Grandpa John was sweeping in front of his store when some of the “Can Do” kids were coming down the street; he couldn’t help noticing how hot and bored they looked. “Can Do” Street was in the midst of a heat wave. It was too hot to ride bikes, or play ball, or even swim in the pool, since the water was so warm it felt like taking a bath.
Grandpa John decided the “Can Dos” need an ice cream break before they went over to Orrie’s for a play date.
When the “Can Dos” got to his store, Grandpa John invited them in for ice cream cones. When the “Can Dos” were all seated in the air-conditioned store, enjoying their ice cream, Grandpa John asked, “Who can tell me when we first began to eat ice cream in the U.S. A.? Their blank looks told him it was story time…ice cream story time.
Grandpa John cleared his throat and began talking, “Ice cream, has a long history in the Americas. Some of my Mexican friends have told me that the Aztec emperor Moctezuma (referred to today as Montezuma) had servants climb the snow-capped volcanic mountains for snow to mix with fruit juices as a hot-weather treat.
In 1744 Barbara Janssen Bladen, daughter of Lord Baltimore and wife of Proprietary Colonial Governor of Maryland, Sir Thomas Bladen, first served ice cream in the American colonies. Ice cream, at that time, was a fashion of the rich.
The sweet treat did not become popular in this country until after the American Revolution, when the Americans had continued contact with the French.
Thomas Jefferson learned how to make ice cream during his time in Paris as the United States’ Ambassador to France. He collected many recipes while in France, but ice cream was one of his favorites. Many visitors to Monticello, Jefferson’s home in Virginia, had ice cream during their meals there.
Americans’ love for ice cream has only increased over the years. Mary Todd Lincoln held berry parties which featured seasonal strawberries and ice cream served on the side. An American named
Abe Doumar is said to have created the first ice cream cone, on July 23, 1904, at the World’s Fair in St. Louis. When he ran out of ice cream dishes to serve his ice cream in, he served the ice cream in rolled-up thin waffles.”
By the time Grandpa John finished his ice cream story, the “Can Dos” were finished their cones and anxious to get to Orrie’s house. Grandpa John packed a cone in a freezer bag for Orrie, and gave it to Willie to carry.
As they walked to Orrie’s, Hector said, “Grandpa John has good stories for everything.” Bobby added, “Yeah, and they sound even better when you’re eating ice cream.” Everyone laughed and agreed that Grandpa John’s stories were best told with ice cream.
History of Ice Cream Source: U.S. Government Printing Office’s (GPO) Government Book Talk