Sunday, July 22, 2012

New England Summers


We have had a hot, dry summer here in New England. I know people elsewhere have had it worse. The Midwest and Southwest have been baking and have seen lots of violent weather. The Southeast has seen lots of violent weather. So we are fortunate in a way, but we are still hot and irritated and you have to understand, few homes here have central air conditioning. We never needed it before the last few years and my home does not have the ductwork to add it. So we sweat in our shorts and wait for a break. Fortunately(??) I grew up in St. Louis before the days of air conditioning. The kids slept upstairs in a red brick house without even a fan. I have a lot of experience imagining I am lying in a cool mountain stream, not at all bothered by the 100+ degree temperatures in my bedroom. I have put that skill to good use the last few years.

At last we did get our break in the weather. The last few days have been gorgeous, with moderate daytime temps in the 80s and low humidity with a cool breeze. This is our “native” New England summer weather, back again. Tonight after dinner (Thai chicken red curry with lots of veggies from the garden) we honored another New England tradition and headed to our favorite ice cream stand, Rota Springs Farm in Sterling, Massachusetts (farm pictured above and ice cream stand below).

Rota Springs Farm Ice Cream

New England has the highest per capita ice cream consumption in the country and our favorite flavor is coffee (just as our favorite coffee is Dunkin Donuts). The area outside of Boston abounds in farm-based ice cream stands like Rota Springs. An advantage of Rota Springs is that they also sell meatball subs made from their own ground beef (guaranteed to be free of pink slime). I get the sugar-free caramel pecan ice cream to keep my carb consumption in check, but I only do this occasionally to avoid the unpleasant effects of the sugar alcohols they put in sugar-free sweets.

So we are enjoying the weather and looking forward to another pleasant week. While temps are moderate, we still have not had any rain, so hand watering at the garden is still needed at least every other day. If the weather holds, the next excursion might be to Kimball Farms in Lancaster, Massachusetts, which has a clam shack next to the ice cream stand. I’m imagining staying cool with a clam roll or lobster roll, with onion rings and a Sam Adams followed by ice cream.


  1. Ice cream! You have a great way to stay cool :) I just posted last week how I hated to whine about the weather, but it was just so hot and we are not used the humidity here in New England. These past few days have been so much more comfortable. We do need some rain though.

  2. I remember inviting some native New Englanders to dinner and the dessert they brought was a pint of ice cream for each person! As my friend explained to me, "It's hardly worth opening the carton otherwise!" I especially appreciate all of the fresh fruit based ice creams available in season.

    1. We sometimes make strawberry ice cream from berries picked at a local farm. No commercial ice cream can match the flavor of that ice cream. The other nice thing about berry season here is the fruit sundaes offered at the ice cream stands. Fresh strawberries or raspberries on an ice cream of your choice, with lots of whipped cream (or since this is New England, marshmallow fluff, since we invented the stuff).


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