I Got Grilled

Posted by Al | Raving | Sunday 13 September 2009 2:33 am

The question kept coming up over and over as we exited our vehicles each day during the summer afternoons, “Do you smell that?” The trash bin that had missed this week’s pick-up? No. The odor I was referring to is the mouth-watering aroma of backyard grills fired up in the neighborhood. When we left the rental house in Liverpool, New York we were forced to store our belongings in a storage space until the move to North Carolina. We were worried about storing the propane tank in a hot garage. The grill we had was also bit old so we gave it away rather than move it. It’s been an entire year without the amazing char-taste of wonderfully grilled food. GrillI tried a stove top skillet with raised slats but it was nothing like the lick of the flame sealing in the juices of two pounds of London Broil. My wife knows me so well and has treated me to the perfect gift for our two year wedding anniversary. Not just a grill but a 46,000 BTU, 4-Burner Gas Grill with 671 sq. inches of total cooking area, enough room to cook 24 hamburgers at once. But not just ‘cooked’ hamburgers, Grilled hamburgers. And to all you still struggling through Syracuse winters; while your grill hides under a vinyl tarp covered in three feet of snow for six months a year, Charlotte allows for a much longer grilling season. I will be grilling my Christmas dinner over a beautiful open flame while you are waiting for the power to come back on once the ice has snapped lines in your area. The way to my heart is through my stomach. Excuse me, I have to flip my meal.

McCain for Prez

Posted by Al | Raving | Friday 3 October 2008 10:26 pm

I Scream

Posted by Al | Raving | Tuesday 1 July 2008 12:58 pm

If you should ever find yourself speeding your way down Rt 14, on the west side of Senaca Lake some afternoon, you will have the golden opportunity to treat yourself to a rare delight.  Located between Geneva and Watkins Glen in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State is a non-descript little store, named “Lakemont Deli & Creamery”. Don’t blink, or you will miss it and a wonderful experience.

Originally called “Wixson’s” for the family that owned it, the small shop has been Lakemont, NYhiding right out in the open there on the highway for many years. Until recently a large glass box containing an active beehive was placed in the center of the store. Not very appealing to those who are allergic to bee stings but interesting nonetheless. The Wixson’s are known for their bee and honey products, but new owners have taken over the magic of the tiny shop. They are transplants from the city looking for a “nice pastrami sandwich”, not able to find one they decided to open their own deli near their new home. They fell in love with Wixson’s after many visits throughout past summers. They wanted to continue giving passerbys with the same great experiences they had come to remember, as well as make it better. Now instead of closing for the “off season”, you can enjoy the shop year round. The sandwiches, restrooms and new schedule are a wonderful addition to the store, but one thing has not changed in more than half a century, the Ice Cream. But its not just any ice cream served here. Can you imagine soft-serve ice cream with real flavoring ingredients. You ask for strawberry, real fresh strawberries go in the machine, along with a specially  made block of ice cream. A cone is place below the dish and the machine is turned on. A large “screw” turns and is moved down into the dish with a handle. As it crushes and perfectly mixes the ice cream and flavorings it also forces it out the bottom into the cone. It’s soft, cold, and delicious. The smell of the fresh flavoring is wonderfully strong. This delicacy melts in your mouth without giving you the annoying a brain-freeze.

The machine is called a “Choose A Treat”. The pull handle resembles a Choose A Treat Machineslot machine and its a jackpot every time its pulled. Such a simple machine and yet only 4 are are still in operation. Two of which were originally at this location, but one left with the previous owner. A simple design but an unbelievable delight. No other ice cream shop can compare.    Cold Stone Creamery mashes up hard ice cream with your choice of flavoring but you are still left with hard chunky ice cream. They seem to be too busy registering and trademarking snappy slogans to consider offering something different. Blizzards® and McFlurry® are maybe closest to the idea. These blended desserts have such a processed taste to the “ice cream” mix. The same mix used in the shakes. Plus they don’t offer many choices of flavors and none of the ingredients are fresh.

How could people forget about such a crowning achievement in summer time taste. This one was made in the 1940’s and still works today. Could the patent be that strong on the “Choose A Treat” that no one is able to remarket this remarkable design. Someone needs to look into this.

Do not pass up the opportunity to try this great dessert if you are anywhere near Central New York. Once these last machines are gone, you may no longer have a chance.