounts it was easy to tell,
The party was going quite well.
But amidst all the fun,
When the ice cream was done.
Things wouldn’t be quite so swell.

—Paul Madsen, Columbia Heights, Minnesota

Congratulations to Paul Madsen! For his limerick describing Amos Sewell’s illustration Out of Ice Cream (above), Paul wins $25 — and our gratitude for a job well done. If you’d like to enter the Limerick Laughs Contest for our upcoming issue, submit your limerick via our online entry form.

Of course, Paul’s limerick wasn’t the only one we liked! Here are some of our favorite limericks, from our runners-up, in no particular order:

Where could the ice cream have gone—
The dessert they depended upon?
Because of bad luck it
Fell out of the bucket,
And sweetened the grass on the lawn.

—Anna Lee Brendza, New Philadelphia, Ohio

Though she thought she had plenty to spare,
And, if not, that no one would care;
So she didn’t perceive
Just how children would grieve
Over cake without ice cream … not fair!

—Larry Mann, Danville, Virginia

Her job was to act as the scooper
Of ice cream. She thought she’d do super.
The ice cream ran short
By less than a quart.
Oh, what a misfortunate blooper!

—Neal Levin, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Though you may plot or plan or scheme—
There is no worse recurring theme…
Than the demanding ids—
Of too many kids—
And not enough scoops of ice cream!

—Harry Zankman, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

My party was over too soon!
A wonderful birthday in June!
But I just had to cry
When my mother came by.
No ice cream was left for my spoon!

—Jolene Feher, Spokane, Washington

That poor little girl did scream,
When mommy ran out of ice cream.
They ran to the store
And brought home some more
Now everyone’s calm and serene.

—Donald Johnson, Spanaway, Washington

There once was a tragic mistake
That anyone might possibly make.
It saddened the day
When it turned out that they
Ran out of ice cream before cake!

—Joe McMann, Katy, Texas

The 50-States Club

It was too early to eat ice cream when I pulled into Velvet Cream, better known locally as “The Dip,” in Hernando, Mississippi. But I had some anyway. Because at 29 years, 10 months, and 23 days, I had made it to my 50th state, just under the wire of my 30th birthday. It felt like a momentous occasion, as if I’d suddenly joined a club of adventurous, well-traveled people who’d trekked to every corner of our inarguably vast country to take a peek. (And that’s as good a reason for ice cream as any!)

My accomplishment is nothing compared to those for whom just stepping foot into all 50 states isn’t enough. Some set more ambitious goals — tighter time limits or specific criteria, such as a night spent in each of the capital cities. Lance Longwell learned something new in each state by visiting a national park, a museum, or an educational institution, and he did it all before he was old enough to get his driver’s license. Cari Sheets drove a golf cart, inspired by her father, Bud, who knocked off his 50 by playing golf in every state. Bob Bentz made it his goal to either see a professional baseball game in each state or walk onto an infield and touch home plate. North Dakota was the last piece of the puzzle. “Since it was February, it was tough to find home plate, but I did it,” he says.

Why do people take on missions like this? “People who set very ambitious travel goals tie the goal to personal fulfillment,” says Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today. “It becomes a kind of obsession.”

And once you’re finished, what next? For some, the impulse is to do it all again, as in the case of Frank Bartocci, who ran a marathon in every state a total of nine times. For others, once around the loop is enough to satisfy their sense of adventure and their craving to know their beloved country a little more deeply. “There’s always something in every state that makes it worth visiting,” says Paula Boone, expressing a feeling common to many 50-staters. “You never know what’s going to be around the bend.”

To read the entire article from this and other issues, subscribe to The Saturday Evening Post.

Roasted Garlic Ice Cream with Raspberry Preserve Ribbon

There are quite a few recipes for garlic ice cream floating around, but the one I chose features roasted garlic rather than raw. I like garlic—a lot—but roasted garlic has a sweeter, smoother flavor that lends itself to ice cream a bit better. I also like the combination of garlic and raspberries. The inclusion of homemade raspberry preserves added a nice ribbon through the ice cream. But I have to warn you: Every time I open the tub to eat a bowl, I get a giant whiff of garlic. But the flavor is really mellow, and it tastes pretty darn good.

[In the month of August, Farm to Philly writers offer up their favorite recipes as part of the annual Frozen Treats Challenge, using the Philadelphia area’s best local fruits and vegetables, herbs, eggs, cream, and milk. This garlic ice cream recipe was part of the 2012 challenge. For more fascinating flavors—including a beet ice cream and a carrot curry ice cream—visit]

Roasted Garlic Ice Cream with Raspberry Preserve Ribbon
(Makes 4 servings)

dish of garlic ice cream with raspberry ribbon


  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • ⅛ cup sugar
  • 2 heads roasted garlic, bulbs squeezed out and mashed into a paste
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup (or more) raspberry preserves


  1. Combine garlic and cream in saucepan over medium heat; bring to simmer. Using stick blender, blend garlic/cream mixture for a minute (this also works in blender or food processor).
  2. Mix egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla in separate bowl.
  3. Mix ladleful of cream mixture into yolks and stir briskly; mix yolk mixture into saucepan. Simmer for 30 minutes or until mixture is thickened to your liking.
  4. Pour in ice cream maker and freeze according to directions. When ice cream has thickened, dribble in spoonfuls of preserves to make ribbon
  5. Alternatively, or in addition to, layer ice cream into container, spread layer of preserves over top, add more ice cream, then preserves, and continue until all ice cream is in container.

Homemade Avocado Ice Cream

Fresh and rich Hass Avocado Ice Cream can be served simply in a bowl for a summer BBQ or dressed up in martini glasses for a more sophisticated affair. (If you don’t have an ice cream maker, check out “3 Easy Ways to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine.”)

Homemade Avocado Ice Cream
(Makes 8 servings)

bowl of avocado ice cream


  • 1 ½ cup low-fat milk (soy milk may be substituted)
  • 2 ripe, Fresh Hass Avocados, seeded and peeled
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 cup low-fat coconut milk (soy milk may be substituted)
  • 1 mint sprig, chopped (optional)
  • 1 vanilla bean, chopped (optional)


  1. Puree milk, Hass Avocados, sugar, and juice in blender.
  2. Blend in remaining liquid of your choice, along additional flavorings such as mint or vanilla.
  3. Follow instructions on ice cream maker to freeze and finish. (No ice cream maker? Check out “3 Easy Ways to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine.”)

Nutrition Facts

Per serving

Calories: 190
Total fat: 14 g
Saturated fat: 7 g
Carbohydrate: 17 g
Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 3 g
Sodium: 30 mg

Recipe courtesy of Hass Avocados.

3 Easy Ways to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine

No ice cream maker? No problem! Here are three easy alternatives.

1. Try a freezer bowl.

In this video (complete with a recipe for blueberry ice cream), Laura of Last Ditch Vintage Kitchenwares reveals how to make ice cream in less than five minutes!

2. Use a blender and a freezable, sealable container.

This tutorial for overnight ice cream comes from David Chilcott, aka the One Pot Chef, and includes a sweet caramel banana ice cream recipe.

3. Put it in a bag.

Harold McGee, author of Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes, shares how to make ice cream using freezer bags and salt water.

Cartoons: Company Coming

sent to store cartoon from November 18, 1950

“But they must be home. It’s only been a few minutes since they sent me to the store for ice cream.”
November 1950

busy day cartoon from November 29, 1959

“I don’t know about you people, but I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow.”
November 1959

good time cartoon from "I really had a wonderful time, and I know Marge did, too." November/December 1997

“I really had a wonderful time, and I know Marge did, too.”
November/December 1997

colder than cartoon from October 1982

“Man! It’s getting colder than a …”
October 1982

you want to come in cartoon from November 18, 1950

“I suppose you want to come in.”
November 1950

Beethoven's unfinished fifth cartoon from April 18, 1959

“I call this Beethoven’s unfinished fifth!”
April 1959

Uncle harry cartoon from October 2, 1954

“Uncle Henry! This is a surprise!”
October 1954