July 23, 2017
Ochs Orchard, Warwick, New York
“open most of the year”
I have always associated Ochs Orchard with apples – they are an “orchard” after all and advertise pick-your-own-apples in the fall. I have passed their sign for years, and never actually gone in for a visit, even when I saw the “ice ream”sign – until today. After making the trek up their long drive way, I arrived at their farm store. (The pick-your-own was a short distance farther – I think it was blueberries today.) The farm store appears to be a converted barn, and entering brought me into a room that had fresh produce, honey, maple syrup, cider donuts (like all NY/NJ orchards) and other items – but not so much that it felt like a Walmart instead of a farm stand. Continuing to the back of the store, I arrived at the ice cream parlor room – complete with an apple mural (I guess my view of Ochs was right after all), a counter for ordering, and a seating area. It featured plenty of flavors of homemade ice cream. I chose “Jessie’s Donut a la Mode” with Coffee Chip ice cream because I really like the smell and taste of cider donuts, but I cannot resist homemade ice cream! Even through they served the donut under the ice cream, I ate it sort of like an Oreo cookie – the donut first and then I dug into the ice cream, which was excellent. I do not know who Jessie is, but his choice of ice cream and donut together was a good one! – especially for those of us who have a hard time making decisions. I was pleasantly surprised with my experience at Ochs Orchard – I found it charming and not over commercialized.
In the area: We spent the day kayaking in Wawayanda State Park, technically a New Jersey State park, but the northern entrance is near the New York State border. We usually visit Wawayanda “off season” for hiking, this was our first time kayaking there. Lake was a little small for this, but we were with friends, so the whole afternoon was relaxing and enjoyable.
August 3, 2017
Ronan’s Boat, Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
‘”All it takes is a fancy boat and some ice cream cones to lure the women” – an observation from the men we were with. We were jumping a car with a dead battery, when a stranger came along and asked us if we needed help. We thanked him and said we we fine, so he offered us ice cream or espresso (sort of like asking a kid to help you find a lost dog). What?? free ice cream? this was a deal too good to pass up!! We all went to Ronan’s beautiful boat, and true to his offer, he produced lots prepackaged ice cream novelties – hagan daz bars, vanilla and chocolate cones with nuts, all-fruit Popsicles – you get the picture. Tommy took him up on his offer for espresso – espresso over ice cream? some men I will never understand. Ronan told us that he used to own a chain of ice cream stores in Texas – I guess he likes ice cream too. When we were leaving his boat, we all got a parting gift of Israel chocolate! I like Ronan.
July 17, 2017
Sussex Dairy Queen, Sussex, New Jersey
Dairy Queen is probably one of the oldest ice cream chains in the United States – so it must have something going for it. Tonight I stopped with my friend Pat for a quick ice cream at the Dairy Queen in Sussex, New Jersey – it has all the characteristic and tempting treats – parfaits (Peanut Buster is usually my favorite), hard and soft ice cream, sundaes, Blizzards (Banana Split is my favorite) and an array of beautiful ice cream cakes (they are all my favorites). But I have one question – Why would an ice cream place list calories if they do not have too? I know ice cream is expensive calorie-wise, but I prefer to proverbially bury my head in the sand on this one. I opted for a soft vanilla cone
with rainbow sprinkles (170 to 460 calories). It, like all Dairy Queen ice cream was creamy, tasty, and the rainbow sprinkles made it attractive. Pat got a Blizzard (she opted for the higher calorie option), This, like most ice cream, was worth the calories. Now we will go line dancing to burn it off!
In the area: Monday night line dancing at the Sussex Elks – great group of people, fun dancing – great for seasoned dancers as well as beginners!
Denmo’s Snack and Dairy Bar, Southbury, Connecticut
July 16, 2017
Denmo’s is located on Main Street in Southbury, Connecticut, just past Poverty Drive – ( NOT a street I want to live on – I assume it is somehow connected with “Easy Street”). We visited on a very warm afternoon in July – what better time to get ice cream? Driving in we saw lots of picnic tables with festive umbrellas which were needed today. We walked up to the order window. There was a wide variety of picnic food (burgers, dogs…) and more importantly a nice selection of Lawson ice cream. I ordered Oreo and their feature flavor Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl, with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. I love peanut better in or on ice cream, and I was not disappointed today! Linda being significantly more disciplined than I am ordered something smaller. We took our treats to relax at a picnic table.
In the area: The third weekend in July is a wonderful time to be in Connecticut! it is the weekend of the Deep River Ancient Fife and Drum Muster – a weekend of music , jamming, parades and performances by dozens of the best corps on the world. Incidentally ancient refers to the style of the music and instruments (rope tension drums for instance). For me this weekend gets even better when I get to see my good and long time (not ancient) friend Linda – we palled around together at SUNY Potsdam so many years ago. I am always amazed that when we get together the years melt away. We still talk like we did then, and we do not even look much different. Well at least Linda hasn’t aged much!
July 9, 2017
Gabel’s, Tannersville Pennsylvania
We went to Gabel’s was a very warm night in July – a dream come true for an outdoor ice cream shop. As we rode down Route 611 in Tannersville, PA, Gabel’s looked like an old style ice cream stand- the traditional ice cream cone sculpture mounted on the top of the building. It has traditional walk-up windows to order at, the traditional wide variety of great frozen treats – hard (Turkey Hill) and soft ice cream, novelties, milkshakes, sundaes… as well hot food such as burgers and dogs. We stepped right up and ordered – I got a Reese’s Pieces Sundae with Cotton Candy ice cream. The orders were taken and picked
up at a pick-up window. A employee would shout out the orders and if it was yours, you walked (or ran) up and got it. A little comic relief came as we watched the employee shouting out “banana milkshake” multiple times and finally giving up. I guess who ever ordered it forgot and drove away. When she called out our orders we did not hesitate! The portion sizes were very generous and the help friendly. As an added bonus the place had a playground for the children including a pirate ship, playhouse and slide.
In the area: We come to this area to shop at the Crossings – an “outlet mall”. It offers a great selection of shops with no tax on clothing. I am told that this place is a favorite shopping place of Europeans as well – one of the shops that sells mainly jeans said that close to 70% of their customers were foreigner visitors – especially from Europe!
July 4, 2017
Alstede Farms, Chester, New Jersey
Wow – Alstede Farm has a lot going on – pick your own fruits and vegetables, a farm store, a farmers market and an ice cream walk-up window. It was all a bit overwhelming for a simple ice cream blogger who just wanted a cone of the good stuff. But I successfully found the ice cream source and it included many flavors of both hard and soft ice cream. The server offered me samples, so I tried both blueberry and raspberry – both very flavorful, but I chose soft vanilla ice cream with strawberries and chocolate sauce. It was very attractive, but the artistry was amazing, the ice cream swirl from the soft serve machine was hollow in the middle – it looked like an ice cream cave reminiscent of a hollow chocolate bunny. I didn’t feel gypped – more intrigued – I should have taken a picture of it. I guess the soft ice cream was really not so soft. Don had Strawberry Chip and said it was great. Their ice cream is all home made, and comes in variety of interesting and fun flavors. There are picnic tables to eat at – situated between the farmers’s market, the craft booth and assorted other tents.
In the area- we were actually passing Alstede farms going between parades, – Brookside, New Jersey this morning (with an enthusiastic hometown crowd – always a fun parade) and Washington, New Jersey in the afternoon – another great parade, well run with a great crowd cheering us on. Marching and ice cream, Independence Day does not get much better than this!
Vincent’s Homemade Ice Cream, Mount Holly, New Jersey
May 21, 2017
Entering Vincent’s Homemade Ice Cream shop with its colorful decor and friendly atmosphere gave me a happy feeling. There were lots of small tables to sit at, including a Disney Princesses table for the very little kids. There was a walk-up counter with display cases of great-looking homemade ice cream. I stepped up and ordered from a energetic, friendly barista. She had my Peanut Butter Fudge Sundae -(soft vanilla ice cream, peanut butter and hot fudge toppings and Reeses Peanut Butter cups) ready in no time. It was wonderful!
In the area (but not quite) – we stopped at Vincent’s on our way home from Fort Delaware in Delaware City, Delaware. The fort served as a Prisoner of War Camp to hold Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War. It was on an island, so the tour included a boat ride over. Very interesting tour.