A Picture I Wish I Had: Licorice Ice Cream

A high-school friend of mine had only one older sister and didn’t understand the pains that younger siblings could be. She seemed to like being around my little sister and brother.

In the summer of 1972, my friend drove over to my house. She decided we should take my younger sister and brother to the Baskin Robbins store for ice cream. My sister was almost eight that summer, and my brother about four-and-a-half.

I protested, but my siblings were all in favor of the idea, and my parents gave permission. Off we went in my friend’s car, whether I was keen on the idea or not.

Baskin Robbins has always touted their thirty-one flavors, and 1972 was no exception.

licorice ice creamMy sister declared that she wanted licorice ice cream.

Our younger brother, who wanted whatever my sister wanted, decided he wanted licorice also.

Licorice ice cream is black—almost as black as the candy twists—and smells and tastes like the candy as well. My siblings liked licorice, so the smell and taste were all right.

But, as an experienced older sister and frequent babysitter, I knew what black could do to clothes and upholstery.

I protested again. To no avail.

“If they want licorice, they can have licorice,” my friend said.

“They’ll get it all over your car,” I argued.

“We’ll stay here till they’re done eating,” she said.

“Where will they sit?” I asked. Baskin Robbins didn’t have any indoor seating.

“They can sit on the hood of my car.”

My younger sister and brother had never been allowed to sit on the hood of a car before. They exuberantly agreed to this plan.

I was outnumbered.

It was a hot summer evening, and the ice cream began to melt immediately. And to drip.

At four-and-a-half, my little brother was not able to manage his drips. His shirt very quickly became covered in black ice cream.

At almost eight, my sister soon was unable to manage her drips as well. Her shirt was covered in black ice cream as well.

Soon the drips spread to their shorts.

The kids got sticky.

My friend laughed.

I went into Baskin Robbins for more napkins, and tried to clean them up.

“Don’t touch anything!” I ordered when we got back in the car.

We got them home and into the bathtub. I don’t think anything was permanently damaged, except for the shirts. And shorts.

The picture I wish I had is of my younger siblings covered in licorice ice cream. While my friend laughed, and I prematurely acted like the strict parent I later became.

What picture do you wish you had?

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  1. I like licorice ice cream – a taste my husband does not understand. It is very true how colorful this ice cream can be on clothing. Even adults are not able to control the mess it makes, but my oh my, it’s worth it. 😉

  2. Your friend had a tremendous amount of patience for a teenager…you, not so much. 🙂
    Ugh…licorice ice cream! I wonder if it tastes as bad as it looks?
    I really enjoyed this, Theresa.

    • I’m still not patient, nor do I like messes, except for my piles of paper.
      The ice cream tastes like licorice, so you have to like licorice.
      Thanks for teading.

  3. The picture I would have liked was of me with a rhubarb flavoured icecream from Berthillon in Paris. 🙂 I had read all about it before going but it was nowhere to be seen on the menu. How could they stop production before I’d even tried it? 🙂

  4. Just the mention of Baskin-Robbins sends me back in time, Theresa. It was the only place in the 60s that I could get coffee (excuse me, JAMOCA) ice cream in Michigan. (It was as common as chocolate in New England) I later added German Chocolate and Winter White Chocolate to my ice cream repertoire. AND the first time my husband and I ever ‘went out’ was when I invited him (yes, I was a brazen lass) to take me to Baskin-Robbins for a cone after our evening restaurant shift. There isn’t one around me, so whenever I pass one when while traveling the car comes to a screeching halt – even if I’m not hungry (sad, but true . . . )

    • Shel,
      My mother loved Jamoca Almond Fudge at Baskin-Robbins. I have always hated the tast of coffee (though it smells so wonderful), so that’s one flavor I could pass up.
      But any flavor of chocolate without the coffee . . . that’s my weakness.
      Thanks for reading.

  5. I’m visiting from Jill’s blog. I enjoyed reading your bio, about where you are in life and I see by visiting, FAMILY is a big category for you. I can relate. “A picture I wish I had” is an interesting series. I have enjoyed the visit.
    Re: Baskin Robbins and the color black. I don’t remember the flavors but I do remember the whole family piling into a 1954 Chevy for a short trip and celebration. The occasion? We wanted to see the odometer move just a few more miles and register 100,000 miles. The car was black, served as “the children’s car” and we called it “the bomb.”

  6. Oh, my Dad liked black licorice so much! I would have liked him to try this at Baskin Robbins, too. Those children were so funny looking, I can just imagine this! I have tried in my parenting, teaching special needs preschool and grandmothering to not worry about stains, but I am an inner worrier, too! I could relate to your concerns, too. I am better as a Nana, then a parent. As far as pictures, I wish that someone would have taken me messed up or not clean, while I played as a tomboy. All the photos I have are of me being the big sister, usually dressed in a dress, but my two younger brothers and I have that memory held inside, which if I were to get dementia or Alzheimer’s I would have to hope they would remind me. My grandies know I climb trees and swirl creek water when it is muddy,…. So maybe that memory will live on! Smiles, Robin

    • Robin,
      I’m waiting for the chance to “do over” as a nana.
      I can’t say I’ll be any more relaxed, but I doubt I could be any more up-tight than I was first as a big sister, then as a mother.
      Thanks for reading,

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