Jun 23, 2009

Connecting Ice Cream, Famous People & Dyslexia

I've written before about famous people and ice cream such as Elvis Presley, Jackie Chan and others as well as a number of former US Presidents who enjoyed ice cream. It's an interesting connection but there are lots more connections that are just as fascinating. Such as famous people (including US Presidents) who have been/are dyslexic. Walt Disney suffered from dyslexia but it didn't stop him founding one of the biggest and best entertainment corporations the world has ever seen. Here is an interesting list of dyslexic famous people - it spans centuries from Da Vinci through to Tom Cruise.

I know several people personally who are dyslexic and one of them, David Allen who is a successful chartered accountant and businessman, was recently presented with a 'Businessman Of The Year' award in recognition of his energy and commitment within the local business and sporting communities. David is one of those people who is always coming up with new ideas, wanting to move forwards and make progress with everything he does.

He even writes an accountants blog where you can read about some incredibly diverse things .... the progress of the football club that he owns .... the fibreglass cows installed on the lawn outside his business premises ... and lots more. Of course David has also written about living with dyslexia on his blog. It's a great post and makes for inspiring reading.

I know that David likes ice cream too which made me wonder just how many successful people with dyslexia also enjoy ice cream. An interesting thought .... some research to be done there I think .... and another blog post for another day!

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Jan 26, 2009

Presidential Ice Cream

The inauguration of President Barack Obama this last week saw millions of people rejoicing around the world in celebration of what is hoped will be a new era of world politics.

Almost 38 million Americans tuned in for the whole day's coverage on tv and many more millions watched the ceremonial part from their workplace, bars or on giant tv screens which had been set up in New York's Times Square and other major US cities. The global tv audience has, as yet, not been calculated but it's likely to be a world-record figure for a presidential inauguration.

Celebrations in the White House of course involved the traditional inaugural dinner. My first thought .... was ice cream on the menu? Not a crazy question actually because previous presidential inaugural dinners have featured ice cream.

For example, it was the 4th President of the United States, James Madison, who broke with his predecessors’ tradition of hosting simple affairs for their inaugural dinner. Madison decided to celebrate with a midnight ball for 400 guests and although there appears to be no copy of the original menu still in existence, it is believed that ice cream was served at the dinner.

The next noteworthy inaugural dinner was that of James Buchanan where, amongst many other wonderful items of food, guests were served no less than 1,200 quarts of ice cream!

So what dessert was on the 44th President’s inaugural dinner menu?
From what I have read it appears to have been apple-cinnamon sponge cake and sweet cream. Pity really because a rich vanilla ice cream would, in my opinion, have been a perfect accompaniment to the sponge cake and they could have at least offered it as an option to the sweet cream!

One thing is for sure, President Obama would have enjoyed it. We know he enjoys an ice cream cone occasionally, such as he was photographed doing on the campaign trail in August 2008 when he and his vice-presidential running mate Joe Biden took an 'ice cream break'.
See the article and photo.

It's a great photo showing two hard working politicians genuinely at ease in front of the cameras whilst they unashamedly enjoy an ice cream cone in the heat of the day.

I'm not the only one to notice President Obama's fondness for ice cream - Ben & Jerry have too. Their latest ice cream creation is called "Yes Pecan!" (a take on 'Yes We Can!"). As a flavor it's nothing new and exotic, just basically a butter pecan ice cream but B&J are calling it the unofficial Obama ice cream. Available in some of their Scoop shops during the month of January, the proceeds are to go to the Common Cause Education Fund.

If you can't get your hands on a "Yes Pecan!" don't worry - you can always make your own Butter Pecan Ice cream. It's one of my favorite all time ice cream recipes and was the 7th most popular downloaded from my website in 2008.

See the top 10 ice cream recipes list if you would like to know what the others were.

Connecting the idea of US Presidents and ice cream may not seem an obvious thing to do but I have done a little research and found it fascinating reading! The result is a new web page I have dedicated to Ice Cream and US Presidents. If nothing else, reading it will make you realise that they are just human like the rest of us.

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Nov 12, 2008

Homemade Ice Cream - At The White House?

On 1 November I wrote a post about US Presidents and connections with ice cream. At that point the outcome of the US Presidential Election was unknown but I dared to ask the question:

"If it's Obama, given one of his hobbies is said to be cooking, I wonder if he'll make his own homemade ice cream? Now that might just be a first for a US President!"

History has been made and Barack Hussein Obama II is going to the White House. He may go on to make further history; his sense of vision and love for his country are strong enough to see him achieve that but in between the pressures of daily office he will need some relaxation. Most likely it will be in the form of spending time with his family and I would love to think that there might be one day sometime, any time, when he and his family are at home together that they decide to make some homemade ice cream. Sounds silly? Not in the least, I'm quite serious. Making your own ice cream is good fun - and you get to enjoy the end results. All in all, a great way to make dad, mum and the kids all happy, relaxed and enjoying a sense of togetherness.

Perhaps one day when President Obama talks to Oprah Winfrey in an informal tv chat, who knows we might just hear him talking about making a little ice cream at home with the family. If he does, that could be another first - homemade ice cream in the White House. Now there's something the ice cream manufacturers would love to franchise!

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Nov 1, 2008

US Presidents, Ice Cream & Poker

Watching the media 'circus' of the US Presidential elections the last few days set me to thinking about the different Presidents there have been over the years and how many of them were very strong individuals.

Indeed a number of them made no secret of the fact that they really enjoyed ice cream. Good for them! These include Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and even George W. Bush.

Lincoln had ice cream served at his 2nd inauguration and Washington reportedly spent $200 one summer alone on ice cream - and in 1790 $200 was a small fortune!

Harry S Truman's family also appear to have had a fondness for ice cream - in an interview with Dorsy Lou Warr in 1991 she said that her father was a member of Harry S. Truman's poker circle and often provided the Trumans with pop and ice cream.

Thats another intereting subject - Presidents with a love a poker. I must pass on this fascinating story I read called Atomic Poker which relays the account of when and how Truman revealed the existence of the atomic bomb. There was also Warren Harding who played poker at least twice a week and once reportedly gambled away a set of White House china! Many of his advisors joined him in games of poker hence they became known as the "Poker Cabinet".

Whatever your feelings on poker and gambling, in a Presidential context it makes for very entertaining reading!

Getting back to ice cream though, what about Barack Obama and John McCain?

Well, it appears Barack Obama enjoys ice cream - here is a photo of him with his family about to take 'a much needed ice cream break'. Not only that, but apparently Ben & Jerry who have endorsed his campaign have even created a flavor in his honor called "Cherries for Change."

As for John McCain, he clearly enjoys ice cream too. On a hot afternoon in August he reportedly heard the music of an ice cream truck and immediately asked a campaign worker to go get ice cream for his team. He apparently said at the time: “I have not had ice cream from a street vendor since childhood."

Also back in August, Baskin-Robbins were not shy to start using the Presidential elections in their ice cream creations:

"Straight Talk Crunch” for John McCain and “Whirl of Change” for Barack Obama.

The former - a concoction of vanilla ice cream, white chocolate, caramel and almonds - apparently received the thumbs up from McCain himself, declaring “It’s delicious”. Full article courtesy of CBS News.

Regardless of how the election goes, you can be certain of 2 things:

1. A lot of ice cream will be consumed by people watching the results unfold on tv.

2. Whoever gets into the White House likes ice cream.

If it's Obama, given one of his hobbies is said to be cooking, I wonder if he'll make his own homemade ice cream? Now that might just be a first for a US President!

Read more about famous people and ice cream.

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