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?
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:
|3 Small(!) Cups. From L to R: Banana, Indian Pudding/Ginger, Indian Pudding/Java Lava|