So, of course, I said, "Yeah. Why don't you?"
"What kind should I get?"
"Something yummy," I said, thinking of swirls of caramel, ribbons of fudge, chunks of cookie dough. Something with real Umpf. You know, a real pay off to balance out the butterfat laden calories. I wasn't going to instantly inflate my thighs for any old ice cream. It had to be good.
We've been together twenty years, my husband and I. I was pretty sure he knows what I like. So I said (and, man, do I regret it!), "Surprise me!"
About twenty minutes later, he swings through the front door, a smile across his face, looking mighty pleased with himself.
Still sitting on the couch, confident he came home with a winner, I kept reading the Sunday paper. "So... whaddya get?"
Then he said, "Carmelized pear and toasted pecan!"
"Huh? You didn't just say pear - did you?"
"Yeah, pear...don't you like..."
"Pear? In ice cream?"
"I thought you like pear?" He asked.
So I start racking my brain trying to think where he got that idea. It's the one fruit I never buy. And I'll tell you why - because every time I do, they're lumpy, brownish and bruised, gritty and flavorless with a bitter skin. I've tried to like pears because (oh, I realize why he thinks I like pears) I had one memorable experience with a pear at the age of five. I remember telling him this memory: It was a warm, sunny day in a village in Germany. My parents rode my sister and me on the back of their bikes in child seats. I think we were on our way to the Black Forest. We stopped to pick up food for a picnic (Oh, I loved picnics!). To stave off hunger for the ride, my dad handed me a pear - a golden, plump, frecked, slightly soft to the touch piece of voluptous fruit; its sweet juice dribbled down my chin as the soft breeze blew threw my hair. And we rode to a new adventure.
Ahhh... the fruit had become entwined with that day. Unfortunately, as hard as I've tried, no other pear ever came close to the one I ate that day. They'd all left me disappointed.
Now my husband walks in with Haagen-Daz carmelized pear ice cream. Yick! But I'm no longer five, so I try to be open-minded and I walked over to smell and then taste the stuff. Maybe I am close-minded, because it smelled and tasted more putrid than I even expected.
That's why I won't be surprised to find it in the freezers of 99 cent stores, on its way to being discontinued. I predict It'll keep company with all the other food failures (beet juice cocktail, instant tuna salad in a bowl, Clam-n-Cheese Surprise) that now crowd the shelves of discount stores.
Seriously, I know some people must like this carmelized pear ice cream. But so what? I loved Koogle peanut butter in all its flavors: banana, cinnamon and chocolate. I loved Squoze - mouth puckeringly delicious - instant drink mix. I loved the lemon poppy seed Duncan Hines bundt cakes my mom made like crazy (but only during 1974). I loved A&W teen burgers (juicy cheeseburgers with bacon). But they've all gone away.
I think the reason why so few ice creams have used pear before is for a good reason - it's not a good combo. Plus, any fruit that is so hit and miss that it takes almost forty years and going to an entire other country to find a good one, is not one I want to deal with.
And, yes, it was very nice of my husband to pick up ice cream. Yes, I should've been less of an ingrate. But it's not like he's never suggested, as he pushes away a half-eaten plate of food, that maybe I might not want to make that dish EVER again.
So what's my point? I don't know. Maybe when ice cream flavors stop pushing awkward fruits (Oy...I'm going to get some strange Google searches with that) and start makig a Koogle peanut-butter chocolate ice cream I'll stop complaining.