Isn’t a freezing cold, creamy ice cream cone with bold flavors one of the best things you can eat on a hot summer day? One of my favorite memories that I had recently was when my friend Beth and I were drinking cocktails, watching “Sex and the City,” and sharing birthday cake ice cream. It was one of the best heart-to-heart girl’s nights I’ve had in a long time, largely due to the fact that Beth can make me feel better about everything, no matter if its about work, relationships, family, literally anything. If you have friends like that, hang on to them. Let’s learn about how this spring and summer favorite came about, how it relates to the current election and how it relates to some of America’s favorite celebrities!
Photo Credit: Man Repeller
Ice Cream and History
A.D. 618–907: The origins of ice cream date back to China’s T’ang period, probably as a dish for the country’s rulers. The founder of the dynasty, King T’ang of Shang, kept 94 “ice men” on hand to lug ice to the palace to make a dish made of koumiss (heated, fermented milk), flour, and camphor.
1744: The first written account of ice cream was from American colonists who brought recipes back from Europe and dined at the home of Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen.
1782: George Washington claims to possess “a cream machine for ice.”
1843: Nancy M. Johnson of Philadelphia patents the “artificial freezer” containing a tub, cylinder, lid, dasher, and crank. This design is still widely used today.
1851: Baltimore dairyman Jacob Fussell opened the first commercial ice cream factory. Ice cream factories were built in Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore. Business boomed, and Fussell became the father of the wholesale ice cream industry.
1880: Buffalo, NY; Evanston, IL; Two Rivers, WI; and Ithaca, NY all claim to have invented the ice cream sundae. Wherever it happened, it first started appearing in soda fountains during the 1880’s. It was invented because ice cream sodas weren’t allowed to be sold on Sundays; the ice cream sundae was a way to circumvent that restriction. On September 22, 1903, there is a recorded application for a patent for the ice cream cone by Italo Marchiony.
1939: Grocery stores didn’t start selling ice cream until the 1930’s, and by WWII, ice cream had become so popular that it turned into somewhat of an American symbol (Mussolini banned it in Italy for that same reason). Ice cream was great for troop morale, and in 1943, the U.S. Armed Forces were the world’s largest ice cream manufacturers.
Photo Credits: Royalty-Free
Sources: Old Farmer’s Almanac. “The History of Ice Cream.” The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Yankee Publishing, Dublin: N.D. Web. 29 May 2016.
Ice Cream and Politics
Did you know that Ben and Jerry’s created a special ice cream flavor called “Empowermint” specially designed to encourage Americans to perform their civic duty and vote? At a time like now, this is more important than ever. If you don’t think that your vote matters or that things will not change…I COMPLETELY understand.
Photo Credits: Brand Eating
Having worked for very powerful people in the Democratic Party and Republican Party, watching the big wigs of the main two parties shut new ideas down when strategizing, show up to work hungover, steal work from interns to get a raise, hold secret fundraising meetings and…the worst…argue and try to sound super intellectual with people and not being open to their ideas just so they can be “right,” I completely lost faith in American politics. Even when I briefly became very actively involved with the Libertarian third party, I became disillusioned that the party was the smallest and had so many different ideas within the party…though it was, by far, the kindest, most passionate group of people I had come across. I shared these concerns with Huffington Post contributor and founder of Blue Republican Radio, Robin Koerner.
Robin said to me…”I completely sympathize with you. However, I still have faith. We need to speak to the injustices that people are feeling. When politicians get too technical, people cannot relate, and feel like they are not being sympathized with. This is something that all parties (especially ours) are guilty of. But when I personally speak about these injustices all over the country, people tell me that these are often the best speeches they’ve heard. That’s why I still believe we are on the right track.”
I always found this anecdote to be inspirational, though I never fully believed it until I saw the news a few nights ago…Gary Johnson, the third party candidate, was trending on national news and gained his support to TEN PERCENT OF THE VOTE in a very short period of time. Robin had been right all along. Change is upon us, and it is all in our power to make it so.
This fact is true, in this election most particularly. Whether you’re for Trump, Sanders, Hillary, or Johnson (I support your right to make your personal choices!)… the fact is, we have these fringe candidates gaining so much attention because these injustices are finally being addressed, and we the people are single-handedly voicing our opinions to change the status quo. And guess what? The numbers don’t lie. It’s working.
If you take away anything from this, please let it be that YOUR VOICE, and YOUR VOTE, matter, and it will make its mark in this election more than ever before. Here are a few quick facts about voting in the United States from Heather Sanders:
Photo Credit: Secular Policy Institute
- Why do we vote on Tuesday? In 1845, because we were an agrarian society that travelled by horse and buggy, farmers needed a day to get a county seat, vote, and get back. Because Wednesday was Market Day and Sundays were days of worship, Tuesday was the only logical day. In 1875 Congress extended the Tuesday date for national House elections and in 1914 for federal Senate elections.
- In 1888, Massachusetts became the first state to adopt a statewide secret ballot system.
- On June 4, 1919, women received the right to vote.
- The Voting Rights Act, passed on August 6, 1965, was passed to prevent discriminatory voting practices against African-Americans.
- In 1943, Georgia became the first state to lower its voting age to 18.
- Every state has a different voter registration deadline.
- About 60% of America’s eligible voting population casts their vote during election years.
- The Millennial generation accounts for 50% of the electorate.
- Pew Research Center surveys indicate that 50% of Millennials describe themselves as political independents and 29% claim to not be affiliated with any religion.
- In 2012, 4% more young women voted than men.
- Maine and Vermont are the only states that allow felons to vote from prison.
- Based on the current allocation of electoral votes, a candidate could win the presidency with electoral majorities in only 11 states. Conversely, a candidate could win every vote in 39 states and DC and still lose the presidency.
Cave, James. “Ben & Jerry’s New Flavor ‘Empower Mint’ Is More Political and Punny Than Ever.” The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post, Inc. 17 May 2016. Web. 29 May 2016.
“Gary Johnson: Why You Should Vote Libertarian.” CNN. CNN, 31 May 2016. Web. 31 May 2016.
Sanders, Heather. “Twenty Interesting Things About Voting in the United States.” The Pioneer Woman. WordPress, 4 November 2014. Web. 29 May 2016.
Ice Cream and Pop Culture
Some of our favorite comedians and celebrities have received the honor of getting their very own ice cream flavor from Ben and Jerry’s! Here is a quick list about the flavors, their backgrounds, and their charity proceeds:
- Country Peach Cobbler
Celebrity: Willie Nelson
Background: Made because of artist’s beloved country music
Cause: Farm Aid
- Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road
Celebrity: Sir Elton John
Background: Refers to artist’s hit album and song of same title
- Scotchy Scotch Scotch
Celebrity: Will Ferrell
Background: Named for “Anchorman” character
- Magic Brownies
Celebrity: Dave Matthews Band
Background: Created to fight global warming
- Vermonty Python
Celebrity: Monty Python Cast
Background: Named in honor of show
- Phish Food
Background: Named after artist for environmental efforts
Cause: Clean up Lake Champlain
- Schweddy Balls
Celebrity: Alec Baldwin
Background: Named after famous “SNL” sketch
- Americone Dream
Celebrity: Stephen Colbert
Background: Named in honor of “The Late Show” and “The Colbert Report”
- Cherry Garcia
Celebrity: Jerry Garcia of Grateful Dead
Background: Commemorates musician
- Yes Pecan
Celebrity: Barack Obama
Background: Honors 2008 campaign slogan
- Hannah Teter’s Maple Blondie
Celebrity: Hannah Teter
Background: Named in honor of snowboarder
- Imagine Whirled Peace
Celebrity: John Lennon
Background: Refers to famous song “Imagine,” promotes world peace
- Neapolitan Dynamite
Celebrity: Jon Heder
Background: Named after “Napoleon Dynamite” character
Ben & Jerry’s. “Our Flavors.” Ben & Jerry’s. Ben & Jerry’s, N.D. Web. 29 May 2016.
Seemayer, Zach. “14 Ben & Jerry’s Flavors Named After Celebrities.” ET Online. CBS Studios, Inc., 20 July 2014. Web. 29 May 2016.
Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches
Photo Credits: Royalty-Free
- 1 (18.25 oz) Chocolate Fudge cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ gallon of ice cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, add the cake mix, eggs, and canola oil.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are mixed with together and it looks like cookie dough. You don’t want any dry cake mix to remain.
- Drop spoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) on a baking sheet. You will need 2 sheets in order to use up all of the dough.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from the baking sheet and allow to cool on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
- Allow your ice cream to soften slightly if needed. This can be done by letting the carton sit on the counter for a minute or two.
- Place a scoop of ice cream on a cookie. Place another cookie on top and gently press the cookies together to slightly flatten the ice cream. Repeat this process with the remaining cookies, but only assemble them when you are ready to eat them.
- Makes 10-12 ice cream sandwiches. I got 11.
Source: Royalty-Free (For link to recipe, click here)