My favorite part of this time of year is that when the weather gets warmer, the treats get colder. When I was a kid, our family picnics in the spring and summer would always come with the best treat in the world: homemade ice cream. This was the hand-cranked kind where everyone would take turns cranking until the ice cream was finally ready to serve. We’d also add various toppings, like chocolate syrup, which was one of my favorites if I had to choose. If I didn’t have to choose, I’d add bits of whatever toppings were available, creating a huge sticky mess. It was amazing. But many times, I would forgo it all and just dig into a bowl of plain vanilla. That’s still the kind I prefer most today. And even though I’m normally not allowed to use most kitchen appliances, for fear I’ll actually try to cook something, ice cream is the one thing I’ve managed to make. Yeah, so I don’t make the kind you have to heat, as that would qualify as cooking, but it still tastes really delicious.
I think there’s some vanilla Häagen-Dazs® in the freezer, but I haven’t brought myself to check yet as I’d be terribly disappointed if I were wrong. None of this is on the diet I’ve told myself I’d start, but since I haven’t officially started it’s all fair game. I’m not sure when something like that becomes “official” and I’m using my ignorance to just by those thoughts aside entirely. And every time I think back to my childhood, which is often, sweet treats always pop into my head. I’m an American boy who was raised on sugar. Philippe is French and was raised on actual food, but I have fond memories of all these sugary desserts. I don’t eat very many of them now, and find the burst of sugar too overwhelming, but I love thinking back to the time when I did. Devouring all those insanely sweet treats was fun! Sure, the sugar coma was a bitch afterwards, but it was a small price to pay for all that sweet goodness.
But the sugar isn’t really the reason I remember. It was that the sugariest times in my life were also wonderful gatherings of friends and family. From birthday celebrations to family picnics, it was always about spending time with the people I loved. That’s why the memories have endured. So, yeah, I’m going to sketch a lot of desserts. It’s paying homage to those beautiful times when life was just about having fun together. Sharing quality times and having a treat to seal the deal. These days, I’ll often find myself happy about some little thing that just happened and use it as a reason to celebrate. Honestly, I’ll take any chance I can to smile and be happy about life. I feel lucky most days to just be living it. I figure adding a little sweet treat to mix is just living it that much better. And so, I like to think that no matter what time of year it might be, it’s always a good time for ice cream season.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Permanent Green Pale, Gamboge, Quinacridone Rose, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Safari Al-Star Fountain Pen – Extra Fine, with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.