MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
Hot enough for you? Think something frozen might take care of that. Well, we can't do delivery, but we can tell you about some cool summer foods.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NORRIS: So, here are some things cold and frosty from your stories about what foods mean summer to you.
Jamie Grace-Duff lives in Sellersville, Pennsylvania and she can't say the words summer without thinking of childhood vacations to the Jersey shore, home to something called water ice.
Now, we had to do a little bit of research on water ice. It's similar to gelato or the Italian ices that you find in Italian restaurants or in the grocery store freezer. But water ice is not as hard. It's made by mixing fruit juices, sugar or flavored syrup with water, then freezing to a smooth texture.
Jaime says her favorites are the so-called pinks, flavors like watermelon and strawberry. Now that she is an adult, she buys water ice every chance she gets.
In Woodland Hills, California, Jennifer Frost, and yes, Frost is her real name, has a thing for frosty chocolate malts, those hard frozen cups you get at ballparks and carnivals. And, oh, I just love those things too. Jennifer especially, especially loves the wooden spoons.
JENNIFER FROST: Ripping the paper from the spoon, I always debated which of the identically rounded ends was for eating? Which is for holding? This implement was so unique to me, so unparalleled in my short experience. Who, I would wonder, had been so brilliant as to invent this tab of wood, the thickness of the tongue depressor, the length of a 6-year-old's hand, and sublimely curved at each end to roughly resemble a spoon. Only a genius could have come up with such an amazing design.
(SOUNDBITE OF SQUEAKING SOUND)
NORRIS: Ish. That's not a dentist drill. It's the sound of a blender and it's necessary hardware for our next summer treat.
NORRIS: Can I help you?
KEVIN JONES: I'd like to get a large peach milkshake.
Unidentified Woman: Okay. Is that all?
JONES: That's it.
And that's Kevin Jones, standing in line at Whitey's Jolly Kone in West Sacramento, California. It's a '50s style joint where you drive in, park, walk up to the window and place your order. On the menu, cheeseburger, fries, Cherry Cokes and a variety of milkshakes. One of Whitey's most popular is the peach milkshake, only available for a short period of time each year - July and August - as Kevin Jones says, when the peaches are in season.
JONES: The first time I had it, I was really shocked because when you go to drink the milkshake, you know, through the straw, you get pieces of the peach that gets stuck in the straw. So it's more like having peaches and cream out of a bowl than having a milkshake.
NORRIS: I'm just curious. If you could give me a little play by play. I was wondering if you could tell me how they actually do it.
JONES: It's in a standard milkshake-type cup, you know, Styrofoam cup. And they use the soft serve ice cream. So they put a little bit of milk in the bottom of the cup then they add some of the ice cream from the soft serve machine and they have the peach. They chop that up and they put that into the mixer with ice cream and the milk and blend that all together so that you get the peach pretty much throughout. It makes it come out a very pale peach color with chunks of the peach in it and the fleshy strings from the peach are all in there and everything. So you're getting the whole piece of fruit. I think that makes it a healthy shake.
NORRIS: Aha. Okay, if you say so. How many of these healthy shakes do you have every week?
JONES: Oh, I would say I'd probably come by two or three times a week during this time of year.
NORRIS: Now, are these a tradition in your family? Do you bring the whole family down for these?
JONES: Well, it's enough of a tradition that my 20-year-old son who is in Fort Benning, Georgia, in basic training right now. The last thing he wanted before he left for basic training was a peach milkshake. Unfortunately, the peaches weren't ripe yet.
NORRIS: Oh. Well, maybe he'll hear this. Now, we've been talking for a while, it is possible that your peach milkshake is ready?
JONES: It is ready.
NORRIS: Should we do some quality control here? Do you want to take just a quick sip to make sure that they got it just right?
JONES: Okay. It's very peachy and I got a chuck of fruit in that.
NORRIS: Well, thank you so much for sharing this treat with us. All the best to you. Enjoy.
JONES: Thank you. Bye-bye.
NORRIS: That was Kevin Jones of West Sacramento, California. He was enjoying a peach shake from Whitey's Jolly Kone.
(SOUNDBITE OF SIPPING THROUGH A STRAW)
NORRIS: Oh, Kevin, watch out for brain freeze. You can read about other quintessential summer foods and get summer recipes at our Web site, npr.org.