Thursday, July 18, 2013

Seriously? It's National Ice Cream Month?

This month's nutty inbox message was the announcement of National Ice Cream month. I have no idea if this is a real thing, and I guarantee I'm not going to look that up. Because whether or not it's true, it's a great idea, and I plan to celebrate. Besides, the message came from the folks at Real@ Seal, and given that they are dairy folk, they should know about National Ice Cream month, right? I was asked to complete a mission involving two tasks and then blog about it. Easy-peasy. Results are below.

First task - figure out what the Real@ Seal is. Here's what I learned. Although I instantly recognized the seal when I saw it, I had no idea what it meant. To get the "REAL@ Seal", your product must not contain dairy substitutes AND it must be made from US dairy - nothing imported. I'm all about staying away from dairy substitutes. They frighten me, in fact. Fat free whipping cream? Are you joking? REAL@ Seal products need not be organic. The "REAL@ Seal" can be very tiny - like the size of your pinky fingernail. I'm not sure if this is intentional or not, but when specifically looking for the seal, I had difficulty finding it. It can be found in the dairy aisle AND on the shelves. I found a can of Carnation condensed milk with the seal on a shelf while I was in the baked goods aisle shopping for cupcake ingredients.

Also learned while figuring out what the seal is - the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for America recommend that everyone age 9 or older gets 3 servings a day of low-fat or fat-free milk. Children 4 - 8 should check-in with 2.5 servings a day, and children ages 2 - 3 should get 2 or 3 servings a day. This actually made me feel pretty good because I am haunted by a nagging feeling that my milk-striking daughter, Helen, gets fewer dairy servings each day than her pediatrician recommends. I'm guessing Helen gets 2 servings a day, which seems pretty close. I probably get fewer than my recommended 3 servings, and I'm probably even pulling down the US average which is 1.8 servings per day. So I bought some cheese and have been eating it to try and catch back up. Clever, eh? Who says blogging can't be good for you?

See the teeny-tiny "real seal"?
Second task - create a new ice cream dessert.

Game on. This is actually the part of the email I received that interested me most.

I am in the process of baking cupcakes for a friend's wedding. In addition, Ed decided to bake brownies with the little people last weekend. Talk about ridiculous dessert fortune in our home! We even have whipped cream!

And so I present to you...

The Whipped-Red-Velvet-Brownie-Sundae - made with actual milk products, not fake ones (even the buttermilk and sour cream in the red velvet cupcake were REAL@ Seal products)!

This dessert is delicious, and meets all of Helen and Connor's very stringent criteria for super dessert. Actually, there is exactly one criteria. It must involve multiple desserts placed together in one product so that it counts as ONE treat.

Verdict: Although I had difficulty finding the Seal, and I found a few products to be inconsistently labeled - as in one size had the Seal, another of the same item did not have the Seal (unless I missed it), I now at least know the REAL@ Seal means U.S. - and actual dairy, rather than some partially hydrogenated substitute (or whatever that no-fat whipped cream thing I left on the shelf was made of).

I am now challenging myself to come up with additional ice cream desserts, because what's the point of learning it's National Ice Cream month if you're not going to spend it eating ice cream?


Happy National Ice Cream month, y'all. Thanks for bringing this critically important event to my notice, REAL@ Seal.

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