Growing up (and when I go back for visits), trips to the Dairy Queen (I’ve been made fun of for saying THE Dairy Queen, but coming from a place that got it’s first stoplight when I was in high school, and to this day only has two, you use such prophetic sentence structure) were a common occurrence. My Dad has never had to ask what I want. It is an unasked and understood knowledge: a chocolate malt. I am a malt monster. I have a thirst for malty goodness that is never fully quenched. That subtle chocolate flavoring, the creamy yet flaky texture, the cold abundance dancing across the tongue . . .*wipes drool off chin* Pardon me. As I was saying, I love malts. I have a bit of a ritual with them, I like eating part of it and then preserving the rest in the freezer for a day or two. It transforms into a crunchy-melt-into-creamy excellence that is unmatched.
While most of my malts had come from the Dairy Queen, they were a staple of diners and soda fountains back in the day. There was a soda fountain in my hometown, Kingsolver’s
Pharmacy on the town square (also the place I would buy my candy cigarettes. Inappropriate candy? Perhaps, but they were oh so yummy). A place frequented when I was allowed to stay after school to walk to the public library. (I lived in the country, and was a bus hostage.) I long for these types of places now.
There are very few surviving today. It’s really quite sad, and makes me wish I could buy a drugstore and make sure I preserved (or restored) a soda fountain in it, and kept it as true to original as possible. I would even make my employees wear the little hats. And vests. No, wait. Aprons. No, vests. Yeah, vests. The red and white striped ones.
There are only four operational soda fountains in all of California. I made a trip to the closest one to me, Watson Soda Fountain & Lunch Counter. It’s red, black, and white decor is pleasing and oozes of nostalgia. However, as a whole, it felt a little commercial-ly and touristy. I can’t really blame them though, they are, after all, the only soda fountain within hours. My view is probably a bit skewed, as I want full authenticity. I’ll be honest, I didn’t actually order anything here, so I can’t speak to the quality of the food. I went for the view and atmosphere (and photos). For actual consumption, I prefer my local malt making establishment (my kitchen).
What you’ll need:
- 3 -6 scoops of ice cream
- 5 ounces milk
- 1 tablespoon malted milk powder (I usually use more)
- 1 1/2 ounces chocolate syrup
*I don’t follow this recipe exactly. But I figured an official recipe is probably more desired than my crazy way of doing it. Basically, everything is the same, except I don’t use chocolate syrup, but a dash of vanilla extract (I know, it sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s how I always make them. And they’re fabulous.). And I don’t measure anything.
> Put the milk, malt powder, and chocolate syrup, in the blender, and then. . . you know, blend. Add ice cream, and blend some more.
> Also, you can use different flavors of ice cream. Strawberry is yummy and pretty (I use the original malt powder for it though), and my personal favorite is mint chocolate chip. Minty heaven!
> Pour into chilled glass, add straw, and slurp. (And don’t forget the french fries to dip in it!)
And you’re done! It’s so simple, yet so delicious!
Now that we have this, let’s do it right, and set the picture in the 1950s with red covered swivel stools, soda jerks with paper hats, and girls in poodle skirts, saddle shoes, and pony tails. . .