A short bit ago — say a couple weeks ago, before schools started up so maybe even a month ago — a month ago I’m driving in the parking garage to a retail office center when I see a family made up of a mom, dad, and two blond-headed boys walking to their car. I’m at the center for office reasons which is why I am in the garage. Otherwise, say if I was getting a Tiny Mexican Vanilla with Junior Mints from Amy’s Ice Cream I’d be in the outdoor parking area. Based on observation I’m not the only one who views the parking situation this way. Plus, it’s a weekday afternoon so a family really sticks out.
Is it a final before first-day-of-school adventure? Have they been eating ice creams by the life-sized granite cows? I can only assume they are life-sized having only been near a live cow once during a 7th grade field trip to Pioneer Farms. Maybe they’ve been…well, there aren’t too many kid stores and they don’t have shopping bags with them…to the movies. Yes, the movie theater is the closest building to the parking garage. That must be it. I get lost in how much fun it would be to play hookie at the movies from the rest of my workday. What’s playing? As I drive out of the garage I look to my right, where the theater is, so that I can see the “Now Playing” posters. Instead I find myself looking at the Cheesecake Factory.
The movie theater — the old Arbor — has been closed for 13 years. I know this. But for that moment, in the dark, enclosed garage with the sameness of the concrete walls and the short ceilings, I completely believed that it was still there.
Laughing, I tell myself this must be time travel. For that moment in the garage I traveled to the past. It’s the time travel concept in Somewhere in Time, The retail office center is not in the slightest historical or rooted in the past. It’s changing all the time. The only memorable constant feature is the cows. Amy’s seems a fixture too. So maybe that. And maybe the bookstore. The other stores have been inconstant. Maybe something in the universe momentarily changed and for a moment I or the retail office center was affected by some sort of time change.
Or, maybe I’ve gone bonkers wishing for something else. The retail stores can’t hold my attention, spending 2 hours eating ice cream seems a bad idea — it’ll melt or I’ll get a stomachache, and it’s too hot to spend it outside with the cows. Movie theaters were meant for getting lost at and losing yourself in. Maybe, for that moment, I wished the movie theater into existence until reality won. Being that powerful is kind of exciting. I’d still rather it was one of the first two possibilities.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Lavender Ice Cream
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
In a medium pot combine 2 1/4 cup heavy cream, 7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (100% pure cocoa), a little less than 1 cup sugar, and 1-2 tablespoons dried lavender (didn’t measure this). Heat, stirring, until it boils. Turn off the heat and quickly stir in 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped. Once smooth stir in 1 cup whole milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Let cool in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Shortly before the next step melt 4 ounces bitter- or semi- sweet chocolate, chopped. Next step: Strain the ice cream mixture before putting it in the ice cream freezer. Before it is finished freezing slowly pour in the melted chocolate. This was my first time attempting stracciatella and I waited too long to do this last step so it wouldn’t mix in properly. I had to stir it in by hand.