Every so often, one of us will look at the other expectantly and say “do you want to go to Antonino’s tonight?”, which, translated, means “I’d like to go to Antonino’s tonight – for pizza“. Somehow, when one of us says it, the other always concurs, and off we go for pizza at our favorite hangout.
Antonino’s is a cozy Italian restaurant in a neighboring town; a hole-in-the- wall sort of place that seats, maybe, 30 guests along with a continuous string of carry-out customers. We enjoy their food, their family atmosphere, and sometimes a salad, soup, or calamari on the side, but, mostly, we go for their pizza.
So it was last Friday, after a very long and busy week for both Tom and I, that we found ourselves greeted and seated at a corner table finishing up pizza as our waitress asked if we would like anything else before depositing our tab for payment. “No thank you” we said, just minutes before the very same waitress walked by with a tempting dish that caught our eyes.
We don’t order desert very often, but, what passed our table looked so inviting. “Uh, miss, was that Neapolitan ice cream you just walked by with?”. It was, she replied, and soon, a similar plate with two spoons nestled upon our table. We dug right in with our spoons for shovels, the chocolate on Tom’s side, the New York cherry on mine, with a ribbon of pistachio ice cream to share in the middle. It’s grand, is it not, when life works out this way; two aging hippies spooning over ice cream?
It was delicious, though I think our confection was technically spumoni, rather than Neapolitan. Neither of us cared what its true surname was as we licked our spoons and recalled the ice cream of our childhood, served in this way, an icy brick of creamy flavors from a pint of ice cream.
Our moms would come home with a pint of ice cream, packed in a neatly squared carton. The pint would be opened on the table or counter by gently opening the top, then the four sides, all carefully disassembled, revealing a brick of ice cream in the center. Just watching the unfolding was a treat! A large knife would be dipped in warm water, then sliced through the ice cream into even slabs. It was always a treat, but, never looked more inviting than when the ice cream was spumoni!
Do you like ice cream? Spumoni, Neapolitan? Ever have moose tracks? Do you remember ice cream sold in square pints?