Ice Cream and Fun!
Jay and son, Gates, celebrate the excitement of ice cream while enjoying a couple cones at Annabelle’s in Portsmouth
This week, I want to have a little fun with the Sunshine Report and talk about one of the great
things in life that almost everyone loves and enjoys, no matter who you are or where you’re from. And that is ice cream! What’s your favorite flavor?
With summer fast approaching, you’d be hard pressed to find me not enjoying ice cream on a regular basis. To be perfectly honest, ice cream any time of the year is one of my favorite treats, but with the sunny days and warm temperatures of the summer months, it gives us all a little more reason to indulge. What I love about ice cream the most though is its universal appeal and the joy that it brings to folks young and old, man or woman, boy or girl. On any given summer night, you can find an incredibly diverse array of people at any given ice cream shop across the country. Few other places can lay similar claims.
While we may think of ice cream as a modern treat, iced treats similar to ice cream date back to Roman times, where large blocks of ice were harvested from local mountains and turned into something cold and sweet. Fast forward to the time of the American revolution, ice cream had become all the rage in Europe and eventually made its way to our shores. It’s been documented that some of our Founding Fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were ice cream enthusiasts which helped spread the dessert’s appeal throughout the colonies. Dolly Madison, wife of James Madison, the 4th president of the United States, had strawberry ice cream served at her husband's inauguration. She even made sure that there was always ice cream readily available at the White House during his presidency. Especially, impressive considering modern refrigerators or freezers weren’t invented until the late 1800’s.
By the mid 19th century, after the invention of the hand cranked freezer, ice cream became widely popular across the United States and gave way to ice cream treats like the sundae and ice cream soda’s, and eventually the birth of the modern ice cream industry. Prior to World War II, Americans had begun to popularize ice cream around the world, so much so that it had become a symbol synonymous with the United States. Upon America entering the war, Benito Mussolini even banned Italians from eating it because of what it represented. We kept on making it though, and it was often used as a morale booster for our troops during the war – so much so that the U.S. Armed Forces were widely acknowledged to be the world's largest manufacturers of ice cream at the time.
Who knew this cold treat has such a history? But, with all its flavors and varieties, there’s truly an option for everyone to enjoy. Perhaps that’s why it is hardly a surprise to that it’s lasted the test of time and am sure will continue to bring many of us joy for years to come.
NH Ice Cream Trail - Truly Worth the Hike!
Earlier this week I dropped Karen off at the airport. She was heading down to Florida for some business meetings. On the way home, I thought to myself, “I’d love to grab some ice cream.” Ever get one of those cravings? So, coming through Manchester, I knew I had a few options. Cremeland on Valley Street, Goldenrod near the Massabesic traffic circle, or even Blake’s on the west side. It even got me thinking – should I drive up to Sunapee and visit one of my all-time favorites – the Quack Shack in Sunapee Harbor? When I got home that evening, I wanted to be prepared for the next time I had that craving, so I took to the internet and discovered the NH Ice Cream Trail!
The NH Ice Cream Trail isn’t your typical hiking trail. Instead, it's a map, listing over 40 destinations across the Granite State where you can find the best ice cream. Organized and promoted by Granite State Dairy Promotions, this non-profit seeks to promote the New Hampshire’s Dairy farmers and their wonderful dairy products in our state and across the country. As far up as Pittsburg, NH to Haywards in Nashua, the options to find ice cream are endless. Play a round of mini golf then grab a double scoop at Golf For U in West Lebanon or pick some apples this fall followed by picking your favorite toppings on your sundae at Gould Hill Farm in Contoocook. The Ice Cream Trail will be sure to fill your head with ideas that fill any sweet tooth craving!
The fun you and your family can have this summer and the cool treat you can have when beating the heat will create long lasting memories. I invite you to learn more about the NH Ice Cream Trail at www.nhdairypromo.org . And if your favorite ice cream spot isn’t on the trail, then let me know about it by tagging @jaylucasnh on social media! I'll see you around the ice cream stands this summer!
Walpole’s Super-Premium Ice Cream
Walpole, New Hampshire is a small town of 4,000 people in Cheshire County. While there are many hidden treasures in Walpole, one of my favorites is the Walpole Creamery owned by my friend Rob Kasper, a wonderful New Hampshire businessman who is out to bring joy to one and all. What makes an ice cream super-premium? Well, it’s all about the milk-fat content of the ice cream. This is an area where Walpole Creamery really shines. Not only is their ice cream really, (I mean ‘really’) creamy, but each flavor is all natural and GMO free.
While Walpole might be a small town, the Walpole Creamery is getting, well, pretty big! This small shop is now in multiple states (including Texas!) and is in Whole Foods as well as many New Hampshire supermarkets of course! It turns out when you have a great product and a deep passion for it, great things can come of it. I know that Walpole Creamery will continue to expand over the years, and I get the inkling that soon it will be coast-to-coast and why not international as well?
Positive Profile of the Week – The Weeks’ Family
This week we are delighted to profile a family – with a strong connection to ice cream, but an even stronger tradition of generosity, philanthropy and a continuing commitment to the state of New Hampshire and our people. We are honored to highlight the Weeks’ family.
Amazingly this great New Hampshire family and their dairy farming dates back to the mid-1600s. When the family sold their dairy farm almost 400 years later, their farm was the largest dairy producer in the state. They created jobs, supported their communities, and were the driving force for farming and agricultural land preservation in the Granite State.
Following the sale of their dairy farming business, Jack and Patty Weeks created a charitable fund to support children in need. Their son John followed in their shoes and created his own charitable fund to continue to make a difference in the state. Intrigued by what I learned, I decided to do a bit more research on the family.
The Weeks family is one of the main reasons why we have the NH White Mountain National Forest. Former Secretary of War John Wingate Weeks helped lead the creation of the Eastern Parks System and his home on top of Mt. Prospect in Lancaster is now a state landmark as well as a lookout point where the public can visit to get breathtaking views of the Presidential Mountain range.
The people of New Hampshire are generous and supportive of those in need. We support our neighbors, we lend a helping hand, and continue to do good for our communities. We are fortunate to have the Weeks’ family as a leading force in our community and appreciate their leadership and wonderful efforts.
Quotes of the Week: Ice Cream
"Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
“When I was a kid, I used to think, 'Man, if I could ever afford all the ice cream I want to eat, that's as rich as I ever want to be.”
“Forget art. Put your trust in ice cream.”
“Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.”
“My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate.”