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Front Page » October 12, 2004 » Opinion » Harriet's World
Published 4,518 days ago

Harriet's World

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I had one of my very favorite drinks the other day, a hot fudge malt. Oh, there is nothing like a malt, or malted as we use to call them back in the olden days when the dinosaurs were on the earth. The only way you could get a "Malted" was to go to a drug store with a fountain in it. Now I don't mean a water fountain cascading down the side of a mountain. I mean a fountain where you could get an ice cream soda and you sit on a stool at a counter and eat your ice cream in a dish. Back in those days stores had signs out front that advertised a "fountain" in them. Walgreen's had them in Salt Lake until just a few years ago.

About 25 years ago, Castle Dale had it's own fountain. I believe it was called Hunter's Drug Store. After that it was called Conovers. Anyway it was located on the corner of Main and 100 East right across from the Court House. You could order a sandwich at these fountains but the main attraction was ice cream. Fast Food was unheard of. The only way you could take your ice cream with you was in a cone and you had to wrap up your sandwich in your napkin. You were suppose to eat it there not take it with you.

Malteds came in three flavors, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. That was your choice. Anything else was unheard of. Hot fudge malts didn't come along until much much later. The reason for a hotfudge malt? More chocolate! Yummmmm.

Sitting at the fountain was part of the experience. The "soda jerk," named because he jerked the soda and ice cream into the glass containers, would take a tall metal container looking somewhat like a glass into one hand. With the other he would scoop the ice cream into the container with a lot of panache. To that he would add chocolate syrup from the special pump, a certain amount of milk and two teaspoons of malt to finish it off. Then he would attach it to the special mixer.

You could sit and watch it mix in the mixer just anticipating the taste. If you knew him well, you could order an extra thick malted which meant he would add more ice cream and less milk. If you were a regular you could ask for extra malt in your malted.

Then just when you thought you couldn't wait another minute for the mixer to stop, he would swoop over and release the container and pour it into a long, tall, clear fountain glass.

Add a spray of whip cream and a cherry on top and put a big old straw into it and a spoon with a long handle on it and set it in front of you. If he was really a great soda jerk he would leave the metal container that the malt was mixed in next to you so you could get at least another third of the malt that was left in the container. That was the best part of the malt. That was the very best of all. To be able to pour the last of your malt into your glass all by yourself and savor the clumps of ice cream in the bottom. Wow! You see it was the entire experience that made the malt so good.

Now days you order a malt and they throw it into a paper glass. Some people that make them don't even know the difference between a malt and a shake. The difference-the malt of course, a shake has none. You can always tell the person now days who doesn't know how to make a malt. It comes out thin and tasteless. They shove it at you through a window, stick a plastic spoon into the center and then crowd a spoon also into the opening. No special experience or anticipation required.

However, the other day I had a very gooooood malted. It was bought for me at Critter Country and it was exceptional, paper cup and all.

So hats off to the person behind the counter who made that malt. You knew what you were doing. Thanks. It was thick and chocolate and had malt in it and it tasted terrrrific. It brought back memories.

When I was a little girl. My Dad used to treat the whole family to a treat and he would get a big gallon jar and take me with him and we would go to the drug store and he would order five or six malteds, all of them chocolate, and have the soda jerk pour the malteds into the gallon jar and we would hurriedly drive home with them and share them at home.

We had no paper cups to carry them home. Those were special summer days. Our own version of fast food.

Well, that is my world. Until next time remember those infamous words of Harriet Bishop. "Take the utmost care to do the very best you can when you make something for someone. You never know what kind of a memory trip it can take them on."

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October 12, 2004
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