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.

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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!
Banana Split Illustration Sketchbook Detail - Doodlewash

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32 thoughts on “Childhood Treats

  1. That’s one amazing banana split! Hope to hear about tonight’s ice cream experiment. I always liked that pineapple stuff because it seemed somehow exotic…it’s been decades since I sat down to a banana split though. Difficult to eat a banana split in moderation..:-).

    1. Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕hehe… well the experiment didn’t take place the same night…we’ll be trying it sometime in the summer! And fun! Glad you liked the pineapple bits… I have to admit that I was on the fence there, but I just love my basic flavors most!

  2. Ooh! I’m envious of your homemade banana split! I always caramel as my third sauce – that’s yellow. Ish. Ice cream is one of things I have to be careful with, especially during the summer months. Once I start eating it, I just want more and more and more!

  3. I really don’t care for banana splits. I don’t like chocolate syrup mixed with fruit syrups, and the pineapple is weird. Give me a turtle sundae any day. I still love them. And because I always lived in the country when I was young, I never saw an ice cream truck. I’m not even certain the small town we were near had an ice cream truck. So I’m thinking vanilla ice cream, banana, hot fudge, caramel, pecans, whipped cream, and a cherry on top. That would be my recipe for a perfect banana split.

  4. Beautiful job on the banana split! Yes, I have fond memories of the ice cream man, too. I’d get a dime from my mom (the 50’s!) and buy an ice cream sandwich. Banana splits and hot fudge sundaes were what we got inside the ice cream parlor. I always disliked the pineapple, too, but some places used caramel for the yellow. Thanks for the truly sweet memories. If I had to pick one food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be ice cream.

  5. I remember when I was a child, my Mum would buy Knickerbocker glories from the local store and my brother and I loved them, yum! yum! 🙂

  6. Lovely painting! I have had only one banana split (flash to the Bananas in their pajamas) in my life! The banana was too green for my liking and therefore I didn’t like it. Funny how that one experience did me in. I am picky about my bananas. 🙂 These days, it just seems too large of a serving.

  7. I want a banana split, I want the primary colors and the exotic pineapple, and mounts of whipped cream,
    walnuts in syrup, some chocolate sauce a cherry on top….I am going to have to settle for a bowl of ice cream
    and I’m headed for that now. After looking at your delectable painting, I’m going to put 3 cherries in my bowl of ice cream…oooohhhh the decadence. I think I’ve already gained weight just looking at your painting so I figure one teeny bowlful won’t hurt a thing.

  8. I love your memories into the past. Since reading your delightful stories, I have started journaling objects that are reminders of my childhood too. I did a page of jewellery I have that I no longer wear or no longer fits my fingers and then wrote about who gave it to me and why. Found some old children’s clothing and toys I had saved and drew them and explained why I had saved them. It has been a fun look back.

  9. Your chocolate is pale because they put cornstarch in cocoa along with all sorts of chemicals. Up here in Canada we have Hershey’s natural cocoa, no sugars, no preservatives, just pure cocoa powder. Mix with milk and hot water and it is phenomenal. A tablespoon is okay but I use less as the cups are small, that way I can pretend I have a full cup hahah. I don’t use sugar because I absolutely cannot stand the taste of it and I refuse to use anything with chemicals. And after saying what a purist I am, I had to be rationed on my Lindt chili chocolate bars. One and a half squares a day (one bar a week). I was not happy.

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