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I could say chocolate or strawberry ice cream could fill in for vanilla in a pinch, but no thanks, I’ll pass on the Sweetened Tea, Almost-Blueberry, or Chunky Raw Cookie Dough.  Not that I will automatically refuse to try any new ice cream flavor, unless refusal is really OK, and will not hurt the feelings of the host who has discovered a brand new super flavor which guests HAVE to try.  If they insist, well, … I’ll taste it, but I won’t like it.

My favorite is good frozen custard, that tastes like it is supposed to. Vanilla frozen custard. There is a place in my town that has just the kind I like…rich, not-too-sweet, creamy but light. This stand is open fron April 1 to October 31 each year, and only sells frozen custard and ice cream concoctions. At one time they sold burgers, but that slowed down the service and created extra work.

As a child my grandparents took me to Euclid Beach, which was a big amusement park on the near East side of Cleveland, Ohio, and was a major location for shop picnics and family outings. Euclid Beach has been closed since about 1960, I’d have to look it up to know the closing date. It was the main amusement park featuring major rides and a variety of attractions, in addition to the beach on Lake Erie.

Euclid Beach had the first frozen custard stand that I ever heard of. I can still see it, right near the entrance past the exhibition buildings. All the stand sold was frozen custard…vanilla. It tasted like custard, which it was supposed to do, and had a creamy taste. It was good.

In one way Euclid Beach was disappointing, to me anyway as a kid, because when I went there with my parents and brother it was for a shop picnic, put on by the company my Dad worked for. That meant that admission was free for company workers, but families either had to bring their own picnic lunches OR buy food and drinks on the premises. So that meant our picnic baskets, and thermos with real lemonade, were brought in and set on a table to mark our space in the huge pavilion. Most families brought their own lunch. We did all get a frozen custard, but there was no money then for snacks and souveniers.

So to return to the question “What kind of ice cream?” I choose Vanilla. If I break down and choose something else, it is sure to be a disappointment. Oh, I do like butter-pecan ice cream, but it has to have real, crunchy, pecans…and good authentic flavor. None of that all-purpose white “soft serve” stuff with nuts or various other ingredients added.

I’ll have vanilla Frozen Custard, please…