Thursday 29 Sep 2016

Ice Cream Radar
Jennifer Flaten

Within in two minutes of the new frozen yogurt shop flipping its “Open” sign on, the kids were clamoring for a trip to check it out. I think the kids have some built in ice cream sensor that goes off when we are anywhere near frosty, cold treats.

Here is a perfect example, we were eating dinner a few weeks ago and it was the usual chaos, when suddenly one kid stops talking and cocks her head. I am just about to ask her what is wrong when she yells, “I hear the ice cream truck!”

I am just about to tell her that she is imagining things, when the two other kids shout, “I hear it too!” Okay, this is ridiculous there is no, oh wait, I can faintly hear the tinkling of the ice cream truck. Sheesh and this is the kid I have to call 17 times to take out the garbage.

Dinner forgotten, everyone rushes to the window to pinpoint the exact location of the ice cream truck. It is just turning onto our street. With a response time that would make Pavlov proud, the kids dash out the door to flag the truck down as I bring up the rear with the money.

So, it comes as no surprise that the kids knew the frozen yogurt store was open before I did. It also should come as no surprise that it didn’t take very long at all for me to cave into their demands and take them for FroYo. What can I say; I am a sucker for hot fudge.

I know that yogurt of the frozen variety was very popular about; I want to say about 15 years ago and then for some reason disappeared from the frozen treat landscape. I suspect the ice cream mafia, but let’s just keep that between the two of us. It appears to be back with a vengeance, there are about five shops in a 20-mile radius of our house.

Do I really need to tell you the kids loved it, although, it isn’t so much the frozen yogurt itself, although that is quite tasty, but the toppings that sent the kids over the moon.

If you’ve never partaken of the frozen yogurt let me explain how it works. First, it is self-serve. You grab a deceptively sized dish and then you pump your own yogurt. If you are feeling festive you can mosey over to the topping bar and add a few embellishments to your plain Jane yogurt. 

Now be careful, the yogurt itself is mostly air, but those toppings are heavy. Maybe this is a good time to mention the yogurt sells by weight. After a few mishaps at the yogurt store, I can now tell you exactly when your dish contains two ounces of the FroYo.

Over at the topping bar there is healthy stuff like fruit and toasted coconut, but the majority of the toppings are candy. Gummi bears, gummi worms, if it’s gummi you can put it on your yogurt not that I recommend it, those things freeze on contact with the frozen yogurt. No, I do not know this from personal experience.

There are pieces of cookies, candy and cake, not to mention the hot fudge, caramel and marshmallow. You could fall into a diabetic coma just looking at the plethora of toppings available.

As I mentioned, you have to watch your toppings. We were behind a girl who put so many gummy bears, candy pieces and hot fudge on her frozen yogurt that it alone weighed what our four dishes weighed.

I have the kids so paranoid about exceeding our weight limit that they count out how many chocolate chips they put on their yogurt. It’s five if you must know.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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