President Ronald Reagan signed the proclamation making July National Ice Cream month in July 1984. Ice cream brings up many childhood memories for me. I had the great fortune of being born to a Mother and Father who both loved ice cream. Many Friday nights found us at a family favorite Matlack’s, restaurant-style ice cream parlor near my home town that served baskets of pretzel sticks with their bowls of ice cream, or a summertime drive down to Dredge Harbour Soft Serve ice cream near the river in my hometown, or my Mother bringing home a quart of her favorite hand-dipped Butter Almond or Chocolate or Mint Chocolate Chip for us to share.

One adult memory of ice cream surrounds my friend and former boss, Kris Weston. Kris was in palliative care and actively dying at a hospital near Yonge and Bloor. She was a real-life “Sex in the City” character. She also was surrounded by a coterie of single professional women of a certain age who were her support team. They were all there visiting one evening and when leaving to have dinner nearby, someone asked her if she wanted anything.

 

“Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche Ice Cream”, was the response.

 

When they returned, they told us that Pusateri’s in Yorkville didn’t have that flavour, so they were sending a pint down from the Pustateri’s on Avenue Road north of Lawrence in a taxi. (“Who does that?”, I thought.)

 

Sure enough, after they left the cab driver arrived at the hospital room door with the pint of ice cream. I paid him $20 or $25 + tip for delivering it.

Kris savoured her ice cream, enjoying every spoonful. She died three days later.

Toronto has many ice cream choices waiting for you to make your own summertime memories. I’ve sampled all of them. All highly recommended.