It started when I was 4 years old. My parents would take my sister and me out for ice cream the day before school started. We’d go to an ice cream shop called Swanson’s. I’d look over all of the flavors pretending to have a difficult time making a decision (Everyone in my family knew that I would choose bubble gum.) We’d sit at the tables or on the steps outside, each with a cone in our hands, and talk about school. We’d share what we were most excited for and most nervous about. These ice cream trips were delightful, calming and important.
When my daughter started preschool a few years ago, my family and I made our way to ice cream shop and continued the tradition. Today, she’s starting 2nd grade, our oldest son is starting kindergarten, and our 3 year old is starting preschool. This means that last night was ice cream night. But I’ve got a new problem. I’m vegan. That kind of makes it sound like a disease. It’s not. In fact, I’ve been trying this vegan thing for a few months now and for the most part, I’m loving it. But when you have a tradition of going out to ice cream with your family before the first day of school, being vegan seems especially hard.
Yes, there are vegan ice creams. I have tried (and thoroughly enjoyed) rice, coconut, almond, and soy ice cream. But I haven’t yet found a place where I can “go out” for these sweet treats. So last night was the first “night before school” that we stayed in instead of going out. We made milk shakes with magic shell for the kids and I enjoyed some Cappuccino Swirl Almond Dream and some Rice Cream. We still talked about what the kids were excited about and what they were nervous about but it didn’t feel the same as it does sitting on the steps or the curb outside of Taylor’s or Swanson’s.
So between now and the beginning of school in 2014, my mission is to find a place in the Sacramento area where I can go out for vegan ice cream. Anyone know of a place that will sell vegan ice cream in a cone?