Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dixie Cup Summer

Summer. Say ahhhh!
It’s summer time in Northern Alberta.
The snow is finally gone. (It’s nearly July. No self-respecting snow bank would dare stay past the middle of June.)
And the people have emerged into the glorious, life-giving sunshine.
That’s exactly what we were doing yesterday.
Emerging.
It was the final day of school for three of my grandkids and celebrations were in order.
A school picnic with friends and family on the school grounds.
We talked and laughed and reminisced about the past year.
Ate hot dogs and bags of chips and drank small containers of chocolate milk.
And then they brought out the Dixie ice cream cups.
My daughter handed me one to feed my granddaughter, seated on my lap.
I pulled off the cardboard lid and, just for a moment, I was remembering all of the times in my childhood that celebrations ended with those little servings of creamy deliciousness.

In a paper cup.
With a small, wooden spoon.
Special school events when I had finished eating whatever Mom had packed in my lunch kit.
And the teacher brought out the large box of little cups with the long strip of paper-packaged wooden spoons.
Church socials when my tummy was groaning with all of the good things I had just stuffed into it and I was sure I couldn’t possibly eat another bite.
Until the Dixie cups showed up.
Family reunions.
Track Meets.
Cattle tours.
All of them ended with those little paper cups of cool, creamy, delicious ice cream.
I looked down at the cup in my hand. White. Vanilla. Just starting to melt around the sides.
Perfect.
I took the little wooden paddle and dug in, then handed it to my granddaughter.
I know what you’re thinking and no, I didn’t take the first bite myself.
Though I wanted to . . .
The slightly rough feel of the wooden spoon on your tongue.
The sweet cream melting and filling your entire being with joy.
The bottom being just slightly too near the top.
Sigh.
That occasional ecstatic moment when a second round appears.
Perfection.
Oh, there were differences.
The cup I held was plastic, as opposed to the light cardboard that used to be.
And the little wooden spoon was mostly a paddle with no distinct ‘business’ end.
And the product inside didn’t have quite the ‘cream’ that I remember from my childhood.
But still, it was delicious. (Yes, I did finally sneak a taste.)
And satisfying.
And memory-dredging.
And when the man came around and offered us two more?

Heaven.

14 comments:

  1. I remember those little ice cream treats... ours were Farmers as that is the brand in Nova Scotia.. I loved those little treats :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just the right size . . . for seconds.

      Delete
  2. Those old Dixie Cups didn't change until recently. I think it lost a lot of its appeal with plastic spoons, plastic cup and bluish frozen substance. Kids only have a hint of the good ol' stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yuck. Bluish frozen substance?! That's not even a hint!

      Delete
  3. Ah, Dixie. Too bad the new spoon is not memorable.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I also remember these little icecreams with the wooden spoons and I remember how much I didnt like the wooden spoons. They gave me the shivers when I ate with them. I didn't like how they felt in my mouth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always chewed them to bits afterward. I guess it's the Canadian beaver/rodent in me!

      Delete
  5. I remember those...I loved the little wooden spoons. I think they made the ice cream taste even better.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I remember those too. And I had some just a few years ago. Our hospital gift shop sells them, and I got some for my dad and I when he was hospitalized. Mmmm ... a good treat to tempt a recovering appetite. Or any kind of appetite :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right. They just add. To anything!

      Delete
  7. I remember those dixie cups, I think we had a different name for them and the ice cream inside was Amscol brand, always vanilla. Our wooden spoons were always those paddles with no designated business end. We used to lick them so very clean, then use them as "flips". We'd rest them on something like a pencil, put a pea or similar on the "down" end and press suddenly on the "up" end to flip the pea as far as we could. We still have the cups now and they are still cardboard, but the ice cream is not the same. These days it's reduced fat stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now why didn't we think of that?! I always just chewed mine to splinters.

      Delete

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