Politics and Strawberry Ice Cream

In case you’re interested, today is Dolley Madison’s birthday and in case you tuned out in history class or don’t remember, she was the wife of our fourth president, James Madison (who wrote the Constitution) and therefore was a First Lady.

Apparently, Dolley was a sophisticated woman and quite the hostess, fond of serving new foods to guests. She is credited with being the first person to serve ice cream for dessert at a White House dinner and she served strawberry ice cream at the Inaugural Ball in 1813.

Dolly (they dropped the “e”) Madison ice cream was popular when I was growing up and I remember they had interesting flavors too, like brickle chip. The strawberry ice cream was rich and it was loaded with chunks of fruit that I remember as icy to the teeth because the pieces were so big and fat, not little strawberry tidbits.

I haven’t seen Dolly Madison ice cream around where I live, though I know it is available somewhere. I’ll be looking for it. I’d like to try the strawberry flavor again to see if it is as good as I remember.

Fresh strawberry ice cream, especially if it is packed with lumps of fruit, doesn’t need any embellishment. No cones or whipped cream or sauce. On the other hand, toasted coconut crumbles can’t hurt. Try it:

Toasted Coconut Crumbles

1 cup packaged coconut

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons dark rum or Grand Marnier

1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix the coconut, brown sugar, rum and melted butter. Place the mixture in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, tossing the ingredients once or twice, or until the coconut is lightly brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Great topping for ice cream. Makes about one cup