Did you read the article on the front page a week or so back in the Sunday paper about how another small town lost their Dairy Queen? The title was “What’s a Texas town without a Dairy Queen?” I just couldn’t read it.
First…I thought how the heck does that kind of article make it on the front page? Aren’t there more newsworthy things going on in the world? Secondly, I didn’t care to read what I thought was an obviously sad article about Dairy Queen’s demise. Nope! I mean … how many of you have ever consumed an iconic chocolate-dipped soft-serve cone on a Texas road trip to somewhere? I thought so.
Brought back memories of the ‘70s when the hubster was in college. For several years, we made the trek every month from Austin to Houston and back for his Air Force Reserve weekends. Depending on our road trip route of choice, we’d always stop to stretch our legs at a Dairy Queen in either Hempstead or LaGrange for a dipped cone. The three things that made those long road trips so enjoyable were the company, singing to the radio, and the dipped cone. Yep … we invented Carpool Karaoke and just didn’t know it!
Years later, we shared the experience with our kids on our road trips. There is a Dairy Queen near Brenham we always stopped at before we dropped our special needs daughter at her camp in Burton. Mimi couldn’t handle ice cream on a cone, so I leisurely fed her one of their hot fudge sundaes! Her big blue eyes looked like jumbo-sized eggs while consuming the sundae. For everyone else in the family, it was all about the dipped cone … always eaten inside the Dairy Queen with lots of napkins.
My curiosity getting the best of me; I asked the hubster to read the Sunday Dairy Queen article and give me a short report. We do that sometimes. I will share the gist of a touchy-feely story even if I know there was no way he would read it on his own. And then the dude always gives me his super in-depth analysis of the weather map. He starts with the temperatures in Alaska for some odd reason. And yep … it is why I carry an umbrella and rain slicker around even on a sunny day. Weather continues to be a mystery to me.
But back to the Dairy Queen story. Rick informed me another small Texas town, San Augustine, population now under 2,000, shuttered their Dairy Queen of 45 years. Fortunately, the in-depth magazine-length piece wasn’t all bad news. Sure, it seems a few Dairy Queens in small Texas towns have recently shuttered their doors. It sounded like dwindling population was to blame.
The hubster found a fat sliver of a silver lining in the article. Did you know there are around 600 Dairy Queens in Texas still serving dipped cones? In fact, Dairy Queen is not disappearing at all. They are actually expanding into Houston and Dallas. Open about a year now, we have such an establishment not far from the house.
Being research-minded, I hopped into the family truckster to see if their dipped cone had changed. It was around 2 in the afternoon and the place was hopping. I ordered my small dipped cone and just before handing over the cash, asked the dude behind the counter if it was difficult to make.
“It took me about three months to get it just right. The hardest part is getting the ice cream bumps perfect,” he said, handing me my cone complete with the little chocolate swirly curl on top.
I sat down in a booth and savored the moment. It tasted just as I had remembered. The dark chocolate coating crunched on top as I bit into it. The vanilla goodness quickly melted underneath. From experience, I knew that being wimpy with my licking would result in dripping all over the place. Then the familiar brain freeze.
While it is sad another Texas town lost their Dairy Queen, I was glad to hear Dairy Queen would be hangin’ around. We have some grandchildren that have an introduction to dipped cones in their future!