Sunday, July 1, 2012

Soda-cream: Perfect Summer Chiller

This post has been sitting there, ready to be posted for 10 days now....just a sign of how crazy things have been this summer till now. Finally, today I get to upload it. We are 2 and half weeks ion summer vacation at this point....and the girls are thoroughly enjoying themselves....

Our first week of summer vacation went by lazily. The girls were excited to stay home; and be with their grandmother all day. They woke up late, ate all the Indian junk food that came out of their daadi's bags, and watched TV all day.  Despite that, it didn't feel like summer to me. The weather's been cool, cloudy and somewhat wet. So this past week, when the TV forecasts rang out a heat wave warning; I got excited for my girls. My summer vacation list includes: lazy afternoons, grandparents AND heat!  

To enforce the 'we're going to get hot today', driving in to work this morning, I heard the ice cream truck- at 8am - with a bunch of kids around it. When we lived in the city, Anya would get real excited upon  hearing the ice cream truck. Oftentimes, on summer evenings, we'd follow the music around the block till we caught up with the truck and got her "the pink ice cream with rainbow sprinkles".  That was our summer ritual- 

This jolt of memory from the recent past reminded me of my childhood summers. As soon as we heard the cow-bell ring of the 3-wheeled ice cream cart on a dusty hot summer afternoon; we'd run out to stop the ice-cream wallah. My mom would follow, rudely woken up from her afternoon siesta by two excited shrieks, gathering the folds of her sari and frantically looking for the exact change to pay for the ice creams. We were allowed to buy only the milk-based ice creams - the chocolate covered one or kulfi - as opposed to the water ice equivalents, which were the hugely popular things called "golas"- shaved iced made into a popsicle and dipped into brightly colored, sickly sweet syrups.  My brother and I would eat our ice creams, then wait for our dad to return from work in the evening......
" mommy didn't let us buy the gola I wanted...."
" And she made me buy the white kulfi when I wanted the chocolate one....."
My mom's explanations to my dad were usually drowned in a flood of tears (from me) and huge big tantrums (from my younger brother) till my dad took us both and walked us down to the local DDA market.  We came back laden with goodies that were largely forbidden; and fairly expensive in those days. And then my dad would get to work - choosing the right sized cups for us, and making us his special soda-cream.  With the meltdown finally averted, he'd sit us down and tell us why he thought our behavior towards our mom was disrespectful. We sat with our eyes down, seemingly ashamed, but actually concentrating real hard on the treats in our hands!! 

And whole scenario would repeat itself like clockwork, every other week of summer vacations :-)) 

Driving back home, I decided to get a glimpse of my summer back. And give the girls a taste of my dad's Soda-Cream. To make it more fun, I actually let them make it themselves.  So they could pour their soda, float two scoops of ice cream on top; and enjoy summer as it used to be for me.  Unfortunately, their tastebuds are not geared towards liking my favorite foods :-)) They preferred their soda seperate from ice-cream.  A liked that's half the battle won!

My two cents: When my dad was in his element, we all got the flavors we wanted- orange Fanta for me, Coke for my brother, Limca for my mom, and club soda with a hint of lemon for my dad.  My dad said his mom made the soda cream for him when he was a kid, except that she used home-made ice-cream; and floated it on what we called "kanche-wala soda"- a bubbly, spiced lemonade that was sold in glass bottles stoppered with a colored glass marble. You had to push the marble inside to open the bottle, and then kids would spend hours trying to figure out how to get the marble out from the narrow mouth without breaking that bottle. 

Summers were simpler back when I was child....convenience has somehow misplaced wonder from a kids' life. Anya at least saw an ice-cream truck; baby P believes all ice- cream comes out from a box!!! And they somehow don't believe that I was a kid once too :-)) But this glass really took me back many many years to the summers that used to be....

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