While I love desserts, there are certain desserts that are a bit too decadent for me now. One of these is a banana split. I’ve only had one with Philippe in the last couple of decades, but enjoyed them when I was young. There’s a long list of treats like these that I no longer eat, but enjoyed as a kid. All of the menu items I used to find on the side of the ice cream truck that would ding its way through out neighborhood would be on the list as well. One might think it’s because of my age and that I’m avoiding the excessive sugar content, but in truth, it’s really just that the ice cream truck doesn’t drive through my neighborhood. If it did, I’d be begging Philippe to give me a handful of his bus fare coins and race out the door to gleefully chase it down. Something tells me these days, the prices might have gone up, so I’d likely have to grab the entire coin jar, just to be safe. I’m also rather sure Philippe is breathing a huge sigh of relief that the ice cream truck doesn’t come near us. That said, as I was quickly making this little doodlewash today, he looked over my shoulder and said, “Yum! I loved that when I was a kid” Proof that no matter how old we become those sweets of childhood are, at least, still in our hearts.
Though Philippe did ask me about the topping in the middle to which I told him it was a pineapple sauce of some kind. He scrunched up his face and shook his head and said, “No! That’s not okay!” I asked him why and he said it’s meant to be like tasting primary colors. I said, “well, the pineapple is yellow” and he said, “no, it’s exotic, not something simple and primary like strawberry, vanilla and chocolate.” As an American, my culinary palette is a bit less refined than that, but I have to admit now the presence of pineapple in my Dairy Queen banana splits was a bit showy and unnecessary. In truth, I just wanted the whole thing to be strawberry and vanilla, because I’ve never cared for chocolate ice cream. At least, that’s what I thought until we had that one banana split in Paris and the chocolate ice cream was so dark it was practically more like the color of a men’s dress shoe. This chocolate ice cream I loved! As it turns out, I just don’t like my chocolate watered down with milk very much. The darker and purer the better! But, even chocolate of any kind is a rare treat these days. This is only because Philippe eats it all before I can have a bite.
I’m actually not sure why that here in America our chocolate became so milky. Perhaps milk is cheaper here than cocoa beans, as money is usually always the reason food gets a bit altered in the processing. One of my favorite things from the ice cream truck was the strawberry shortcake ice cream bar. I did try one of these as an adult, but the artificial flavor sort of stayed with me all day like an unwelcome house guest. So, like so many delicacies from my youth, it’s simply become a good memory. Yet, I love these memories. Taking a break on a hot summer day to enjoy some sort of icy sweet treat was such a wonderful experience. Like all memorable experiences, it was rare and special. As much as it seemed like a constant, looking back, it didn’t happen all that often. Once a week, at best, during the summer months and each time it brought me such joy. Philippe told me that we should create our own version of a banana split from scratch this evening. Since ice cream is literally the only thing I know how to make, this is an intriguing proposition and a challenge I can actually be a participant in. So, though it’s only spring, I’m already excited for summer when together, we’ll create our own special version of one of our favorite childhood treats.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Blue, and Terra Cotta. Sharpie Pen in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!