Life is Better with a Pint of Vermont’s Finest

You came to me much like a dream,
bold yet sweet, you reigned supreme.

One tiny taste and I was sunk,
this crazy lust, I willingly drunk.

With promises of sugar and spice,
I gobbled you up, my wicked vice.

Thoughts of you would enter my day,
I had to be with you, there was no other way.

My lips–they’d tremble, my heart would swoon,
Quick! Off to the kitchen to grab a spoon!

I’d rip you open and plunge so deep,
your velvet cream, it made me weep.

Guilt be damned! Your love was mine!
We melted together–it was divine.

My life was over; this burden I’d carry
for I was in love with Ben and Jerry.

Oh, how I love a man wearing glasses. And holding a triple-scoop cone. You guys rock my world.

***********

 

About 14 years ago, before we were married and had kids, my husband and I traveled as much as possible. Did we go see the Grand Canyon? Mount Rushmore? Niagara Falls? The World’s Largest Ball of Twine?

Please! Why bother with those tired old tourist traps when you can visit the
Ben and Jerry’s factory in Vermont?

We took the factory tour and I think I might have asked the question, “Soooo annnyway… do we get free samples or what?” about a thousand times. Maybe I managed to tick off the tour guide a little. Especially when I kept interrupting her, insisting she interview me on the spot for the full time Taste Tester position. And asking if the salary was paid in giant vats of Chubby Hubby. Or if the employee gym featured showers that spouted nothing but caramel and chocolate syrup.

We did get our free samples at the end–after she escorted me outside–and we had a chance to taste a brand new flavor they were in the process of developing back in 1998:

Peanut Butter and Jelly!

And it was disgusting.

Sorry, but major flavor fail on your part, Ben and Jerry. (I forgive you.) Certain combinations probably should never be mixed with ice cream. Say, cottage cheese and pimentos. Or asparagus and Tabasco sauce. I would have rather tested those flavors. Wisely, the good people at Ben and Jerry’s retired the PB&J flavor after limited release and buried it where it belonged, six feet under in their ‘Where Bad Flavors Go to Die’ cemetery.

Here I am, desperately trying to resurrect the flavor “Nighty-Night”– vanilla ice cream with swirls of strawberry-flavored Benadryl and chunks of tangy Nyquil nuggets. (I may or may not be discreetly dumping my tiny sample cup of PB&J behind the tombstone…)
Ah, memories! The day we toured the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Vermont was the single best day of my life. Well…right behind the birth of my kids. And my wedding day…I guess….but really, who can compete with FREE SAMPLES!!

So tell me…what flavors would you crawl over hot coals for?

Mine are Phish Food and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. I think I ate an entire pint of Coffee Heath Bar Crunch every single day back in college. (…and they say the ‘Freshman 15’ is a myth.)

**********************************************************************************************

Drooling over this post? Feel free to visit the following bloggers today for more calorie-free sweetness as we celebrate all things ice cream.

Oma and his Blurt Blog
Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly
Georgette Sullins’s Blog
Pegoleg and her Ramblings
Blogdramedy
Katy over at k8edid
Jacquelin Cangro’s blog
Lisa from publikworks
Kim of The G is Silent
Julie True Kingsley’s Blog

124 thoughts on “Life is Better with a Pint of Vermont’s Finest

      1. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

        I totally believe you. Feel free to send it. I can start writing up your awesome write-up. That should be ready by then. I’m. So. Slow.

        And I will have a little.

        But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  1. Pingback: Life Is Better With A Pint of Vermont’s Finest | Julie True Kingsley's Blog

  2. Oh if only we had a J&B creamery in TX to visit! We have J&B stores, J&B refrigerators stacked with their stuff at Kroger’s. I have two pints in our freezer – Phish Food and Key Lime Pie – to think they were imported all the way from the little ole state of Vermont.

  3. How cute are you guys?! I LOVE those pictures. The cemetary where flavors go to die…amazing. (I was going to say, “I’ve never heard of this PB&J flavor…” Now I know why! But it really sounds promising. That’s too bad.)

    The last line of your poem coupled with that picture made me laugh out loud. Very cool! Off to have a nibble of the other posts…

    My favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry’s is probably peanut butter cup, or that cookie dough one with three different kinds of cookie dough!

    1. Aren’t we just too freaking cute for words? Well, a few words come to my mind. Pathetic. Geeky. Dorky. Take you pick.
      I was trying to be a ‘ghost’ in the tombstone photo. Not very convincing, I must say.
      But yeah. I love these because we both look so young we almost glow. Ah, yes…the glow of not having any responsibilities like mortgages, college funds and orthodontic bills.

      1. I had just heard about this cemetery a couple weeks ago. I am so envious you have actually achieved visitation to this infamous landmark!

        For me, the Chubby Hubby was my favorite – and only – Ben and Jerry’s choice. Because I only bought 2 or 3 pints of ice cream a year. Then I began making homemade ice cream. The Pumpkin-Caramel came out best. And I actually made a fantasy ice cream (experimental, mind you): Blue Cheese and Hot Fried Onion -Buttermilk Ice Cream. Of course, it sucked. My own personal Graveyard for retired ice cream flavors? Moi Toilette🙂

  4. I’ve heard people talking about going to the Ben & Jerry’s factory but never actually met anyone who admitted that they did. Now I have proof. I hope that picture of you two is in pride of place in your home. Smack dab in the center of your fridge.🙂

  5. *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap*
    Bravo, Darla!! A poem, stories, pictures – this was a delicious post to read, much like Ben & Jerry’s is a tasty treat to eat! Love it!! And I am seriously jealous you were able to go to the graveyard. That is so very cool.

    1. I think the graveyard was the best part, Lenore. Well, that and when I found out there really do have one woman who has a full time job of taste testing. Oh, and that each employee gets to take home one free pint a week as a perk (all true)

  6. As fellow New Englanders, we’ve been there a few times! Most recently was four years ago, when I took my son and a friend to “visit” University of Vt and Champlain College. They weren’t too impressed with either place, but we stopped at Ben and Jerry’s on the way home….Oh, my!!
    I forget what flavor I got, but there were chunks of dark chocolate all through it.

  7. Cookie dough is a non-flavor to me. Maybe because I make cookies all the time, so it’s not as much as a treat. I would trade one of my kids for a pint of fudge brownie (not NY fudge brownie, the regular one). I’m not even picky about which kid.

    1. I can’t believe I’ve never tried the brownie one! I am the brownie queen. I make them all the time. Just from the sounds of it, I’d better get to figuring out which kid I should trade. I just saw you were FP again–congrats!!

  8. Yummmmm…..coffee heath bar crunch or anything resembling that tasty confection, the Heath bar. Gotta get me some…soon…
    How cool you had the tour experience and pictures to back it up for this post.
    I laughed out loud (then coughed, course, ’cause I’m a whiny sicky today). The cemetery for flavors that died is really clever.
    Well done!

  9. Pingback: Julie True Kingsley: Life Is Better With A Pint of Vermont’s Finest « NESCBWI Kidlit Reblogger

  10. First of all…it’s a no-brainer that you chose to go to the Ben & Jerry’s factory. Niagara Falls? Grand Canyon? Ppfft.
    Second of all…Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. Of course there had to be a way to combine two of life’s great things: coffee and ice cream. I knew you were a lady after my own heart and this confirms it.

    1. I still haven’t tried that one. By the way, now that I have your attention, B. I forgot to tell you congrats on the upcoming baby’s arrival and best wishes to you and your wife! You’ll be the best dad ever.

  11. That picture of the two of you on the cover of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s….words fail me. That is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

    And your poem! Erotic love poetry so steamy the ice cream mentioned is melting all over the blog! Way to go, Darlcream.

    1. I might have to put that photo up there on my blog banner now.
      So happy you enjoyed the erotic ice cream thing. I think I had a hot flash when I wrote it.

      (how you feeling, Miss Peg? I hear you’ve got the sniffles? feel better soon, make hubby take care of you)

      1. Well, that’s good to hear, Pego. This cold weather is really hitting me hard. My bones ache. My joints ache. I feel the sniffles coming on. I just want to curl up in my Snuggie and sip hot cocoa all day long.

  12. I was laughing as I noticed another dessert flash mob in my reader following the Peanut butter cup assault, and then I see you went to the factory and it confirmed my suspicions that you’re fantastically insane, I love the photos!

    We don’t get peanut butter cups here so I’m glad I know what Ben and Jerry’s taste like, though I think we’re getting gypped on flavours, we only have about 4 over here.

      1. joehoover

        I suspect they taste of peanut butter in which case, no thankyou, I don’t like peanut butter. I like cheese. Do they do a cheese version?

    1. You only had suspicions I was insane? It took until now for you to get confirmation?

      OH, Joe, poor, poor Joe. Stuck over there in London, PB cup-less. We have probably 50 flavors at the Ben and Jerry’s store here in Freeport.

      1. joehoover

        We may have 6 flavours…no fair.

        I really hope you visited the factory with your kids and it wasn’t from before. I have visions of you making them take your photos at every opportunity and asking “mum/mom can I have a turn”

  13. From your passionate love ode to the end of the post, I loved this. I think you have something there with that Nighty-Night flavor, by the way. I’ve never been to the B&J factory but it’s on my Bucket List. But I’d probably wear black to visit the Flavor Graveyard, because so many of my old friends are buried there. Dastardly Mash, White Russian, Cool Brittania… My favorites are Chubby Hubby, Banana Cream Pie, Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie.

    1. yes! White Russian! That was so good! One of my favorites. I can’t believe they got rid of that one, I had no idea.

      The factory tour was fun. I’ve gone on it twice. Once with my kids a few years ago. My son was bored out of his mind. He kept whining, “Can we just get our cone and get outta here?!”

  14. I was fortunate enough to have gone to college in Burlington, VT where we would, on occasion, go down the hill to Ben and Jerry’s. They have a plethora of delectible flavors. But, since moving to the west coast, I have switched allegiance to Denali and their Peanut Butter Moose Tracks. Well, I need to fully disclose that I am actually not able to eat dairy products any longer, so I don’t eat icecream. But previous to 13 months ago, the aforementioned was absolutely true.

    1. Hey, I didn’t know you went to college in Burlington! I actually checked out some campuses there for graduate school, back when I was around 24. I fell in love with the area. Gorgeous! Too bad I decided not to move there…

      1. mariner2mother

        Yup! Went to groovy UV. UVM! Great experience and more than beautiful place. Although, if I had know about Bowdoin, I probably would have gone there.

  15. I have a confession. With some ice-creams, I relish them after they’ve melted into a thick milkshake, which I then eat with a spoon and lots of guilt. There’s no flavor I don’t like—but that could be because I haven’t tried PB&J! Nice poem Darla.

      1. bharatwrites

        Haha, this summer, I used this iPhone app to help me lose weight. It gave me a calorie target for a day. I could input whatever I ate, and it would tell me how many calories I had consumed. When I entered Cold Stone Ice Cream large, a hand reached out from the phone and slapped me in the face. (You know I’m kidding—although that would have helped me with my weight goal.)

  16. Ahhh… I sure do miss the Wavy Gravy! Haven’t seen it around for years ~ not sure if it is retired or just wildly popular among Marylanders. I am probably in denial… so in a pinch, I’m with you on the Phish Food!🙂

  17. Ben & Jerry will always and forever remain in my closest circle of friends that I’ve never met. I miss finding floor-to-ceiling selections of Vermont’s Finest in the local grocer… now I have to settle for 5 or 6 varieties in the frozen food section and settle for whatever is available.

    Thanks for the memories, great post!

  18. PB&J ice cream? Wow, that sounds about as good as PB&J vodka, which also exists. I am über jealous that you have visited the promise land! My favorite changes depending on my mood. I like the red velvet and oatmeal cookie ones presently. Yum.

    Oh, and that poem is divine. Sweet, yet a little bit naughty…..just like B&J’s! 😉

  19. Love the poem. Hello from another B & J fan. In the ’90’s we rented a cottage in the Eastern Townships of Quebec -in a beautiful village called North Hatley – which we liked so much we went back the next year, and both times we found ourselves in the car driving down to Vermont all the way to Ben and Jerries for an ice cream and a tour of the spotless factory.

  20. The poem flowed like a velvety molten ice-cream. Too good! You’re right. Some flavors are not meant for ice-creams—there’s this ‘green chilly’ flavored ice-cream I’ve heard about in India (I am sure it’s available elsewhere, too). If I wanted to get my tongue burnt with chillies, I’d go for the blazing wings contest, not look for it in an ice-cream!

    1. Wow, my husband would love that ice cream! He loves anything spicy. Doesn’t sound good to me though…speaking of which, there is an ice cream here in Maine that has chunks of real lobster in vanilla ice cream. (blech!)

  21. Hey, I’ve been there!! A LONG time ago though, back in the 90’s, pre-kids like you. I don’t remember much about the adventure other than we bought a little stuffed cow wearing a t-shirt that said Ben and Jerry’s.

    1. Ooh, so you didn’t have the kids either, huh. So what you’re telling me is you’re just as goofy and geeky as my husband and me. Aw, and the stuffed cow! Wish I had thought to get a souvenir. My plan was to steal extra samples on the way out the door but the ice cream tasted so bad, I had to make do with a cone of heath bar crunch instead.

  22. I think I found your blog through http://artyoldbird.com or maybe it was http://2bnine.wordpress.com – I don’t remember.

    I live in Vermont. The state where you and the Governor are both reaching for the butter. Where you are two degrees from anyone who lives here, present or past. Where having lunch with both B&J (not the ice cream) is not only possible, it happens. And where you are offered numerous pints of ice cream after a date. Need I really say more?

    My fave: CoffeeCoffeeBuzzBuzzBuzz. If they made Coffee Heath Bar Crunch with that as the base, I’d be in ice cream heaven. Especially if they used darkdark chocolate swirls in it, too. And maybe bits of ice cream cones, and some sea salt for good measure. Oh, yes. And their Graveyarded Cinnamon on top of freshly baked, hot apple pie was to die for, too. Sigh.

    I’ve been on the tour so many times (thanks to visitors) that I could give it. Seriously. Did you know that if you work at B&J, you get three free pints of ice cream a day?

    And, thank you. Now I know exactly what I’m having for dinner!😀

    1. You mean to tell me you live near there and didn’t apply for the taste tester position? I do remember the tour guide telling us the employees got to take home a free pint of ice cream, but I didn’t realize it was 3 pints a day! Is that wise? Trying to slowly kill off your employees with a steady diet of whole milk and pure sugar?

      CoffeeCoffeeBuzzBuzz–delish! I have to say my fave flavor of ice cream in general is coffee. No big surprise there. Hope you enjoyed your dinner.

  23. I’m envious of your tour, Darla. I’d probably just jump into the nearest vat of ice cream and not come out until it was all gone.
    My favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream? Anything with pumpkin in it … unfortunately, I’m told, B & J does not have that on their seasonal items. On Sunday, we went to their store in Melbourne, Fl and I had some of their test batch of spumoni. Wonderful, wonderful. Chocolate with bits of cherry, nuts, etc.

    1. ooh, I am surprised they don’t make a pumpkin ice cream. I’d be all over that this time of year. Course we are on pumpkin-overload at my house. My husband told me if I bought another bag of DD’s pumpkin flavored coffee he was divorcing me.

  24. Ah, back in the day when MLB and I COULD actually eat anything we wanted to eat – about 13 years ago – we would sit down and share a small pint of Haagen Dazs Vanilla Swiss Almond (or simply, VSA). It would be gone in one sitting. Handing it back and forth. Ah, the good old days. Yep, I’ve lost 30 lbs since those days and can’t do that anymore, unfortunately.

    Life IS SO CRUEL!

  25. I hate you. Yes, truly hate you!

    Not really, I love you. Coffee Heath and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough will go down in infamy as adding to my hip and azz size. Unfortunately somewhere in the past five years I have added to my woes and developed a sensitivity to dairy, ice cream has been eliminated from my diet (thus I hate you but not really).

    Gawd I miss Ice Cream!

    1. haha! Val, this is a milestone for me, my first comment that started off with “I hate you!”
      I’m also with you. I don’t eat ice cream hardly ever now (shhhh….don’t tell Ben or Jerry I told you that….)

  26. Maycee’s dad and I went to Vermont for our honeymoon. Besides the fact that we little to no romance the entire week (uh hem, I digress), it was the BEST trip I have EVER taken! Of course, I planned it all…I just had to see the leaves turning in the fall after reading about it in a travel magazine-beautiful indeed. Maycee’s dad, well, he wanted to hit the tropics (I’m sure so he could read his book quietly on a chaise lounge the entire trip, but I digress, again). One of our stops was Ben and Jerry’s Factory! OMG, I LOVED IT!! B & J came to life for me in college…one of my best friends introduced me to Cherry Garcia, and I was hooked. It became my broken-heart recovery drug, and I swear, it worked. So visiting the actual factory was a dream-come-true. But, although I totally dig that flavor, my all-time fav is Chocolate Fudge Brownie. And, like CG, it works even better on getting rid of the blues-female style! Yuuuuuuummmmmmy! What a fun post and cute pics, too. XOXO-SWM

    1. Digress away! I love it. I also love that you two went there on your honeymoon. We went to the Poconos and stayed at this cheesy romantic resort. I think when we renew our vows for our 15th anniversary we should definitely relive our Ben and Jerry’s tour and photo op.

      1. Frustration? Heck yeah. Anxiety? Not so much. Too much work to be done around the house, and too little me. (Not that less of me is ALL bad – a few years ago, there was about 30 pounds MORE of me, which – oddly enough – somehow made less of me. One of those Zen things, I guess.😉 )

  27. Yum. Just finished dinner. Now I’m rummaging around the freezer and all I have is some frost bitten vanilla. STILL not sure why I’m not getting your posts in my in box. Just signed up again… =)

    1. Last night I decided to have some of the ice cream in our fridge and it was also frost bitten and pretty yucky. Oh well. I still ate it.
      My reader and blog following has been so messed up lately. I need to go through and re-follow and fix up my blog roll.

  28. We went to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory a few years ago. I didn’t know about the cemetery, but I also asked annoying questions. At the time, and to this day, I don’t understand the concept of retiring flavors of ice cream. And then, in order to keep coming up with new flavors, they have to mix weird ingredients in larger and stranger combinations. I kept asking where I could get Rainforest Crunch, my all-time favorite flavor. I could tell the tour guide had already heard similar questions about nine thousand times that week, but she politely explained the retirement thing. I still don’t get it.

    Great post, Darla.

    Hey, don’t you have homework to do?

    1. Now why am I not surprised you also bugged the tour guide with annoying questions?
      And Rainforest Crunch! I loved that one, too.

      Yes, of course I have loads of homework to do. What better way to study than sift through blog comments?

  29. One of the best days of my life was when Marty and I toured the Rogers’ Chocolates Factory in Victoria. Rogers’ is the oldest chocolate company in Canada, and we were offered our weight in free samples. Heaven.

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