Thursday, September 22, 2011

Number 18: Ride A Horse (And Not Be Scared)

I just haven’t felt like writing the past few days. SO MANY things have happened this past weekend that it isn’t that I haven’t had anything to write about, it’s that I am so overwhelmed with all I do have to write about that I have been avoiding it. But I feel bad about that, so I decided to just suck it up and write something, since I don't want you to fall behind in the terribly fascinating story that is my life. 

On Friday night we premiered our film Marceline at the great old historic Uptown Theater in Marceline. It was fabulous. We are very happy and excited over the positive response to our film. I just can’t believe how many people came out to see it and that everybody loved it! Afterwards we headed over to the El Cimmaron Mexican restaurant for a little “after party”. They stayed open late just for us! It was great, we talked and ate and drank (I drank more on Friday than I think I have all year- but that doesn't say much as I don't drink much usually- I do remember one point in the evening where I leaned over to Andy and whispered loudly "I feel awesome- I might should drink more days. Yeah?" or something equally idiotic) and we made lots of new friends. But as we had a very long day ahead of us, we all decided to turn in around midnight.

The following day was Toonfest! I LOVE Toonfest! We had breakfast at Ma Vic’s and then watched the parade. Andy and I got an award after the parade and, along with other special guests of Toonfest, were presented with a special Dreaming Tree plaque. What an honor! Not long after that, Andy told me he had a surprise for me… I simply couldn’t imagine what in the world it could be…

He told me we had to walk to “meet” the surprise. We walked up the street to the grocery store parking lot and he told me we had to wait there. It seemed like a weird surprise to me… Within minutes I noticed a girl leading a horse right to us… Andy had asked her if I could ride her horse to fulfill my “Ride a horse and not be scared” goal. The problem is, is that I WAS scared. I got on the horse, but I had a little trouble at first since my legs are only like, 2 feet long (that’s an exaggeration, people!). I was definitely nervous and a little scared at first, but then I started having fun! Then Andy took the reins and led the horse around. I was thinking; Please don’t kill me, Andy! Please don’t kill me! Good news, he didn’t kill me. It was a lot of fun! I even let go of the little knobby handle thing and gave Andy a “Thumbs up” so he could take a picture. That doesn’t sound too wild and crazy to you I am sure, but that was a big step for me! All in all it was a very fun weekend (and this wasn’t even half of it!). I’ll write more about the weekend soon. Probably. 

Above: I was a little nervous at first....
Below: But then I got the hang of it

Above: Andy leading Ranger and I around (Ranger is the horse)

Friday, September 9, 2011

In Search Of A Sundae

(Ok, I want to start off by saying that I am very, truly, sorry that this may sound a little complain-y)

I am an ice cream snob. I have been searching for the perfect ice cream sundae in Columbia, Missouri for three years.  Ice cream is very important to me as you shall learn as you continue to read... We have lots of fabulous ice cream places, but none that fit the demands I shall make now:

  1. My perfect ice cream place will be a sit-down restaurant. They don’t have to sell ice cream and sweets exclusively. I’m not quite sure why, but I don’t want to watch you make my sundae. I want it to be a glorious mystery. I also like the relaxed feeling that I’m here to get my ice cream and stay. Not get it and bring it home, or eat it standing up outside your crowded establishment. For the sundae to really, truly be enjoyed I must be comfortable and relaxed. I think the atmosphere is very important and eating ice cream at home doesn't quite feel the same. Plus it melts on the way there and the consistency is very important to the taste of the ice cream. If I wanted cold liquid cream I’d buy cold liquid cream.

  1. They will have a minimum of 25 flavors at any given time and choices of at least 15 toppings, both wet and dry. Flavors are important. I want to be wild and adventurous while not risking too much. Toppings are equally important. I want to create perfect pairings of sweet and salty, chocolate and fruit… The perfect pairing of ice cream flavors and toppings is an art and a science and should be treated as such.

  1. They will not mix the ice cream and toppings together into a cold mush. If I wanted cold mush I’d let my 1 year old daughter make me an ice cream sundae. Yes, I admit, I used to love Cold Stone. I thought it was soooo great. But then, I realized all their ice cream has the weirdest consistency after they added the “Mix-ins” and it didn’t taste very good. I don’t want my ice cream played with. Or tasting like chemicals.  P.S. Hot fudge should be just that, HOT. Chocolate syrup is NOT hot fudge. Chocolate syrup is that cheap stuff you buy to make chocolate milk with. It doesn’t belong in an ice cream sundae.

  1. The toppings would be layered at least twice, meaning there would be ice cream, toppings, then ice cream again, then more toppings. That’s how you do it. This is just good sense.

  1. They will have WARM brownies for their ice cream sundaes and WHOLE bananas for their banana splits. Part of the reason why a warm brownie tastes so good with an ice cream sundae is the contrast of the hot and cold. A brownie must be also be warm to really soak in the flavor of the ice cream. As far as bananas go, even in their off season they do not cost more than a dollar a piece. Charge me a little more if you have to, a banana split is not a banana split unless you split a WHOLE banana in two. I didn’t order a banana half. Geez, and I was trying to be healthy!

To be perfectly honest, I have only found a very select few places in my life in various locations that meet all of these requirements, so Columbia, Missouri is not alone here. The single greatest place I have ever had an ice cream sundae would probably be Serendipity. Well actually I also really enjoyed the “Everything But The Kitchen Sink” sundae at the PCH Grill at the Paradise Pier Hotel at Disneyland. It is served in a kitchen sink…

Famous, expensive, and wonderful, I have only been to Serendipity twice, but it was worth the trek to Manhattan from Long Island and the $15 bucks. One of my life goals is to try their Golden Opulence sundae, which at $1000.00 is a Guinness world record holder for most expensive Ice cream sundae in existence. It even has its own Wikipedia page. It freaking has REAL gold in it. And caviar. I don’t much like caviar, but for  thousand bucks I’d lick that little caviar dish clean.

The “Everything But The Kitchen Sink” sundae at the PCH Grill has 10 scoops of ice cream, 2 candy bars, 2 cookies, 2 brownies, and a ton of amazing toppings served in a large bowl fashioned to look like a kitchen sink with a faucet and everything! Too bad hot fudge didn’t flow out of the faucet…That would be killer…We went there for my birthday in 2007. There were four of us, and even though we worked together, we couldn’t finish that sundae.

I do really love Sparky’s, it’s a local Columbia, MO ice cream shop and all the ice cream is homemade. They have very interesting and delicious flavors. Back in the spring when the cicada’s were plentiful, they were serving up chocolate covered cicada ice cream. But they also have some less bug filled flavors like a red wine and chocolate, honey lavender (one of my faves), and occasionally maple bacon. Though they don’t meet a few of my requirements, I would never pass up a trip to Sparky’s!

So in conclusion, I think I should open up a fancy schmancy high-end ice cream restaurant. I would hire my sister and her boyfriend, Mike, to help because they make their own ice cream that is super incredible (or so I hear). We would also serve pancakes. And Crepes. Maybe waffles.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor and who makes it? I need some new suggestions for new flavors to try! Do you know of any great places to get an incredible sundae that would meet my demands? Do tell! I’m willing to travel!

Above: Grand Opulence Sundae by Serendipity 3
Below: "Everything But The Kitchen Sink" Sundae by PCH Grill, Disneyland (you can't tell from the photo, but the bowl has a faucet to make it look like a kitchen sink! And this bowl is the size of my head. My whole head.)