image courtesy kemps.com
So the other week one of the supermarkets in town had a sale on Kemp's ice cream, and since I am automatically drawn to the ice cream aisle by a magnetic force beyond my control, I found myself staring into the case on my visit there that week. And lo and behold, I discovered Kemp's pumpkin pie ice cream. No, not pumpkin ice cream. Pumpkin PIE ice cream. The pie part is essential. In fact, it is the detail that sends this ice cream over the fence of delicious all the way to the land of Best Food Ever. Because it has PIECES OF PIE CRUST IN IT. Yes. It is pumpkin pie-flavored ice cream, with pieces of crust in it. Ponder that.
And yes I ate the carton in four or five days. In my defense, ice cream no longer comes in half-gallons. They aren't even 1.75 quarts anymore. They are 1.5 quarts or less. Does that make it better?
Unfortunately this ice cream flavor is seasonal. In other words, I should have stocked up when I first discovered it. Except all I have is a small, top-of-the-fridge freezer. So I would have had to eat a really large amount before it all melted. An impossible amount, really.
Once I tasted this ice cream flavor, I was compelled to tell my friend Connie about it, because we had been discussing the merits of pumpkin vs. cinnamon-flavored seasonal ice cream. I made sure to tell her about the PIE part. Don't go buying plain old pumpkin and thinking it's gonna be all transcendent and awesome, I told her. (Or something to that effect.)
By now Halloween had passed, and when Connie went to the grocery store in search of pumpkin pie ice cream, it was nowhere to be found. Between the two of us, I think we checked four different stores. Connie asked a manager at our biggest supermarket about it, and he told her it was done and gone. "It's over," she told me later on the phone. "It's no longer pumpkin season. The ice cream companies have moved on to Christmas. It's all peppermint."
At first I was in denial, because, hello? No longer pumpkin season? What the? Hasn't anyone heard of THANKSGIVING, the holiday for which PUMPKIN PIE IS MADE? Whatevs.
But when I idly looked for myself when I happened to be in the stores, it was true; there wasn't any Kemp's pumpkin pie ice cream that I could see. This was disappointing, because my supermarket kept running these buy-one-get-one-free coupons for Kemp's.
On Monday I went to the supermarket--again--to pick up the few last minute items I still needed to cook Thanksgiving dinner. And, because I had the Kemp's BOGO coupon, I decided to pick up a couple cartons to have on hand for the long holiday weekend, our visiting company, and my giant-appetite husband (and what I mean by all that is for me). I checked to be sure, but there was no pumpkin pie flavor in the expansive ice cream case in the frozen foods section. Believe me, I looked carefully.
So I picked out two other random flavors instead. I mean, I love all ice cream, so it's not that they're bad, they're just not pumpkin pie. But by now I'd accepted the weird truth of pumpkin pie flavor being over for the season. I bought my ice cream and left.
And then yesterday Connie left me a voicemail from an end-cap case in the supermarket, all excited because there was Kemp's pumpkin pie ice cream, and now she could finally try it. Let me repeat: Monday, no apparent pumpkin pie ice cream. Tuesday, same store, some random out of the way hidden secret ice cream case, pumpkin pie ice cream. Gah! I wanted to strangle a frozen-foods manager. It didn't matter who. I think I may have actually stamped my foot. This flavor is that good, people.
Connie went home and tried the ice cream and promptly agreed it was the Best Food Ever. And now she has some, and I do not. And I've been to the supermarket four times in the past week. So you know I wasn't planning to go again today.
But I'm willing to bribe someone to get some for me. Use the coupon. Bring me two.
Today I am thankful for Kemp's pumpkin pie ice cream. Obviously. (Even though I don't have any.)