When the Good Humor Man Is a Woman
This weekend a dear friend of mine from Seattle was in town and she invited me to join her at a wedding held on the grounds of the Queens County Farm Museum, located less than 20 miles from Manhattan in Glen Oaks, New York (it's technically in Queens but your taxi driver will likely insist you're on Long Island). It's pretty amazing to turn off the bustling Little Neck Parkway and suddenly be set upon 47 acres of historical farmland in New York City.
Among the wedding guests was a starting lineup of barnyard animals—both fenced in and sometimes wandering the grounds—including Rhode Island red hens, ducks, a turkey or two, goats, sheep, many day-tripping NYC pigeons, and a prideful peacock. And where there are barns there are usually barn cats, and I spent some time before the ceremony seeking them out without much luck. There were also heritage pigs on the property but they laid low, probably calling it a night as soon as the caterers fired up the barbecue pit. The reception menu was a perfect fit for the setting and included pulled pork, brisket, pit beans, and cornbread washed down with iced tubs of Brooklyn Lager.
As the night was winding down and the caterers were setting up the tower of cupcakes on the dance floor, I took a stroll around the grounds under the stars. While checking out the roosting chickens I saw the second part of the dessert course roll in as a vintage Good Humor truck drove up the gravel path. The Good Humor man turned out to a be a woman, and instead of the traditional Good Humor man uniform she was wearing a farm-wedding appropriate chambray shirt.
I can live in a world without cupcakes so I skipped the cascade of gourmet cupcakes and lined up for a late-night ice cream novelty. Would it be Toasted Almond, Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Eclair, Candy Center Crunch Bar, Creamsicle, Sundae Cone, or an Ice Cream Sandwich?
I was about to go with my usual, the Chocolate Eclair, but the Candy Center Crunch Bar caught my eye. And that simple, albeit artificially flavored, ice cream bar was the perfect ending to a wonderful day. So good, in fact, that the Good Humor woman was kind enough to break me off with another Candy Center Crunch Bar for the ride home.
Whether it's from a truck or the freezer at the corner store, what ice cream novelty bar or cone do you reach for?
PS: Serious Eats editor Adam Kuban has a nice roundup of a similar Good Humor truck in action.
About the author: Brad Thomas Parsons is a Brooklyn-based writer who has interviewed many of the food world's biggest names, including David Chang, Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali, Danny Meyer, Ina Garten, Jamie Oliver, Paula Deen, and Giada De Laurentiis, among others. He is currently at work on his first book, Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails and Recipes.