Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Sno-ball's chance...

My obsession with the perfect piece of ice began many years ago...when the neighborhood I lived in was bordered by a Jr. Food Mart. They sold Slush Puppy's. Slush Puppy's with all their shiny little beads of ice drenched in your favorite flavor...which at the time included only a few...grape, cherry, and green apple. I loved those Puppy's...grape especially but it was then I suppose my obsession began. We eventually moved from that house and bid farewell to the Jr. Food Mart and sadly...the Pup's. Later, when I was older and could drive...I would drive to the only Hardee's in my hometown that had the little round, pellet type ice. The ice that with it's soft crunch made for the perfect cold drink. And then...in a parking lot...ironically across from that Hardee's...one summer...opened a tiny little hut with a bright colored umbrella and picnic tables...Sno-Biz - Shaved Ice. I don't remember my first visit but I do remember the dizzying haze that floated across the black top parking lot as if the top layer was boiling in the afternoon sun. I remember a million flavors and not knowing what to pick...how could I pick? There were so many...and with names that weren't familiar...like Tigers Blood...and Wedding Cake. And then there was the ice...so thin and piled high. It quickly became a favorite place and the flavors became familiar as I tried new things. Now, The hard part of any romance is when the one thing you love...goes away. As the season would have it, Sno-Biz only operated during the warm summer months and it was during a cold snap that I, well...fell out of love, or rather...forgot what I was in love with. Until...a fateful trip to Metairie, Louisiana...where amongst a few oaks sat a building without a flashy umbrella but offering something similar to my bygone love...Sno-balls. There I was again...in a dizzying haze but this time...the name was a little different and so were the flavors...again...how could I ever choose. And, what was the ice like? Was it soft or crunchy? I ordered a small and settled on grape...an old standby. I was in love all over again! But this time it was better...as I learned the flavors of nectar...spearmint...and tart satsuma...the ice was fluffier, the flavors more vivid. Maybe it was my imagination, maybe the hot Louisiana sun, or...maybe I was just older...no matter the reason for my swirling head and racing heart...there's just something special about summer love.

I took home a little sno ball to commemorate my new relationship...get one for yourself... http://www.mignonfaget.com/shop/category/sno-ball.html Image Credit: Top image - "Open" by Patsy Blake - Available at Four Seasons Antiques and Art in Homewood, Alabama - http://www.4seasonsantiquesandart.com/

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