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Ice cream is one of my all-time favorite sweet treats. I absolutely love ice cream, not all ice cream, but yes, ice cream. Ice cream to me is not the same as gelato, sherbe(r)t, or frozen yogurt (ugh, yuck). It’s just a delicious sweet treat that can be eaten at any time of the year, even in the wintertime. Yes, technically gelato is the same as ice cream, just more dense in flavor & texture (with less eggs & cream), but I much prefer ice cream itself over its Italian controparte. If you check my Instagram page, you’ll find numerous photo posts regarding my delicious passion for devouring ice cream.

Ice cream is such a delectable treat. It’s so easy to consume. That’s one of the main reasons why I love it so much. You can pretty much eat it however you want whenever you want. I often tell my friends that eating ice cream can somewhat save the planet, or at least reduce everyone’s carbon footprint. How, you ask? Well, think about it this way. The next time you go to an ice cream parlor, or stand, or shop, whichever…ask for a cone (waffle, sugar, plain, etc.) instead of a cup or bowl.

The cone itself acts as a conveniently portable & most importantly EDIBLE vessel, & voilà! No extra trash, except maybe a napkin or two, but no cup, spoon, or bowl in any form (paper, styrofoam, plastic). Your cone is the container for your ice cream, & once you’ve consumed it all, there’s nothing left to throw in the trash bin. Also, as a bonus, it’s much easier to walk around with an ice cream cone in one hand than having to spoon feed yourself with both hands while on the move.

There’s just something so delectable about ice cream. I just can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s so rich, creamy, flavorful, comforting to one’s soul. I could eat ice cream any time, any where. You could send me to the Arctic Circle, & I’d still enjoy my ice cream. I know most moms would tell you not to consume cold foods &/or beverages when you are sick or have a cold, but I’ve gladly enjoyed a scoop or two of ice cream while nursing a very bad cold. Now, I’m not saying ice cream is my favorite dessert or sweet treat (that’s a whole other topic by itself), but I very much enjoy the delights of ice cream.

Now that I’ve gotten that little rant out of the way, let me get to the topic at hand (no pun intended). No, I am not going to talk about which brand or flavor is best. I don’t want to get into any arguments with anyone over those subjective topics. However, since I am documenting pretty much every little detail about my life on this blog, I might as well tell you which is my favorite. It’s the coffee flavor from the Häagen Dazs brand. Yes, that is my all-time, ride-or-die favorite ice cream.

There are other craft brands & flavors that I also love dearly, but no other brand or flavor has ever ensnared my heart the way this one has. I want to say that this flavor brings back memories of my childhood, but my childhood favorite was the plain chocolate flavor from either Baskin Robins, Double Rainbow, or Dreyer’s. Yeah, I had very bland taste as a child. Luckily I’ve nearly grown out of that phase after way more than 30+ years, which is a good thing because I’ve discovered a few craft ice cream shops in my state that scoop some of my other favorite flavors.

Lately, I’ve taken to eating ice cream almost every single night after dinner. No, I am not serving myself full scoops of ice cream. That would completely devastate my never-bounced-back-after-baby-was-born waistline. I only allow myself no more than 4 or 5 spoonfuls; mostly because I want to make that pint in my freezer last longer, but also because I want to savor the ice cream. It is a special treat after all, & I don’t want to just scarf it down without any care.

Those few precious minutes after dinner, after all the leftovers have been put away & all the dishes have been washed, & I’ve got some peace & quiet alone in the kitchen, is one of my life’s many small enjoyments. I guess you could say that it’s one form of self-care, but I just call it a delightful indulgence. I’ll take my wins wherever I can get them, no matter how small.

Since we’re on the topic of ice cream, shall we also talk about other desserts featuring ice cream? Yes, I do like to eat an ice cream bar every now and again, but it’s not always my go-to choice in terms of ice cream filled treats. Sometimes I will crave an ice cream sandwich, more so the traditional rectangular shaped ice cream sandwiched between two thin-ish layers of chocolate cake-like cookies, rather than ice cream mushed betwixt two actual cookies (i.e. chocolate chip cookies). However, my most favorite of all-time ice cream treats besides a regular ol’ scoop of ice cream on a cone is the Häagen Dazs Crispy Sandwich, which apparently you can only get in Asia.

This crispy sandwich blows all other ice cream sandwiches out of the water…or should I say, freezer. From the beautiful crispy, flaky, buttery wafer cookie all the way to the ice cream itself, my mouth is utterly salivating just thinking about it. It’s a perfect bite of thin, airy, flaky cookie with just the right amount of cold ice cream. The flavors of the ice cream in this crispy sandwich are also such a heavenly delight. I’ve only ever been able to find these treats in Asia, like when I’ve gone back to China, Taiwan, & Japan. My dream is that one day these perfect crispy ice cream sandwiches will be available worldwide. For everyone to experience this delicious dessert would be amazing, but especially if this were available in the U.S, that would be a miracle. One can dream though, right?

Well, anyway, this is the end of my post. I am a little sad that I’ve run out of my favorite ice cream at home. I know I could just pop off to my nearby grocery store & get more, but I don’t want to always have it available in my freezer. That would be too great of a temptation. I would much prefer to occasionally treat myself to my favorite ice cream in order to preserve its specialness, like I am treating myself to an extra special gift. Plus, if I had my favorite ice cream all the time, my waistline would be especially angry with me. Until the next scoop, cheers all!

Today’s song of the day:

Whenever I visit Japan, I usually go in the Summer or Winter. (Maybe I like to torture myself with the crazy weather.) Each time I come home, I always bring back a new & interesting cultural experience, or reminisce about my favorite ones that I wish we could observe here in The States. I don’t think I’ll be visiting Nippon again for a long time, so here I’ve compiled a short list of the things I miss about being in Japan.

  • No matter how late you go to bed, you will always wake up at the butt-crack of dawn (around 6am-ish). I’ve tried the sleep-in thing, & it doesn’t work, even if you don’t have jet lag.
  • Their TV commercials are so much cooler & funnier compared to ours. We may not quite understand most them, but they are still highly amusing.
  • When you walk into a shop or a restaurant, you will be greeted by the entire staff no less than FIVE times. Even if they’ve already seen you, they will greet you again (& again, & again).
  • If you wake up & head out early enough, you can catch a glimpse of shop workers getting ready for the day’s work by reciting cheerful chants & receiving a rousing pep talk from the store manager.  (Watching this in person really amazed & pumped me up as well.)
  • The breakfast sets (served until 9:30am) are so delicious & divine.  The portions are ample & the prices are very reasonable.
  • Beware of walking around Harajuku too early in the morning, you might be looked upon as a spy, or a crazy person for waking up so darn early.
  • Obviously, being in the land of sushi, you’ll find sushi restaurants everywhere, ranging from basic kaiten to gourmet Michelin star rated.  So far, I haven’t encountered a sushi joint I didn’t like.  Pretty much all sushi you’ll find is delicious no matter if it’s a hole-in-the-wall joint (which are the most fun to explore) or an expensive 1-month advanced reservation restaurant.
  • The street vendor food (especially ones at Kaminari-mon at Asakusa street) are so fresh, delicious & tastes just as good as eating at a dine-in restaurant.  Don’t forget to try the cola flavored shave ice!  (I also miss the fresh-off-the-grill senbei from Kamakura.)
  • I really miss those 1am karaoke sessions that last into the wee hours of the morning… Big Echo is one of the best places for karaoke. They have the most up-to-date song selection I’ve ever seen…& the kitchen is open 24hrs. Booze + karaoke + tambourines with friends = Pure Bliss.
  • I’m not into teen flash fashion, but I really miss shopping in Shibuya on the weekends.  That’s when they block off the streets to cars so people can walk on the streets. This is the same in Ginza on the weekends…but I can barely afford the cookies at the patisserie, let alone shop at Mitsukoshi or Matsuzakaya…
  • Harajuku (especially Takeshita street) is wall-to-wall packed on the weekends, but I love the high energy feeling & the bustling atmosphere. Omotesando street is the best place to sit, slow-sip your coffee & just people watch.  Especially with the trees lining the street, it really gives off a serene feeling even though you are in the middle of a popular shopping district.
  • I love it when, regardless how small or large the shop is, the store clerks always pay careful attention to even the smallest detail in wrapping/packing your purchases.  Don’t think of it as excess rubbish.  Think about how much care & warm feeling was put into packing your goods. Not only do the store clerks want your packages to look good, but they want them to be taken care of, especially if you’ll be shopping for long hours…they’ll even put ice packs in your bags, so your delicate food items won’t spoil.
  • I love how on rainy days, all shops will tape plastic slipcovers over all your shopping bags, so that they don’t get wet from the rain.  It’s small things like these that really touch you & make you feel warm & appreciative.
  • I take public transportation to work everyday, & it’s right then where you encounter a lot of really rude & arrogant passengers: people who cram their bikes or strollers on packed train cars, or place their bags & such on the seat next to them even if seating is crowded.  It’s so refreshing to see people in Japan exercise restraint & politeness on their public transportation systems.  Everyone puts their cell phones on quiet mode, so that the phone won’t ring loudly & disturb others. Passengers also refrain from making phone calls while on the train. Most of the younger generation are well aware of loud music echoing from their headphones & keep the noise down out of courtesy…& this is just scratching the surface. I miss the Japanese public transportation system in general.
  • Most, if not all, people who drive cars use their turn signals & strictly abide by all traffic laws (especially the No Drinking & Driving law).  This is much more than I can say compared to China. Just kidding.  No, really.  I’m serious.
  • Getting stuffed on homemade foods & sloshed on booze with your close friends & family is so relaxing & enjoyable… It’s a warm feeling that cannot be properly described.
  • I enjoy watching fat dudes with awesome top-knots & giant ceremonial “thongs” push each other around on a tight stage in a centuries old sport.
  • I also love watching dudes dress up as women & playact one line every 5 minutes in a 6 hour performance that could rival any Broadway show in New York.
  • I love how even the smallest of items can be practical & make sense. No matter if it’s as large as a sofa or as small as a paper clip, Japanese people will find a use & a purpose for the item.
  • I really miss late-nite snack runs to the local conbini, or 3am ramen munchies…Those things really hit the spot sometimes. In terms of late-nite ramen runs, I’d suggest trying Ichiran at least once. The raw garlic add-on alone will blow your mind.
  • Even weirdoes get some love. Whether it’s the Rockabillies twisting in Yoyogi park, or the cosplayers acting emo on the Harajuku bridge, or the OL’s & Ri-man’s boozing it up & talking loudly over a rousing after-work meal, or the misunderstood pervy Otaku in Akiba who lust for the LovePlus+/Mirai-chan body pillow & a Gundam garage kit…everyone gets some lovin’ & acceptance.
  • Where else in the world can you sit down at a restaurant & they serve you beer BEFORE they serve you a glass of water. I’ve been to a few Izakaya restaurants where they immediately serve you a glass of ice cold beer (at $3 US bucks a pop) & you have to request a glass of water.
  • I also miss the cakes & the afternoon sweets hour that comes right after lunch & just before the shop prepares for dinner. High tea is a tradition that dates back centuries in many countries around the world, & I wish we could adapt something like this in the U.S. Trust me, it would really reduce a lot of our stress.

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