I am not sure I can describe the giddy delight of this combination. Not sure I can express the indulgence of it, so extreme in my world that it is decadent. In-house frozen summer treats are nothing new around here; popsicles and ice cream sandwiches and vanilla are never in short supply. Cones, too, are often present and sometimes mint chocolate chip, but never sugar cones.
Things evolve this way. All the boys like vanilla, so it’s easy. All three, too, like cake cones. They are at ages where an ice cream cone a day has no effect on health or heft, not that any of them would stop to consider either.
I do not like cake cones, a scrunchy, airy styrofoam concoction I’ve never understood. And while I like vanilla, I’m not tempted by it. It is temptation itself that I resist. I don’t over-indulge in anything, except perhaps the worry of over-indulging. But last week, alone at the grocery store, I stood in front of a foggy glass door and wondered, “What bad thing will happen? Cavaties? Countless pounds?” I hesitated. “Unlikely.” I nonchalantly tossed mint chocolate chip, my favorite flavor, into the cart. Then, standing before the cone options, I noticed the mixed marriage of cake and sugar. “Could they be as good as in a shop?” I wondered. “Or will they be a crumbled mess?” (Not that I am judging crumbled messes at this point. Every cone has her day.) I put my fears aside and brought them home.
As I popped open the cardboard box and spied true styrofoam, its smartly formed ridges holding each sugar cone whole and safe, I admired the design of their container. I opened it carefully and slid a cone from its home. The sharp edge of the scoop lifted the ice cream in a thick rippled curl and I pressed it inside the cone as gingerly as I would return a baby bird to the nest. Another scoop created a full round mound. I bit the ruffled excess from the edge, a first bite cliche, and pressed the soft, frozen cream to the roof of my mouth, feeling the cold and the sharp bite of the mint travel up my sinus, then the thick snap of the dark chocolate under my teeth. A week later I wonder if it is the treat itself or the feeling of naughtiness that delivers the thrill.