I was transported back to my five year old-self, starry-eyed and watering-mouth, when I walked into Boston’s City Hall Plaza, on June 9th. I was about to step into the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl – the nation’s largest all-you-can-eat-ice cream festival – and since the whole idea of having access to an infinite number of various flavored ice cream scoops, was new to me, I was sailing swiftly on cloud nine.
We pushed our way through the sea of surging crowd of adults and children alike – all resembling five-year olds with sticky hands and smiling faces – to where the ice-cream stands were lined up. Baskin Robbins, all dressed in pink and white was offering the exquisite flavors of Wild ‘n Reckless Sherbet, Cookie Jar Mashup, Caramel Turtle Truffle and Vanilla Pomegranate Parfait Frozen Yogurt. And I had to choose one. One, of all the other enticing flavors calling out to me. One, because there were a dozen other ice-cream stands waiting with open arms. One, because unfortunately, I have the appetite of a sparrow. The Cookie Jar Mashup, won me over with it’s promise to be as crunchy as creamy.
With a tingling sensation in my mouth, I followed Elyssa, who’s brainwave it was to attend this magic world of all things sweet. Minutes ago we were glued to our desktop screens working with photographs that were to go up on the website and now she was leading me to Delish’s famous Butter Pecan and Moose Track flavors that are renowned for its powers of transporting it’s taster to the Alaskan wild. Once I was done watching the northern lights in my mind, I looked all around me to witness all the faces that were crimson with the cool of the frozen cream and the sense of unparalleled joy. I had an undying urge to photograph those expressions of surprise and satisfaction screaming, “You’ve got to try this one” and “Oh! My God! This one is sinful,” but my left hand was too full of the growing tower of ice-cream cups and my right one too pre occupied attending to my overwhelmed taste buds. I let my memory take snap shots of all the glee spilling from cups, in hopes to put them in words later.
Vice Cream then initiated what was to become a scrumptious seven course meal, with a scoop of Breakfast in Bed, each bite of which tasted of waffles, crepes and pies. I complimented that with Higher Grounds and its taste of fresh coffee beans that seemed to be plucked right out of the first coffee plant in the mountains of Yemen. Hood’s Maple Flavored French Toast and Ben and Jerry’s Milk & Cookies and Cherry Garcia made for a complete breakfast – well baked and well served in perfect round scoops!
After every refreshing lick of ice cream, I would turn around, half expecting for someone to close it all down or my mother to say that I had had enough, but all I received was Elyssa’s encouraging smile to finish my current flavor and line up to devour the next scoop of magic. And then there was no stopping. Not the Boston wind making us shiver, nor our bloating tummies, nothing could stop our spoons from acrobatically moving from cup to mouth.
We ended our treat with Brayer’s classic Natural Vanilla and Edy’s Sherbet Rainbow – tasting all the hues and shades of colors that ever existed. With promises of avoiding all ice cream stores for the next three months, prayers for all the cancer heroes the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl was supporting, we stumbled our way out for a much-required long walk along the city’s harbor.