Good times at Rota-Spring Farm

I just returned to Washington, DC after a relaxing weekend at home in Massachusetts. My dad is recuperating from a scary bicycling accident, so I’ve spent the last few weekends with the family at our childhood home. To us, nothing says “summer” like a post-dinner trip for homemade ice cream. So on Saturday night, we left the dinner dishes untouched and piled into the minivan for a scenic drive to Rota-Spring Farm in Sterling, Massachusetts.

Turning into the gravel parking lot, you are hit with an image straight from a Norman Rockwell painting. Large red barn with large windows, spilling warm light into the evening dusk. Cows and goats in a large pasture to the right. Kids of all ages milling around, licking generous scoops of ice cream off dripping waffle cones. To an urban professional in her 20s, the scene is shockingly serene. No honking or sirens. No pushing and shoving to get ahead in line. Kids without screens (besides the sliding ones by the register). Staff who seem to (gasp!) enjoy serving patrons. Oh – and the best part – reasonably-priced, high-quality, homemade ice cream.

Typical Saturday evening crowd at Rota-Springs

Despite our many pilgrimages to Rota-Spring, my family and I have yet to make a dent in their impressive list of flavors. Of course there are the usual suspects: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee, mint chocolate chip, and butter pecan. But how can one even think about ordering strawberry when faced with flavors like grapenut, purple cow, and cowabunga crunch?

Decisions, Decisions…

Of course, when faced with too many delicious decisions, it’s always best to team up with family or friends and order numerous flavors to share. On this trip, my parents and I decided to order a “small” cup each – which amounts to 6 scoops of the good stuff. Usually, I would insist that all 6 scoops be different flavors. But Rota-Spring is an exception. My dad can’t forgo the opportunity to load up on Banana (his favorite), and my mom and I worry that one scoop of Indian Pudding just won’t be enough. But for the two other scoops, we go out on a limb and choose 2 new-to-us flavors: Ginger and Java Lava. Here is how Rota-Spring describes each:

Java Lava – Coffee ice cream with bits of delicious toffee covered chocolate
Indian Pudding – Ice cream with molasses, cornmeal and just the right spices
Ginger – Ginger ice cream with bits of crystallized ginger
Banana – Banana ice cream with chunks of real banana
3 Small(!) Cups. From L to R: Banana, Indian Pudding/Ginger, Indian Pudding/Java Lava
The verdict? Each of the four flavors were perfect in their own way. The Banana is chock-full of authentic flavor, and it’s familiar taste is surprisingly refreshing on a hot, humid night. The Indian Pudding is just how I remember it: a heavenly, frozen version of the classic New England treat. The Ginger is potent – but in a good way. If you enjoy candied ginger, this flavor will rock your world. Last, but certainly not least, Java Lava pairs Rota-Spring’s popular coffee ice cream with bits of crunchy chocolate-covered toffee. All in all, it was hard to find fault in this solid lineup. Needless to say, the three of us polished these babies off.
Oh – I should mention that Rota-Spring Farm also sells seasonal fruits and vegetables, jams and homemade breads. But let’s be honest… I come for just one reason.
The Stats:
Rota-Spring Farm
117 Chace Hill Road
Sterling, MA 01564
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18007992106909752174 Elizabeth

    Hi Gracie!
    What a great start to your blog. I’m cracking up at your profile photo at the end of our driveway using your own $ to buy your treat. Remember how you and your sisters were only allowed to buy from the truck on a weekend day? You could hear that truck from a mile away. I bet the music will always ring sweet in your ears 😉 Love, Mom

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13287484178507139455 Elysia

    Oh my, I love this. How have I never experienced Indian ice cream?!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16546781623816166855 David

    Time Magazine has a 2-page spread this week on bizarro icecream flavors across the country.
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2121079,00.html

    Sorry….gotta go now…..ice cream beckons…

    Love, Dad