A Jeanne and Cassondra Food Fight....
Cassondra: I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, like many of the Bandits, and had a chance to spend just a bit of time with the one Bandit I sometimes refer to as “my evil twin.”
You might wonder why we would think of ourselves that way, since I’m short and dark haired, with a rather overpowering preference for black clothing, dark blue nail polish, and deep purple lipstick, while Jeanne is tall, stacked and blonde, with a tendency to wear *shudder* earth tones.
Jeanne: Hey! I resemble that remark! (Heehee. Actually, it's quite a nice description....thanks!)
Cassondra, rolling her eyes: Nevertheless, for you who might not have noticed this, we tend, often, to think alike about certain things. We’re both extremely analytical, come from strong marketing, art and design, and business backgrounds, and we both like things that go boom.
Jeanne: I love it when she calls me analytical. I SO don't think I am, but it's nice to know someone ELSE does!
Cassondra: Will you let me finish?
Jeanne: Pray, continue, my Evil Twin.
Cassondra: Thank you. We also both come from small country towns, love plants and gardening, and have a strong interest in a lot of similar things.
But when it comes to food, the similarities….well…I begin to doubt our twinhood.
Jeanne: Gasp! Say it isn't SO!!!
Cassondra: Yes! It's so! During the New York trip, a vast chasm opened between us. Yes, that’s right. We’re disagreeing about food again. And this time, it’s sacred.
Jeanne: (muffled laugh) It's a sacred cow-product! Oh, noes!!
Cassondra stifles a grin: This is serious! Y’all remember my ice cream blog, right? So you know I’m no stranger to cow-originated goodness. So it’s probably no surprise to you that I love floats.
Cassondra: Hey! I mean I don’t just like floats. I love floats. Being much like the Sally character in When Harry Met Sally, I like them made a certain particular way, of course. I do NOT want the ice cream all blended together with the soda. That’s just gross.
Y’all remember Koogle, right? Peanut butter and jelly blended together in one container? Like that. Blech. Grrrrross.
Jeanne: Oh, now that WAS disgusting. Bleech is right.
Cassondra: Thank you. But as to floats, the ice cream and the soda of choice should not become some amorphous, smooth substance. The ice cream and the soda must remain individual. It’s a marriage of two distinct and opposite individuals, one with a crisp, bright burn, and one with a sweet, soft, creaminess. It is NOT a genetic blending experiment, where everything ends up looking the same. Ew.
I want generous scoops of ice cream, with Coke or root beer poured over the top (allowing proper time for the foam to go down, of course), then poured over the top again, until the container is full to the top of soda, and then I want extra Coke or root beer on the side. While I realize there is a group of float lovers who prefer to have their Coke poured in first, then their ice cream scooped in, because, they say, it doesn’t foam nearly as badly that way, I say this is bowing to convenience. Maybe even bordering on laziness, this sacrifice of quality for speed of preparation. I am a Coke Over Ice Cream float girl.
I do not want chocolate ice cream, nor any other flavor except rich, natural vanilla. No swirls, no nuts, no candy additives. I want a bit of time for the ice cream to become malleable. Then I poke at it with the long-handled spoon so bits of it break off into the ambery liquid. So I can then slurp the glorious combination.
Now, brace yourselves, because I know you’ll be shocked. I was. But our beloved Duchesse, Jeanne, my otherwise evil Bandita twin….dare I even say it?
She does not like floats.
This, I do not understand. Instead, she likes malts.
Jeanne: Yes, yes I do.
Now let me be clear. It's not that I find a float abhorrent or anything, it's just....well...Let me put it this way. It's a million degrees here in DC this week. The humidity is about 110%, with blue skies, and no rain. I'm hibernating in the house. Hiding, actually. Do you know what that kind of humidity does to my hair? Eeeeek!
Coke, Diet Coke, Root Beer - they're all wonderful, but there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING that is as refreshing and "bring-down-the-core-temp-good" like a milkshake. In particular, a malt. You know, a mix of cold, gorgeous ice cream in vanilla, coffee, chocolate (pick a flavor, but it's got to be real ice cream), luscious milk, and malted flavoring. YUMMMMM!!!
Cassondra: Okay, we agree on the "real ice cream" part, but once you get flavors or - UGH! - MALT in there, we are at a very wide cravasse in our twinhood. I cannot understand this passion you have for malt. Malted milk balls--okay I can tolerate those. But malt in your ice cream? Yuck. Give me a good, old fashioned float any day. You know, an ice cream float - ice cream floating in a soft drink, like root beer.
Jeanne: Ohhhh no. No fizzy, fuzzy stuff messing up my ice cream, please and thank you. I'm planning to have a malt today in fact, and tomorrow, and probably the next day as a defense against the evil heat and humidity. (We have a code orange heat advisory - baaaaaad)
Cassondra: Truly, you astonish me. Why would you want to diss my perfect summer beverage? I will admit to one exception to my strict coke/vanilla combo.
Jeanne: Just the one?
Cassondra: Oh, be quiet. The one is the orange dreamsicle float, with vanilla ice cream and orange soda. Oh. My. Gosh. And when anyone has a sick stomach, I make them an orange sherbet with 7-up float. Goes down easy and stays down when nothing else will.
Jeanne: Remind me not to be sick around you. Hate to admit it but I'm SO not a dreamsicle fan. My DH - he'd LOVE for you to be around when he's sick. He's an huge fan of orange/vanilla combos, no matter what frozen form they take.
And going back to the point at hand, why would you want to ruin a perfectly good scoop of ice cream by submerging it in, or pouring Coke over it? Or Root Beer? Why, for that matter, would you ruin a perfectly good, ice cold root beer, by dumping ice cream in it?
Cassondra: Oh, please. I’m sorry, but what, precisely, IS malt? I’ve wondered this for a long while now. They never let you actually see it, and I find that deeply troubling. It doesn’t come from a “malt” plant. There is no “malt cow.” No “malt truck” drives up and unloads cans of it. They dump it into the cup when you’re not looking, then they keep their backs to you while they put in the ice cream and blend it all together.
Jeanne: *rubs hands in glee* Malt is made from grain, m'dear Twin! It's the food of the Gods, don't-cha-know. Snork!!! See, you get a grain AND a dairy serving when you get a malt!
(Nancy, that makes malted milk balls a grain food! We're saved!)
Cassondra: Maybe we should switch husbands since your husband, Ralph, likes floats and dreamsicles. My husband, Steve, likes floats, but alas, Jeanne, like you he LOVES malts. In fact he likes EXTRA malt in his vanilla malts. I have no idea how we ended up together.
He has a theory that floats, actually, are a regional thing. A few years ago, he worked for a big hospital corporation, and traveled all over the country visiting hospitals and helping with their scheduling software. He’s run across several places where floats are not served. At one point he was in Texas, (I think) when he stopped by an ice cream shop—one of the little glass-walled kind that I blogged about a couple of months ago—and asked for a float. They looked at him with a blank stare. Then they frowned.
“A what?” they asked.
“A float,” he said. “You know, ice cream with coke or root beer poured over it?”
The girl looked over at her ice-cream scoop-wielding companion. Scoop girl came over and stood near girl number one, making an impenetrable wall of “ya ain’t from here are ya” confusion. They’d never heard of a float.
I mean really! They don't know about floats! How can this be? After I’ve heard such nice things about Texas? I might start to believe that Texas really is a whole other country—an alien one where they don’t serve floats.
Jeanne: Now, I do find that hard to believe--the not knowing about floats. Or maybe it's that your region (Kentucky) and my original region (North Carolina) are so close and so similar that they DID know about floats.
However, your point about Texas being an alien country is also well taken. It IS where they filmed Cowboys and Aliens, so....coincidence? Perhaps not!
(Then again, anything that features Daniel Craig AND Harrison Ford? Rrrrrowwww!)
Cassondra, laughing: Could be, could be. Steve explained the concept, but they could not imagine pouring soda (pop, Coke, soft drink, whatever they call it down there) over ice cream.
You know what I think, though? I think they served him the malt he settled for (Bleh), then they closed the windows, and late that night, after dark, with the lights out, they scooped out some ice cream, poured root beer over it, and found their way to Nirvana. The question, of course, is whether they’ve kept it their special little secret, or whether they’ve shared it with others, spreading the float love across a barren, malt-infested land.
Jeanne: Malt infested? Oh, for Pete's sake! It's GRAIN, I tell ya'! So we're a grain infested land. Excellent. Amber waves, and all that. Snork! Tell Steve we'll fix him right up with a malt, and you and Ralph can go slurp down some carbonated milky goo drinks. I swear, I'm sending Steve a ginormous box of malted milk balls for Christmas, just to tweak you. Bwahahahahah!
Cassondra: Ya'll can have them. I'll studiously ignore them as I find Nirvana in ice cream and Coke. Oh, and your husband is too tall for me, and you're taller than Steve, so you keep Ralph, and I'll keep Steve. Kay?
Jeanne: Of course, because, hey, we chose them for other reasons than ice-cream-beverage preferences. *VEG* But when visiting all together, the four of us? Ya'll go to the other side of the table with those floats. Steve and I will keep our malts allll nice and soda-free.
Okay, so who's side are YOU on? Malt or Float?
Flavored ice cream, or pure, perfect vanilla?
Toppings, nuts, and fruits? (And here I AM in Twinhood again because I don't like cold nuts - SNORK! - nor do I like fruit goo on my ice cream)
Cassondra: Fruit goo. Ewwwww. Real fruit? That's different. Love me some bananas or strawberries....slurp...or chocolate....yummm..oh..ahem...
Jeanne: Back to being Twins - I'm there with you on real fruit on ice cream - or IN ice cream. Just not goo.One scoop or two? Or four?
And last but not least, besides vanilla, what's your favorite flavor?