Alden’s ice cream

Alden's ice cream

The air was warm today, but the day was not quite as idyllic as yesterday.

When we woke up, we noticed a few red bumps on Little Bean’s face. Bug bites? She’s outside often with us, and we don’t believe in keeping her from putting her feet on the grass, to push the daisies around with her toes. Probably bug bites.

But then I looked at her again, a few minutes later, and several more rednesses had appeared on her white skin. I looked at her, and knew: chicken pox.

Danny had a case of the shingles a couple of weeks ago. (Not only did we have no idea what the shingles are, but we both thought that only decrepit old men suffered from the shingles.) Turns out the stress of moving home and having your child end up in the emergency room the next week can nudge the dormant virus that sprouts chicken pox on a child into a painful case of shingles as an adult. We were all a little mopey that week.

He’s recovered. We’re laughing and making videos again. And then, these dots.

Little Bean turned 9 months old today. (good god, how?) As Molly said to me on the phone, as we crossed the Sound on the ferry, “She’s just celebrating her birthday with pink polka dots!”

That’s our girl.

Our doctor confirmed it. She has the chicken pox. And luckily, her case is so mild that she’s about as spotty as your average miserable teenager. She’ll be fine, and back to sleeping, within days.

Still, it was a bit of a rough day. We spent the gorgeous spring day in ferry lines and an isolation room at the doctor’s office, as though we had the plague. By the time we reached home, Little Bean was way past her bedtime and took two hours of coaxing, rocking, singing, and feeding before she went down to sleep.

Oh, this ice cream was especially welcome this evening.

Alden’s ice cream is about the only commercial ice cream we buy anymore. They craft it in Eugene, Oregon, with only real ingredients. (You know, like cream and sugar and eggs and vanilla bean.) Obviously, the cookies n cream flavor is off-limits for us gluten-free folks. But the rest? Oh, they make up for that lack.

The vanilla bean truly tastes like vanilla. And it makes an excellent root beer float. The strawberry reminds me of June, those first berries of summer. Many folks espouse the beauties of the mint chocolate chip.

But this evening, we had a few scoops of the chocolate chocolate chip after Bean went to bed. A breeze blew in — tomorrow will be rain. We had no idea if she would sleep, or if we would be up and down all night again. Not to worry. In that moment, we dipped our spoons in the rich ice cream and savored this imperfect world, again, together.

14 comments on “Alden’s ice cream

  1. Lindsay

    Hello! Sounds great! You mentioned Root Beer floats. I have not be able to find or know which Root Beer is gluten free. Can you help me with that?? Thanks for sharing all of your stories! You home sounds amazing and how that you baby girl feel better soon and you and The Chef can get some sleep!!


  2. Amy

    I’m gonna look for this. I’ve recently been hooked on Haagen Daaz 5 ice cream….only 5 ingredients…usually milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and the flavor ingredient…my two faves are the brown sugar flavor and the ginger flavor.

  3. judyk

    That’s so funny — I had some Alden’s on Monday afternoon when it reached 106 degrees here in LA and after I found myself logey and melting in the heat I could only think one thought: ice cream! I had some Alden’s vanilla in the freezer and it really hit the spot. I miss you guys!! xoxo judy

  4. Vincci

    The ice cream sounds luscious! I don’t think they have it in Canada though 🙁

    I’m sorry to hear that Bean has the chicken pox, but on the bright side, she got them young so she won’t have to worry about fussing with them as a toddler or a school-aged kid!

  5. SusanLC

    Tell the chef I sympathize with what he has been suffering. I too had Shingles last summer. Mine started like an earache, which then turned into a BIG headache-all during the weekend my daughter graduated from college. I went to the clinic the following Sunday and they found the spot on my ear! Luckily it was caught early. The oubreak was confined to my lower face. But it took about 2 months before the lingering pain and sensitivity on my chin went away.

    But that isn’t the end of the story, because all three of the kids (aged 23, 19 and 13) caught the chicken pox from me. I think they all had minor cases when they were younger.

    From researching on the web, I learned that since children now get the vaccine for the pox, we adults aren’t getting that “natural exposure” to the virus that works to boost our immunity. As a result, there are more shingles occurring in younger adults now.

  6. mnmmom2k

    I have been rootbear free for two years, this is exciting news! My nutritionalist told me that all rootbear has gluten. Yeah! You comment about Gingerale, I thought all gingerale was gluten free? Sigh, am I wrong?

  7. Anonymous

    Glad to hear Little Bean is getting better!

    Curiosity presses though: whatever happened to the Flavor Bible and Knives giveaway? Been a few weeks now with no word. 🙂

  8. Sarah209

    Pox! Horrible. Old hillbilly remedy; food grade sulfur with a dab of molasses. My brother and I both had pox as adults (horrible, I say), I submitted to a dose of sulfur, he didn’t. He got shingles later, I didn’t. Not that we two are a scientific trial but I think both are gluten free and safe for little ones. Its something like 1/16th tsp cumulative.

  9. Momat32

    Yeah–I’m so excited to learn there is gluten free Root Beer! I thought it was a thing of the past for me.

  10. Anonymous

    I too was a loyal fan of Alden's ice cream for all the reasons above. In our area it became one of the few organic ice creams that did not contain carageenan and/or high-fructose corn syrup.

    However, Aldens lost me when they switched their formula from cane sugar to the cheaper tapioca starch/syrup. The latter is just another name for a high-fructose sugar like corn syrup. Now only Stonyfield Farms remains on the nutritional high road here (at least the regular flavors, not the low fat/no-fat).

  11. chs

    I'd always been scared off by the natural flavors and the shared equipment with Alden's. Julie's was the only ice cream we'd eat, but it's good to know that you've found Alden's to be GF-safe.

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