Chris Nottingham, of Nottingham’s Southside Drive-In, could very well be considered an ice cream guru.
Nottingham is constantly trying out new combinations to serve customers, the latest being a deep-fried brownie fudge sundae.
“I came up with this one in a dream,” said Nottingham. “My dad ordered brownie balls for frying, and I thought, ‘Hey, that would go great with ice cream and hot fudge.’”
For those who love ice cream, the finished product is a thing of beauty. It includes swirls of vanilla soft-serve ice cream, topped with hot fudge, dotted with deep-fried brownies, then finished with whipped cream, Krunch Kote sprinkles and a few cherries, just for good measure.
“We just started making these,” said Nottingham. “I think it will be really popular. I’m always coming up with new things. If people can dream it, I can make it when it comes to ice cream.”
Although temperatures locally have been cooler than normal, July is one of the best times to enjoy frozen treats – including ice cream, gelato and frozen yogurt.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation’s population. In the proclamation, Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
The Twig, downtown in the North End Entertainment District, offers ice cream enthusiasts a new twist: gelato.
According to clerk Lauren Hall, gelato is the Italian term for ice cream.
“But it’s made without air, to give it a more dense consistency,” said Hall. “The gelato we serve is made with all-natural ingredients. It’s also made with more milk and less cream, which means fewer calories and less fat.”
Twig Manager Ken Smith said the shop carries about 18 different gelato flavors at any given time.
“Our flavor varieties change fairly regularly, so it’s always good to keep checking back to see what’s new,” said Smith. “A few of the newer flavors include sea salt and caramel, caramel cookie crunch and Sicilian pistachio.”
Smith indicated gelato has a richer flavor than regular ice cream, which may explain why The Twig only serves cones, cups and shakes.
“The gelato has been pretty well-received here in Tahlequah,” said Smith.
Other new gelato flavors include blood orange, Lisbon lemon and tiramisu.
Heather Winn, Cherokee County Extension Service educator in family and consumer sciences, said her family makes ice cream regularly in the summer.
“Butterfinger ice cream is my favorite flavor,” said Winn. “Now my son, Ross, he likes just plain old vanilla, but the rest of us love Butterfinger. It’s a recipe my mom used to make.”
While Winn remembers the hand-crank variety of home ice cream maker, she opts for a more modern version.
“We are electric all the way,” said Winn. “We just plug that baby in and let it go.”
Winn said the Extension service also has an after-school program that teaches kids to make their own ice cream.
“It used to be we’d make it in cans by shaking the ingredients,” said Winn. “But these days, we use plastic zipper bags. The kids toss the bags around and squish them and get ice cream.”
Most recipes for homemade ice cream call for eggs, but Winn said raw eggs pose a health hazard.
“There are recipes for ice cream that call for cooked eggs and a custard-type base, or you can buy pasteurized egg products. There are also recipes that require no eggs at all,” she said. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends using one of these recipes, rather than raw eggs.”
Those who may be counting calories may want to opt for frozen yogurt or frozen juice bars, said Winn.
“Frozen yogurt is a healthier choice,” said Winn. “I don’t make it at home, but when we go to Braum’s or something like that, I generally get frozen yogurt. Sherbets are also lower in calories than regular ice cream. People really have lots of options, including frozen juice bars or frozen yogurt bars.”
Local resident Bryan Shade is a traditionalist, preferring regular, hand-packed pints, quarts and half-gallons of ice cream to other frozen treats.
“Because ‘I scream, you scream, we all scream for gelato,’ just doesn’t cut it,” said Shade. “Every time I eat vanilla ice cream, it reminds me of back when I was a kid. We’d put the rock salt in the ice and wait for the half-and-half to thicken and freeze. It was a must for the Fourth of July.”
According to Marketline, the U.S. ice cream industry generated total revenues of $10 billion in 2010, with take-home ice cream sales representing the largest section of the market, generating revenues of $6.8 billion or 67.7 percent of the market’s overall value.
About 9 percent of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of the nation’s dairy industry.
It’s National Ice Cream Month, and local residents are weighing on on their favorites.
Chris Nottingham, of Nottingham’s Southside Drive-In, could very well be considered an ice cream guru.
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Plea deal arranged for ex-fire chief
A former Cherokee County volunteer fire chief has agreed to plead guilty to forgery and embezzlement charges in exchange for a suspended sentence and payment of restitution.
Third Thursday Art Walk
Shoppers will have a chance to visit downtown merchants in the evening during the Tahlequah Main Street Association’s first Third Thursday Art Walk and After Party on Thursday, March 20.
Participating downtown businesses will keep their doors open to offer specials until 8 p.m., and artists will display their work at different locations. Art exhibitors, including the Cherokee Art Center’s Spider Gallery, will stay open late.
Sex offender bill reaches House
By a unanimous 44-0 vote of the Oklahoma Senate, a bill that would make it more difficult for registered sex offenders to change their names has reached the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 1421, authored by Kyle Loveless, Oklahoma City Republican, underwent its first reading in the House on Feb. 27.
Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said he did not know of any instances, during his service with the department, of registered sex offenders evading detection with new names for any length of time.
SB 1497 may aid transparency
Government transparency advocates were pleased, and some were surprised, when a proposed bill designed to strengthen Oklahoma’s Open Meetings Act passed the Senate Judicial Committee recently.
Senate Bill 1497, by Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, would allow citizens who are denied access to public meetings to bring civil lawsuits, and if the court rules in favor, to collect attorney’s fees. A continuing resolution has already been filed.
Should the legislation pass into law, it would become effective Nov. 1 this year.
Moulton: Sovereignty is John Ross’ legacy
When describing the Cherokee people, the words “well-educated” and “independent” may come to mind. Those attributes were principles held most dear by John Ross, principal chief of the Cherokees from 1828-1866.
Dr. Gary Moulton, University of Nebraska Thomas C. Sorensen emeritus professor of American history, discussed Ross’ history during a presentation at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center Thursday. The event was organized by the history department at Northeastern State University.
The bear facts
A joint project linking two state agencies with researchers at Oklahoma State University is gathering the “bear facts” on a growing population in the northeastern part of the state.
A six-year study on black bears in Cherokee, Adair and Sequoyah counties is being conducted as a precursor to possible establishment of a controlled hunting season in Green Country. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management of Oklahoma State University have partnered for the endeavor.
Drug task force seizes K2 at a Tahlequah house
The District 27 Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force seized between $200 and $300 worth of synthetic drugs during a bust Friday.
The Tahlequah Police Department and the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service were also in on the raid. Members of the task force hope the seizure will aid in an ongoing investigation to find larger suppliers.
“We received information that sales were being made from a residence off Choctaw Street,” said Michael Moore, task force director. “Further investigation led to a state search warrant based on the federal Schedule I list of drugs.”
Citizens can report sight obstructions to city
On Feb. 25-26, the Tahlequah Fire Department responded to motor vehicle accidents at South Muskogee Avenue and South Street, and since that time, a few citizens have expressed concern about the sight lines at the intersection.
A visit to the intersection showed that, for traffic westbound on South, the view south down Muskogee is partially obstructed by shrubbery and a tree that appear to be on private property.
Spears: OSRC should help boost business
In a little over 25 years, Arrowhead Resort owner Jack Spears has grown his business from being the smallest float operator on the Illinois River to the second-largest, and he’d like to continue on that path.
Spears believes tourism is vital to the Tahlequah area. He says if the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission would eliminate a zoning issue along the river, both the agency and his own business would reap the benefits.
Spears recently asked the OSRC to consider doing away with recreational floating zones. Commercial flotation device licenses are granted to operators in each area for a total of 3,900 licenses.
Last-place swine earns top sale bid
Local businessmen drew regional attention through a record-setting bid of $10,000 at the Cherokee County Spring Livestock Show last Saturday, but now they say they don’t want the recognition.
The annual show, which ends with a premium sale featuring top winners, is a fundraiser for local FFA and 4-H participants. Proceeds help cover the animals’ expenses or are used for future projects or showings. Community members, organizations and businesses bid on the livestock, but it is not a purchase. The children showing get to keep their animals.
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