December 13th Ice Cream Day

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! Who doesn’t like ice cream!?! Oddly I found most of the information on today was about the ice cream cone… then why isn’t it Ice Cream Cone Day? Ronald Reagan proclaimed July National Ice Cream month so, how did today end up in December? Maybe it’s because ice cream is good any time, any place! Anyway, Charles E. Minchef is credited with serving the first ice cream cone on July 23rd, 1904 (again, this is December!) though his claim was challenged by Italo Marchiony from New York City who had been serving lemon ice in New York City since 1896. However, lemon ice may, or may not, have been ice cream! And what does all this have to do with Ice Cream Day and December? I don’t know and I don’t care.

How to celebrate – Have some ice cream. Figure out your favorite flavor of ice cream. Thank Thomas Jefferson who introduced ice cream to America.

August 25th National Banana Split Day

Continuing on with eating our way through the summer, the next day up is “Banana Split Day”. It all started back in 1904 when an apprentice pharmacist created the first banana split at Tassel’s pharmacy in Latrobe, Pa. He cut a banana in two halves and placed them in a long bowl, filling the center of the bowl in with vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream. He covered the strawberry ice cream with a pineapple topping, the vanilla with chocolate flavoring, and the chocolate with strawberry topping. All of that was covered in whipped cream, to which crushed nuts and maraschino cherries, wete added. It cost a dime.

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Today we make a number of variations including those that add fresh fruit to the recipe and maybe use different flavors of ice cream. Of course back in 1904 there weren’t that many varieties of ice cream to choose from. In fact, you can use any flavor of ice cream you choose, any fruit that’s in season (which is practically all of them since it is summer), and you can use heavy, regular, or light whip cream. And nuts have become optional since so many are now allergic to them.

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You don’t even have to use the bowl any more. You can put all the fixings in a ice cream cone and carry it with you where ever you go.

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You can also make it into a cake, using the same ingredients, or those of your choice, and turn it into a party. You can still use ice cream if you like, or a flavored batter, that will taste like the Split, but is lactose free.

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Or you can make the best of both worlds and turn your banana split into a pie and meet the ice cream half way!

Anyway you choose to have a banana split is totally acceptable, so long as you accept the calories that go along with it.

This year, 2016, the US Post Office came up with a stamp celebrating the banana split. It sells for 47 cents. More than the original Split, but less than any single item in the split would cost you by itself.

How to celebrate – Have a banana split. Make your own banana split cake or pie. Make up your own banana split recipe -as long as you include the banana, anything goes!