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What happens when someone overhears you in the grocery store …

Friendly's Ice Cream haul 05-19-21

It was a beautiful day here in Connecticut—finally, hot! I’ve been eating a lot of ice cream lately. Mostly because I love it, life’s too short, and I’ve been in a very happy place for over a month.

My three favorite flavors are vanilla (because, you know, back in the 1970s, you didn’t have a whole lot of choices except for Neapolitan and coffee and I wasn’t a fan of chocolate or strawberry), Butter Crunch (because my dad always took me out to Friendly’s for that) and Summer Breeze, a pleasing, summer-only edition blend of vanilla, lemon candies, and graham cracker. This last one I discovered in 2019 when it was on sale in a grocery store near East Providence and I wanted to try something new.

I put the Summer Breeze in my cart. I’d only planned on getting two cartons, so I tried to make a choice between the Butter Crunch and the vanilla.

Suddenly, I said—louder than I’d intended—“F— it.” I grabbed them both.

I heard a woman’s laugh from down the aisle. She was standing in front of the cases where they keep all the frozen treats.

“I was just thinkin’ f— it myself,” she said. “I can’t decide. I think I’m gettin’ a few! F— it!”

We wished each other happy eating, and I headed to the check-out.

You’re probably wondering why I’d put this on my blog, but it was just one of those perfect moments in life in which you just bond for a second with a complete stranger. And after the rough year or so we’ve survived, it was comforting. It was a reminder that yes, eventually, we’re going to be okay.

And now … which carton should I mine first?

Happy Father’s Day! Adventures in the ice cream freezer case

Friendly's Butter Crunch Ice Cream

The carton of Friendly’s Butter Crunch ice cream I found in Shop Rite in Brookfield, CT on Father’s Day in 2013.

When I was little, my dad used to love to take me out for ice cream. Most of the time it was the Carvel down in the North Street Shopping Center, or the Carvel on Route 7 in my home town New Milford, or the Swensen’s in Plumtrees Plaza off Exit 8 in Danbury. But the best place, the really special one that we only got to go to on special occasions, was the Friendly’s—because they had my favorite flavor of all time, Butter Crunch.

Butter Crunch—sweet and buttery with chunks of something like toffee in it—wasn’t as popular as its relative, Butter Pecan. Even when it was a “new” flavor, it was rare if you found it someplace other than Friendly’s.

On Father’s Day in 2013, I was having Read the rest of this entry

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