The August before our first year of college, Rice, Maggie and I went on a weeklong backpacking trip on the Franconia Ridge. We climbed up slick, abrupt rocks. The sky was a dull grey and we shivered in the bruising, pebble-packed hail. There was some warmth in the close darkness of our tent at night, but I kept thinking about our food, stored in a bear box. The bears. I could see them, flashes of black fur running out the corner of my eyes. Rice and Maggie had persuaded me to join them on this trip, but I started questioning my judgment a few hours into the first day. We were surrounded by sky. We were stuck. Of course, there were views: the trees and clouds and cute boys, fellow hikers. But it was cold.
[ice cream time at Kimball Farm, summer ’05]
At the end of the trip, we pealed off our layers near Maggie’s car. We sniffed the air: smelly, exhilarated, and exhausted, we decided to drive to Kimball Farm. We were going to buy dangerous, heaping cones of ice cream. Farm fresh, big-hearted servings, messy meals. Love ice cream. I got two cones: Mocha Almond Assault was one of them, but it was the Black Raspberry Chip, my second cone, that was dripping with nourishment. Ending our backpacking trip with an ice cream feast somehow made everything better.
It’s getting chilly, but ice cream love is still in the air: now is the time to sample fall flavors. Fall flavors celebrate the festive tastes of cinnamon and spice. Pumpkin ice cream, pear ice cream, blueberry, pecan, apple pie, ginger honey, cranberry and cardamom: these are the tastes of fall. What’s better than orange leaves on the trees and a pumpkin cone in your hand?
Seasonal ice cream flavors go away too quickly. Below is a guide to my favorite ice cream shops in various cities:
Christina’s Ice Cream: 1255 Cambridge Street (Inman Square), Cambridge, MA. (617) 492-7201. My favorite flavors: ginger, burnt sugar.
Toscanini’s: locations scattered throughout Cambridge; the one we usually go to is at 899 Main Street, (Central Square) Cambridge, MA. (617) 491-5877. My favorite flavors: Vienna finger cookie; lime-vanilla.
Kimball Farm: locations in NH, ME, and MA; the one we usually go to is at 343 Bedford Road, in Carsile, MA. (978) 369-1910. My favorite flavor: black raspberry chip.
Herrell’s: locations throughout MA; we usually go to 15 Dunster Street (Harvard Square), Cambridge, MA. My favorite flavors: pumpkin, mint cookies and cream.
Cones: 272 Bleeker Street, New York, NY. (212) 414-1795. My favorite flavor: grapefruit sorbet.
Ronnybrook Diary: 75 9th avenue, #1, New York, NY. (212) 741-6455. My favorite flavor: pure, thick chocolate ice cream.
Ciao Bella: a few locations in Manhattan; I go to 285 Mott Street, New York, NY. (212) 431-3591. My favorite flavors: lemon curd, bourbon butter pecan.
Sylvan Beach Café: 7 West Preston Street, Baltimore, MD. (410) 685-5164. My favorite flavor: key lime pie
Holy Gelato: 1392 9th avenue, San Francisco, CA. (415) 681-3061. My favorite flavor: almond joy.
Granny’s Ice Cream (my grandmother!!): Tardeo area. 91-98-921-49-121.