Today was one of those days that took a few unexpected turns along the way. I approached the day as any other on my quest, anxious to get the day started and the celebration going. I knew I would be celebrating two holidays today, Frozen Custard Day and Sneak A Zuccini On Your Neigbor’s Porch Day, but the universe decided to be a fickle little Dungeon Master and as it turned out, I experienced three entirely new things today.
- The frozen custard
- The awkwardness of sneaking around your neighbor’s property.
- Getting fired.
Let’s start with the Frozen Custard. It turns out that finding Frozen Custard is a bit more difficult than you would think because it’s not really a big thing here in New England. It’s more of a New York and mid-Atlantic tradition. The difference, I discovered, between Ice Cream and Frozen Custard is the Custard has a high percentage of butterfat and egg yolk which gives it a thick, creamy texture and a smoother consistency than ice cream. (Thanks WikiPedia!) But I guess New Englanders don’t like egg yolk in their ice cream, because there are very few places to get it in these parts. With some deft googling, I found a spot in Needham, MA called Abbott’s Frozen Custard which is part of a chain based out of Rochester, NY.
Needham is somewhat on my way home from work and, lucky for me, I happened to find myself leaving the office early today and was able to avoid traffic and the frozen custard rush. Abbott’s is a small place – a brick building painted white with a window for service facing the street underneath a distinct blue awning. A couple of Adirondack chairs are set outside so you can sit and enjoy. It seemed to be situated right on the main street of Needham which looked like a quaint Massachusetts town with an old-timey feel to it. It would be a fun little area to explore.
I went inside and it was your typical ice cream shop with fresh flavors for scooping and a few other display cases with other treats like cakes, frozen bananas, and ice cream sandwiches (well, Frozen Custard sandwiches). They had about eight flavors and I opted for Salty Caramel in a cup. The clerk was friendly and greeted me right away. I asked if she knew it was National Frozen Custard Day and she did and there was a lilt of excitement in her voice about it. I like that kind of service. The Frozen Custard was great. You could tell it was homemade and it was perfect on a warm afternoon. It was definitely creamier and thicker than ice cream – filling too. I was parked on the street, so I sat there and enjoyed the moment and the Frozen Custard, my cliché box of office possessions behind me in the back seat. I should get out to more places like this at two in the afternoon. It’s kind of relaxing.
When I got home I decided it was time to sneak a zucchini onto my neighbor’s porch. This holiday is a real thing. It’s based on the premise that the bounty of zucchini in people’s gardens is so plentiful, that this holiday allows you to share your harvest secretly with your neighbors. We don’t have a vegetable garden but we do have neighbors. I picked up some squash at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday so I’d be ready to sneak across the street and celebrate. I was going to drop the zucchini this morning but I left at 5:45 am and I didn’t want to alarm anyone (or have the dog barking at the vegetable-wielding intruder). Instead I waited until the afternoon when the neighborhood is a little quieter. I put the zucchini in a small bag and left it on our neighbor Jenny’s front porch. I also repurposed the sign I used for Fresh Breathe Day to read “Happy Sneak a Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Day!” and placed it on her lawn near the bag. In retrospect, that’s kind of a weird thing to come home to. I hope she enjoyed it.
I also received a picture from my sister, MaryBeth, back in Connecticut who was wondering why there was a strange green squash on her porch. I had nothing to do with it, but apparently her neighbors are on board with this celebrating every day. I love that this movement is spreading!
So my holidays were celebrated.
And, oh yeah, there was that firing thing. That really happened. The company is going with an outside consultant and eliminating our department. Finding this out just eight days into my quest to celebrate every day just seems like bizarre timing to me. I’m really trying to decipher this message from the universe. I’m still processing everything, but for now I’m still proceeding with this journey. Who knows what lies ahead, but I’m eager to see where the next celebration begins.
Tomorrow: National Rice Pudding Day