An Easter Memory

A litter of chocolate Easter bunnies!

A litter of chocolate Easter bunnies!

Not everyone celebrates Easter as a religious holiday and children remember it mainly for the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts. I know I looked forward to it as a child because my mum would mount an indoor Easter egg hunt for us kids after Easter Mass. She would hide chocolate Easter eggs, and the real treasures were the special large sugar eggs that you could crack open to find more little candies inside. Our Easter tradition hardly varied for many years. We would all get up early and get into our Sunday best and go to church. After church, we would all drive down to the Magnolia ice cream plant and Papa would buy a 5-quart Easter ice cream cake. Then home for the Easter egg hunt while Mama prepared dinner. When we were older, Papa would drop us off at home and then pick up the ice cream cake, which we waited for, excited to see what design he would bring. My brothers were excited too about the dry ice that was packed around the cake, because then, they could fill a tub of water in the bathroom, living room, or carport, and drop the dry ice into it to create a cool fog that spilled over into the rest of the house. The best thing about it was that it was SOLID ice cream, with the most delicious creamy frosting (unlike our DQ cakes which have a cake layer under the ice cream). We would have a different design each year, but on most years we would have either a bouquet of ice cream Easter lilies and daisies or a solid ice cream Easter bunny and eggs. Each of the 4 of us (my sister had not yet been born, and until she was old enough to pick for herself, she’d just have whatever we served on her plate) would pick our choice but still get whatever my mum put on our plates if she was the one serving. Of course, the ice cream cake was the pièce du resistance, after a glorious Easter ham that mama had ironed with sugar and glazed pineapple. I don’t remember when the tradition stopped for us, because after High School, I left home and hardly visited. When the grandchildren came, however, the Easter egg hunts resumed and I know my children, nephews, and nieces, have as fond memories of Easter Sunday at Mama’s as I do.

~cpl 2015

Did someone say bananas?


Have you had a Coldstone Creamery ice cream with bananas? Because if you have, you will most likely have heard someone behind the counter yell “Did someone say bananas?” followed by the whole Coldstone Squad at the counter belting out a banana song.

Actually, many of the songs are more cheers than songs–verses written out to the tune or beat of old college cheers or popular ditties (like the Flintstones theme song).

Actually, there aren’t that many songs. In total, I’ve probably heard 4 or 5 that are repeated over and over again, day in and day out. If you’re a customer and you hear the songs only when you’re there, it might not be so bad. But if you work there as well, it can be completely nerve-wracking. That’s also because, while the songs were sung with a certain amount of energy when Coldstone was a novelty, they are now sung weakly and half-heartedly most of the time that I hear them. No energy. No delight. No excitement. No enthusiasm.

It seems that the honeymoon is over. Don’t get me wrong. The ice cream itself is exotic. It’s delicious, creamy beyond words, and the mixes are superb. It’s also very very sweet. And too much of sweet is cloying. After a while, you don’t really want it anymore—unless you’re a kid or you have a really sweet tooth. And it’s pricey. I can’t imagine myself indulging in a cup or cone of Coldstone every day, or even every week. Not even every month. Too rich–in sweetness, creaminess, and pricing. It’s not something your average islander will look for. Again, unless you’re a kid or have a really sweet tooth. Or are an ice cream gourmet. Or a connoisseur of ice cream.

When the Creamery had just opened in the first week of April 2011, the lines, the lines were endless! People couldn’t wait to get a taste of the newest ice cream in town. I’m sure people came in just to see what it was like. Then, people came in to try a different flavor each time, or a different cone, or different toppings. Then, people came in to use free coupons or promotional coupons.

Many times, people also come in to bring home a pack of ice cream cupcakes or ice cream cookie sandwiches. People also come in to get specialty cakes and birthday cakes. Specialty products for special occasions. I guess they thought it would be worth it to splurge a little.

But how many people can afford to splurge on a Coldstone cake? Last I saw, the tiniest, 6-inch cake cost quite a pretty penny. I would never be able to easily afford that. Besides, that would have to be a tiny party–4 to 6 people at the most sharing that one cake. So unless the party is just for a small family, or just for the celebrant, it wouldn’t be the cake to get. And for the same price of less, I can get a much much bigger ice cream cake at DQ and share that with a whole lot more people! After all, at a party, who cares what the brand of ice cream is? Or how creamy? Or how fancy? And don’t bother asking about the 8-inch cakes or the signature cakes. For that price, I could get a cold steak dinner at Papa Joe’s, complete with bottomless drinks, and still get change on my bill!

Come to think of it, unless you have special dietary needs because you’re lactose intolerant or diabetic or gluten-sensitive or allergic to nuts, people generally eat ice cream for one reason: it’s cold and yummy. Okay. Two reasons.

After the novelty has worn off, people tend to forget the product, or patronize it as an occasional treat. I can also imagine, when the school year begins, students will be grabbing ice creams for lunch, instead of their usual (healthier?) bagels toasted with butter or muffins or cookies and milk. (I never claimed students ate healthy lunches, okay?) They might also grab a milkshake or a fruit shake, but the cost, the cost, will make you spend the most!

If someone says bananas again, I will go bananas.

The Coldstone banana has split.