For our optional World Watercolor Month prompt of “Soft,” my mind immediately leapt to soft serve ice cream as it’s hot here and I’ve been craving some for days now. Then someone walked by outside my window with a corgi and my mind jumped to that, so I just combined the two of them. I remember getting soft serve cones as a kid when we’d visit the fair. Indeed, it’s not something you can find at the grocery store, so I always associate it with a fun day out in the world. These days, it’s more about staying safe at home, but I love thinking back to those times visiting the fair. There were precarious rides propped up quickly just the night before and all sorts of food that felt like it could have only been created by magical elves. Beyond soft serve, there were plates full of funnel cake and corn dogs so large they resembled an actual dog. I adored those times, and it’s been years since I’ve attended a similar celebration. I think if I actually did, I’d end up having one of every fun food served there!

Indeed, I think once we get through this current pandemic, that a trip to a fair will be the first thing on my list. After years of simply not attending one, I think that will be the first place I return. In truth, my dislike of crowds kept me away, but now I can’t get funnel cakes off my brain so this is totally happening. I just had to stop typing and confirm something with Philippe. I asked him if he’d ever had a funnel cake and he replied, “yes, I’ve heard of them” to which I implored, “yes, but have you actually tasted one?” He just shrugged and said that no he hadn’t actually tasted one as though this wasn’t the greatest travesty in the world! I’m often amazed as his calmness. So, yeah, we are definitely going to correct that once it’s safe to return to the world. There’s going to be lots of ice cream, corn dogs, and funnel cakes heading our way in the future.

One of my favorite things is introducing Philippe to basic American treats. Indeed, it’s part of my childhood and so I want to share it with him, but mostly I just love to watch his reaction to things like fried Spam. This is not something I’ve been able to get him to try, but I’m still working on that. Sometimes, it surprises me when he finally tries something and he thinks it actually tastes delicious. Other times, he makes a face so disturbing that I’m wondering if I might have to perform a Heimlich maneuver. Then I realize he’s not choking on the food, just struggling with the very idea of it. But, I didn’t grow up with those fancy French pastries and exquisite culinary masterpieces made by people who studied a trade. I just grew up with corn dogs and other things someone thought to combine or try one day. And, while I have to admit that not all of it still tastes good to me now, I still have much love in my heart for my soft serve memories.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, Ultramarine (Green Shade) and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink  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!
Dog Eating Ice Cream Cone Corgi Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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39 thoughts on “Soft Serve Memories

  1. Hey Charlie, If you ate junk food the way you talk about it you would weigh 763 pounds by now. Where is that laugh icon when I need it. I am glad Philippe keeps a close eye on the treats. How about a cone with frozen yogurt?

  2. Ah, for the taste buds we had as children – a combination of better taste buds, open minds, and better ingredients. Still, it’s probably just as well we don’t have them. It’s hard enough staying away from the goodies!

  3. You have created an excellent Doodlewash in honor of July’s National Ice Cream Month and tomorrow’s National Ice Cream Day which occurs annually on the third Sunday of July. President Ronald Reagan originated both when Presidential Proclamation 5219 was signed on July 9, 1984. Reagan’s proclamation only mentioned a specific day, July 15th, which was the third Sunday and month for 1984. But, the celebrations have continued through the years ever since. Soft serve ice cream is the best treat any time of the year. This year, as I do not own a soft serve ice cream maker, the hard type will have to suffice. Funnel cakes and corn dogs are yumalicious too. The Corgi is adorable and the soft serve cone cone is enticing. Thank-you! P.S. July’s World Watercolor Month though not around as long as National Ice Cream Month, is every bit as enjoyable!

  4. Ooh, wonderful Charlie! Ice cream would taste good right now! We just had day one of what will likely be another heat wave. I think the weather person said it was our 10th day over 90 so far this year. I too do not like the heat. So glad that we have air conditioning. Enjoy your weekend!

  5. Aren’t we all listing the things we want to do first, whenever whatever form of normal finally emerges from this plague. I’m not thinking so much of food (though food is nearly always close to the surface) but when we can visit with our younger son and his family. He and his wife and their two young children live about 500 driving miles away and every day, my longing to see them gets more urgent. As for the county fair: we take our two older children every year and indulge them in whatever they want to do, whatever they want to eat. Our local fair would be happening right now, if it were happening this year. As for feeding Spam to Philippe – you might want to start with soft serve ice cream before you get so daring, and maybe a snuggle with a Corgi. The little guy you’ve painted would surely melt the heart of anyone, even a master French chef. The Spam might see you in the dog house. (giggling)

    1. Lol! So true, Sharon! 😃💕 I don’t think Spam is happening anytime soon in this house. But, I do agree that spending time with loved ones when all this craziness is past us is definitely at the top of the list!

  6. You mean, they don’t have Spam in Paris? 😊 Oh, no, that’s Paris, TEXAS! haha haha I think I have seen that “eewwweee” scrunched up face. So, check this out. My mother is from Mexico, right? Sorry, Philippe, but the Aztecs are responsible for introducing chocolate 🍫🍫🍫 to the world. My mother (and many Mexican nationals) do not like chocolate. They use it in their cuisine and even drink it, but chocolate like how we like chocolate? That’s where the scrunchy face comes in. It is a look of disgust, actually. As a kid, visiting family in Mexico, they thought I was weird with weird tastes in food. My cousins would say, “Let’s go buy candy!” I was thinking Snickers, M& M’s, Hershey’s kisses. None in sight! My cousins had NO IDEA what I was talking about! Their “candy” consisted of dehydrated strawberries rolled in chile powder! THAT’S NOT CANDY! That’s blasphemy! That’s a pending run to the restroom later. And don’t get me started on what they considered ice cream! haha Like you, I grew up with soft serve ice cream. I do love my mint chocolate chip ice cream, but soft serve ice cream…….yummmmm. Oh, those wonderful childhood foods. I was introduced to foil covered ding-dongs by my neighbor. She would roll the foil wrapper and stick it on her teeth to pretend they were braces! haha haha Maybe one day Philippe will try Spam. Maybe on the same day that my mother will eat chocolate. haha haha Beautiful painting, Charlie! Just beautiful! One day, I will tell you about our family trip to Mexico City and the Aztec pyramids. We shamed ourselves and our country that day. haha 😊

    1. Aww thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 I love the story… yeah, it’s funny what we assume is universally tasty here. hehe While Philippe does love chocolate, he only likes the kind that’s 85-90% dark chocolate only. I tried the higher end of that scale once and it was so bitter that I made that scrunchy face! lol

  7. O have to have cotton candy! And at our fair they roasted corn on the cob in the husks then pulled the husk back to make a handle. And the best part was big coffee cans filled with melted butter that you could dip your corn in before eating it with lots of salt. Yum!! Of course brats and caramel apples. I loved the county fair so much when I was a kid. The one thing they have here that they didn’t have where I grew up is cream puffs. Giant hollow shells filled with so much cream that it spills out no matter how delicately you try to eat it.

  8. That cone takes me back to the dog days in my cul de sac! 22 kids running amuck with a frantic ice cream man trying to dodge us in the street! We had an incorrigible mutt named Twinky who loved all dripping treats and a preschooler named Andrea who was his best friend. They had very specific instructions not to share Andrea’s treats but he was allowed to lick her elbow!😆🐶🍦That is summer, as a kid, with a dog-that is bliss!

  9. What a precious painting! The look on the corgi’s face is priceless! Years ago, we had a miniature schnauzer and when we would stop at the Dairy Queen, I always gave her the bottom part of the cone. She would go nuts for ice cream. I sure miss that dog and miss eating ice cream. Waffle cones are surely the best!!!

  10. So cute and yummmmmmmm icecream !!!!!!!!! soft serve ice cream is one of my favs. I will tell you that one of the last things I saw at the fair when I went was frozen chocolate dipped cheese cake on a stick!!! OMG this was devine lol. 🙂

  11. I like soft-serve, but I’ve never had a funnel cake. Honestly, the idea of them doesn’t appeal to me. Ditto for corn dogs – I bought them for my kids at fairs, but never tried one myself. Generally, I don’t like fried food. My favorite fair food as a child was cotton candy! Pink, of course.

  12. Hello Charlie,

    You took me back to my favorite bit of childhood! Thank you! And the similarities in the colors of that huggable Corgi and the soft serve reminded me of something funny. As a kid I could never decide what flavors I’d want so I’d simply choose flavors that matched the colors I was wearing. That way even if some got smudged on my clothes, Mom wouldn’t notice very quickly. Its been years since I’ve enjoyed a soft serve ice-cream so you gave me what to put on the very top of my “dream food binge” list. 🙂


  13. Random question, Charlie. Have you ever painted on black watercolor paper? Have you ever used metallic watercolors? I have seen few cards makers use them, but the results are FANTASTIC! Just curious.

  14. Wonderful doodle, Charlie! Always enjoyed the Fair adventure but haven’t been in a long time. Our county fair happens at the height of strawberry season so our favorite stop was the strawberry shortcake….what’s not to love about strawberry shortcake..with a mountain of whipped cream, of course.

  15. Lovely sketch! You would love the fact that our state fair here is offering drive thru service for their food, just like the theaters offering popcorn. I can stay away from fair food, however food at DL brings the same feelings. Oh, how I would love to have a corn dog from the Little Red Wagon and sit in the hub looking at the castle. I am going to have a tough time this Fall! My usual time to travel to my happy place.

  16. What a wonderful painting!!! the dog’s expression is priceless !!lol and yes now you got me wanting to go to the fair..all of ours for this year have been cancelled..and I miss the days of corndogs and fries and love the soft serve chocolate only ice cream.!! and of course cotton mouth is watering now so I am off for my nightly dish (because of heat) of chocolate ice cream.Tell Philippe he does not know what he is missing LOL
    have a great day!

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