When I saw it was National Chocolate Milkshake Day, I texted my resident chocolate milkshake expert. That would be my sister MaryBeth. She’s been a fan of the chocolate shake for as long as I remember. In fact, even when we had bowls of ice cream as kids, she would add chocolate syrup to hers and stir until it became a milkshake consistency. I asked her if she would be indulging in a Fribble from Friendly’s today (one of her all time favorite indulgences). However, as a purist, she said a Fribble would not count as a milkshake.
As best I can tell, a milkshake in New England does not contain ice cream. It is actually just milk that is vigorously shaken with some sort of flavoring. If you add ice cream, it becomes a frappe. In Rhode Island, we have cabinets which are similar to a Frappe, although the classic is the coffee cabinet which features coffee ice cream, coffee syrup and milk. A Malted Milkshake contains malted milk powder — a product of evaporated malted barley, wheat flour and milk . An Awful Awful is a specialty of the Newport Creamery and contains frozen ice milk (which is a cheap cousin of ice cream). Here’s your real trivia for the day: a Fribble is a specialty of Friendly’s Restaurants and is essentially an Awful Awful. It turns out the Awful Awful was invented at an ice cream shop in New Jersey who sold the rights to sell it in Rhode Island to the Newport Creamery and the rights to sell it in Massachusetts to Friendly’s where, in the 1960’s, it was on the Friendly’s menu as an Awful Awful. When Friendly’s wanted to expand into New Jersey, they had to change the name and came up with the Fribble through a naming contest (the word Fribble actually means “a thing of no great importance.”
As a New Englander, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone order a milkshake and not get the ice cream kind. Maybe I’m just not worldly enough, but I think we all have expectations that if we order a milkshake, we better get some ice cream in there. That was my expectation today too. I headed on out to Frosty Freez at about 1 pm. Frosty Freez is the drive in ice cream shop in Middletown which is kind of a classic in these parts. There’s usually a line around the building every night during the summer and you are always bound to see someone you know there which adds to the festive feeling. I had not been there all summer, so I figured I should get my visit in before they closed for the winter. I ordered a chocolate shake, which I had the option of getting as a Large or Monster and to be made with either soft ice cream, hard ice cream or soft yogurt. I went large and soft.
Not much you can say about a chocolate shake that you don’t already know. It was sweet and refreshing. I paced myself, something I am usually bad at, but successfully avoided a brain freeze which is always a plus. There was something particularly decadent about enjoying one in the middle of the day on a Monday afternoon. I’ll take these moments when I can get them.
Today was also National Video Game Day, so to celebrate, I played a few games. I finished up a tournament I have been working on in my NHL 2K3 for XBOX (I won), which I may have mentioned I have kind of been playing pretty regularly. I also played a couple of classic games of Tetris and Breakout, just for nostalgia. I am not a gamer in the true sense of the word. The XBOX I have is still the first edition. I’m never looking for the newest and best games and you’ll never see me playing with someone online with headphones and all that jazz. I’m just old school and have loved playing video games since they came out, and yes, I remember when they first came out. So to celebrate, let me give you my top ten video games of all time:
- Joust. This was one game I could always do well at and one of my favorites at the arcade. I want a flying ostrich.
- Tecmo Bowl for the original Nintendo. Bo Jackson at his finest. I love that he is in a commercial now touting his Tecmo Bowl skills.
- RBI Baseball for Nintendo. Hours and hours of college spent playing this game.
- Super Mario Brothers for Nintendo. I was the first one in my house to make it through the final level, but my roommate Scott crushed the high score just days later.
- Mike Tyson Knock Out. I beat Mike Tyson. I did it. It happened on a night when I should have been studying for a final, but I beat Mike Tyson.
- Space Invaders. The OG of video games. I can still hear the sound of those aliens methodically marching their way down the screen.
- NHL Hockey 2K3. I’m obsessed. Not a hockey fan, but it’s a game you can just turn on and play – no play choosing, no delays, just action start to finish.
- Dragon’s Lair. I did’t play this that often because it was so expensive and you would only survive for seconds, but I just remember how awesome the graphics were.
- Krull the Video Game. Based on a ridiculous 80’s movie, I was always good at the video game.
- Pac Man. If you don’t have a thing for Pac Man, you didn’t live through the eighties.
Finally, today was also National Day of Encouragement so to complete the trifecta of celebration, I tried to encourage Lola throughout the day by sending her little messages that would make her feel a bit more ready to face the day. Sometimes we all just need a word or two of support to make us smile and feel better about long days. Lola was feeling little sick today and got a bit down about some of the things she had on her to do list. I just wanted to gently tell her all was going to be ok.
That was my day of celebration. Not bad for a Monday.
Next Up: National Ants on a Log Day