Middleton, Massachusetts exists just a few miles beyond the Danvers border. At first glance, it seems to be just a short stop on the way to somewhere that just so happens to have been established as a town. What? Oh, sorry, you expected me to refute that.
There are some gems. Middleton is where the Richardson’s Ice Cream factory is located. Although I had been aware of Richardson’s ice cream for sometime, my loyalty to Vermont kept me from being totally aware of what I was missing. You see, Ben and Jerry’s is in my blood and quite possibly my digestive tract and it makes me proud to know that people in other parts of the world are aware of the existence of Vermont thanks to these two.
Richardson’s is arguably the Massachusetts answer to Ben and Jerry, though I’ll admit, I’m not sure how widely they are known beyond the border. And frankly, I don’t care. John was kind enough to treat me to ice cream at what I can only describe as the Ben and Jerry’s factory without the kitsch.
My first real apprehension came from the fact that none of the employees behind the counter looked like they had touched a scoop of ice cream in their lives. They were so skinny and well built that I could only assume they were budding Olympic athletes trying to save money while practicing for 2018. Fortunately, my Plus Sized Princess emerged from the back room and I was relieved to know that at least someone seemed to have enjoyed a taste or two of the endless bounty that I could only glimpse at from the counter.
Because the milk for the ice cream is made on the spot, I was surprised to see that gallons of milk were stored in the coolers along with the tubs of ice cream that you can buy and take home. A gallon of whole milk cost less than three dollars and a gallon of skim only cost about a dollar fifty. If you can find milk cheaper anywhere else, please tell me.
After we finished our hot fudge sundaes (my flavors were Banana, Coffee, and Mint Chocolate Chip if you’re wondering) we got to take a look at where the cows were raised. Oh, my, lord, there were cows.
You would never expect someone over the age of ten to love the sight of cows so much, but there I was, wishing that I could scoop one up and take it home with me. If only Dicky, John’s cockerspaniel, would allow the intrusion.
It made me think of the things I miss about Vermont. Farm animals. Live deer. Frogs. Snakes. Skunks. Yes, I miss skunks. And I have Richardson’s Ice Cream to thank for making me appreciate the nostalgia.