February 19, 2014

Kicks! Quicks | Need a taste of summer? Try Calabash Creamery

All of this wintry weather has left me longing for summer. I considered buying a watermelon, but thought the better of it.

All of this wintry weather has left me longing for summer. I considered buying a watermelon, but thought the better of it.

I’m not a locavore, but unless it was grown in a hothouse, it would have needed a passport to get here, and I was squeamish about the size of the carbon footprint I would be making. I couldn’t fire up the grill, because the cover was frozen solid. A dip in the ocean was probably not a wise idea in the freezing rain, and the same could be said of breaking out the Slip and Slide.

I decided a trip to an ice cream parlor was my safest option, but it could not be just any ice cream. It had to be the kind that reminded me of hand churning, rock salt and that excruciating anticipation – a taste of sunny summer afternoons on the back porch swing with my grandparents.

I had heard tell that there was just such a place, just over the state line in Calabash.

Said rumors were beyond substantiated.

The place looks like a farmhouse, complete with rocking chairs on the front porch just right for settin’ a spell, and the inside, with some minor modifications, could stand in for Mayberry’s Walker’s Drug Store.

As for the ice cream, it is the real deal. I simply do not know how they could improve upon it. Their “recipe” says it all: “Calabash Creamery’s goal is to serve a superior product, using the very best ingredients in a friendly atmosphere. Calabash Creamery makes premium homemade ice cream. We use fresh 16 percent butterfat cream and the finest, freshest ingredients to make our numerous flavors.”

I would as soon pick which one of my nieces and nephews that I love the best as declare one of their flavors as my favorite.

I began with a taste of Peppermint Stick. It is so divine that I officially throw in the towel. In lieu of making my own next Christmas, I will be giving out Calabash Creamery gift certificates.

Hubby and I shared, in rockers on the porch, a hot fudge sundae with Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup. It was dueling spoons and near fisticuffs for the last bite.

Full, but not yet sated, take home pints were in order.

As before, the staff was, as advertised, the epitome of “Southern Hospitality.”

After sampling, “Snowflake,” a coconut flavor that I could eat by the gallon, and their signature flavor, “Cow-A-Bash Crunch – White Chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate cake crunch,” I decided upon a pint of “CABC” and another of “Chocolate Praline – creamy chocolate ice cream with chunks of praline pecans and fudge swirls.” I would have gotten a pint of “Snowflake,” but they did not have enough.

These are but a few of the flavors on seasonal rotation at the Creamery, but sadly, I am not allowed enough column inches to name them all, but here’s a taste (and they are detailed on their website). Along with the traditional Butter Pecan, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, Vanilla and Strawberry, they offer Black Raspberry, Key Lime Pie, Salted Caramel, Banana Pudding and White Cherry. All these, and I haven’t mentioned their Holiday/Seasonal flavors – Irish Crème, Cantaloupe, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Sweet Potato Souffle, among others.

Still, passion has it limits. As crazy as I am about their ice cream, I do not feel ready for their “Kitchen Sink – 15 scoops of ice cream and six toppings of your choice plus whipped cream and cherries.” Eat it all in one sitting, and it’s on the house. There have been victors.

My first visit will surely not to be my last, and I will be checking their website, frequently, so as to not miss out any of their fleeting flavors. I can hardly wait for “Mango Tango – a dance of mango ice cream with pineapple chunks” and “Thinny Minty,” made with the beloved Girl Scout cookie. I will also add it to my “not to be missed list,” for folks who visit.

Thank you Calabash Creamery; even if it may not feel like summer, it can still taste like it.

Wok on the Beach

If the closure of Bamboo Café has left you in despair, take heart, as the Tse family, whom you might remember from Chung Wah, has assumed the culinary reins.

The fusion/culture-blending menu at Wok on the Beach includes Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Mongolian.

I have heard good things about their General’s Chicken (it’s very spicy, but they will prepare it “not spicy” if that’s your preference), the Mongolian Beef, Seaweed Salad, Crab Rangoon and Crispy Tempura Glazed Shrimp.

Their daily lunch special menu offers a nice variety including Jalapeno Chicken, Wei’s Fried Chicken Wings, Cashew Nut Shrimp and Tofu with Mixed Vegetables; all entrees come with steamed or fried rice.

Even more bold than their eclectic menu is Mama Tse’s offer, prominently displayed in the restaurant. “If it’s not on the menu, please ask and I will try my best to make it for you ... Eat Deliciously.”

I wish them luck and offer a belated traditional New Year wish for their new beginning, “May your rice never burn.”

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