I am what you may call an ice cream connoisseur. This talent is hereditary and was lovingly passed on to myself and each of my sisters from our father. Now I know what your thinking, most men eat with a corduroy fork. No taste, am I right? Not so my father. He knows which brands of ice cream are the best ones out there. There was none of that crappy store brand ice cream in our house when we were growing up! (In all fairness I must add that today there are actually some store brands that figured out how to finally make "good" ice cream. They just couldn't do it when I was a kid.) Oh, and there was always ice cream in our freezer. My parents would come home from grocery shopping and my sisters and I would all make our way outside to help bring in the grocery bags. (Remember when all your groceries came home in big paper bags?) While making the trek into the house someone would inevitably feel that the bottom of their bag was deliciously cold. mmmm... This is the point where you would excitedly call out "I hit the jackpot!" Thereby informing everyone else that you had found the ice cream. Ah the memories... However, a family favorite was always the trips to Baskin Robbins! We loved (still love?) that place. Dad would come in and tell everyone to go get in the car. When questioned as to why or where we were going, because you know children never do what they are told without a legitimate reason or explanation, he would simply say "I'm taking you on a one way ride." You might assume that a one way ride is a trip out to the desert blindfolded, where you are dropped off and left to find your way home. Assuming this you would then think that my sisters and I were all crazy, because we would, rather enthusiastically, run to get in the car. That's because when Dad said the words "one way ride" it always meant Baskin Robbins. See, we were well trained. It was rather like Pavlov's dog drooling at the sound of a bell!
I suppose you're wondering why I've written this rather long, rambling information about my childhood. It was simply to tell you about last night. Jim (oh that's my cute hubby) and I went with our friends Garrin and Stacy to get an ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Let me tell you, getting ice cream with Garrin is an adventure in itself. It easily took him 10 minutes to figure out what he wanted. He asked all kinds of questions and in the end concocted a shake of his own creation! Over the years (and years, and years) of eating at BR I've learned what I like and have become a creature of habit. Occasionally I'll really splurge and get a sundae, or when it's on sale I like to take home a couple of prepacked quarts. However, 99% of the time I get a two scoop sugar cone, with mint chip on the bottom and pralines and cream on the top. Sadly, last night, I learned that my revered BR has changed. Oh the horror! The disappointment! The ice cream is different! Gone is the rich, creamy ice cream of the past! What I had last night was a more crumbly, ice milk type of ice cream. Those of you who are also ice cream connoisseurs out there (my family) will understand what I'm describing.
Has the economic crisis that has currently besieged the US affected Baskin Robbins? Are they cutting production costs by lowering the quality of their ingredients? Are they simply concerned for the health and weight management of it's customers, and so have switched ingredients to the more healthy, lower fat, milk instead of cream? I implore them, CHANGE IT BACK!