We all know what to do you when life hands you lemons, just as we all know about cookies and the way they sometimes crumble. On my way back to Boston after a nomadic Memorial Day Weekend, I had in my bag some rather precious cargo – two Ninja Turtle cookies from the greatest business establishment known to man, Colonial Bakery. A series of unfavorable circumstances (crazy early flight, lots of rushing, bag packed with a laptop and other stuff) convened to put me awkwardly juggling bags, shoes, jackets and my boarding pass through security. In the hubbub, my cookies crumbled to the fine pulp at your left. (Don’t worry, I was going to be nice and share with the RyGuy.)
I trudged straight to work upon landing and plopped the cookie dust on my desk, sneaking occasional chunks while pondering what to do with this travesty. I shared this picture on Facebook to garner sympathy for my grave misfortune. Condolences rolled in from my Shore friends and I wondered exactly how I would manage eating these.
Then, genius struck: ice cream topping! Two of my most favorite guys (Ben & Jerry – what, did you think I was going to say Mark & AJ?) have been blending baked goods into ice cream for years. Obviously, these two pulverized Michaelangelos were just waiting for the sundae treatment. I shared my stroke of fat kid genius on Facebook and collected a few “likes” of agreement. See, I always try my best to find the upside of a down situation (or else I surely would have cracked up years ago) and this pickle turned into a win-win-win-win (in Michael Scott parlance). Eventually.
Execution would be a little more difficult, as I don’t have wheels right now and don’t pass any grocery stores on my commute (or much of anything – but I’m never more than a few football fields’ lengths from the water front; pretty sweet commute if you ask me) but I procured some ice cream after work with help from Ryan’s vehicle. I knew genuine, full calorie vanilla would be my go-to here, no need to overshadow the planet’s best cookies.
However, having realized on a recent beach trip that it’s rather apparent that I’ve been eating my feelings all winter, I didn’t want a whole carton of the real stuff taunting me from inside the freezer. You know those Edy’s mini ice cream cups? (You should; they’re great.) Perfect serving size for this operation. Plus whipped cream. Who doesn’t like whipped cream? Weirdos, that’s who.
By the time I had gotten home, the mini ice cream cup had melted quite a bit (perfect high school “milkshake” consistency – another story for another time if you weren’t part of the depravity that was all girls Catholic school [no, this isn’t a dirty reference so get your mind out of the gutter]). I plopped it into a bowl and gingerly layered the cookie crumbs on top. Yeah, I realize I said before I was going to share my other cookie with my gentleman companion, but in fat kid math, two crumbled cookies equals one normal cookie, so back off. I squirted a tower of whipped cream on top and behold:
THE GREATEST TREAT EVER!
Obviously, Colonial and Summer Sweets need to join forces here. They have a moral obligation to all of us in the immediate area to create Ninja Turtle Cookie Ice Cream. They can call it Sweet Colonial Collaboration. Heck, if Summer Sweets was willing to create some weird orange coconut flavor for Ocean Beach, there’s no reason they can’t make this. The bakery could sell scoops in the morning before Summer Sweets opens and Summer Sweets could sell turtle cookies at night after the bakery closes. And in these weird, uncertain post-Sandy times, all the Shore businesses could use a boost. What’s better than helping your neighbors? I, for one, would feel just as morally obligated to eat a sundae with Sweet Colonial Collaboration and a dollop of hot fudge every time I went home.
This got me thinking: what other Shore favorite could team up? I give you my pairings:
Steaks Unlimited cheese balls on a Midway sausage sandwich
Big Ed’s Jersey tomatoes on Fumosa Brothers’ rolls with a sprinkle of sea salt
Maruca’s pizza with Steaks Unlimited cheesesteak on top
…this clearly could go on all day. And it would surely make me both ravenously hungry and slightly bitter that I’m 300 miles away. So I will stop. But wouldn’t this make a fantastic menu for a special event, like a fund raiser? Orrrrr maybe I’ve just found the menu for the cocktail hour of my fictional wedding. BOOM.
But, seriously, the only way we’re going to make it out of the fine mess the Barrier Island is in is by helping each other – family, friends, neighbors, businesses. Over MDW, I slept in a different bed every night (again, mind out of the gutter please) and was (mostly) happy as a clam at high tide to still be in my favorite place during my favorite weekend. I won’t lie, it’s a little uncomfortable to nurse a hangover as a guest in someone else’s house and of course I missed my snug little twin bed nestled into the corner of my knotty pined room.
But I felt truly grateful to have so many friends willing to put a roof over my head (and thank god – it was freezing two of those nights and heaven knows I’d have been down there one way or another, camping on the beach if need be). I was happy to buy a round at the Beachcomber and to pick up lunch for AJ and me at Klee’s and to walk out of the bakery with a white paper bag of baked goodness we all know my hips don’t need. Money from insurance companies and the government is great and necessary, but the best way for our favorite spots to know that they’re going to make it is if we continue to patronize them. We are all in this together and if you don’t think that for a second, then you’re absolutely wrong. So, please, get some turtle cookies and mash them up over a medium cup of vanilla. Throw an extra dollar in the tip jar. And then tell your friends to do the same.