Chocolate, Revisited

I haven’t posted in a while–I’ve been in writing-hermit mode, working on lots of projects: a new YA novel; finishing a short story collection (3/4 done); and several essays due shortly. And of course motherhood and various sundry stuff and things. But I’m poking my head out of hiding because yesterday I had the BEST CHOCOLATE ICE OF MY ENTIRE LIFE.

Looking back on my life history via the ices I’ve eaten, there have been good ones: Italian ices from Rosario’s, our local pizzeria in Queens; water ices in Philly; Sno Cones from street trucks in Manhattan. Before yesterday, the best ice I ever ate would have to go to Eton on my old block in Brooklyn. I love Eton because they only serve Hawaiian ices and dumplings. (Only in NYC can you have a shop that serves just ices and dumplings, and this, more than anything, is why I love NYC.) When I went there I got a watermelon ice with mochi and sweet adzuki beans (yum) and of course, two orders of their huge, irresistible dumplings, which I ate on the way home. (Their dumplings were recently voted the best dumplings in NYC by Time Out, beating out all of NYC’s 3 Chinatowns….but I digress.)

Then came yesterday, and my first visit to Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs, a little shack we randomly drove by while running errands. I had the Casey’s Famous Chocolate and it has changed my life forever. It’s their own recipe made with sweetened condensed milk and OH MY GOD it was so good. (They also have flavors like Wedding Cake and Boston Cream Pie, which I’m going to try next.) Considering it’s 104 degrees out, I would like to crawl inside that chocolate snowball and live there for eternity. Or at least through August.

In non-chocolate happenings, there’s a great interview in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine with Ruth Bader Ginsburg which should not be missed. I adore her. My favorite parts:

Q: If you were a lawyer again, what would you want to accomplish as a future feminist legal agenda?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that had changed their abortion laws before Roe [to make abortion legal] are not going to change back. So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.

Q: In the 1980s, you wrote about how while the sphere for women has widened to include more work, men haven’t taken on as much domestic responsibility. Do you think that things are beginning to change?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: That’s going to take time, changing that kind of culture. But looking at my own family, my daughter Jane teaches at Columbia, she travels all over the world, and she has the most outstanding supportive husband who certainly carries his fair share of the load. Although their division of labor is different than mine and my husband’s, because my daughter is a super cook.

Q: Can courts play a role in changing that culture?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: The Legislature can make the change, can facilitate the change, as laws like the Family Medical Leave Act do. But it’s not something a court can decree. A court can’t tell the man, You’ve got to do more than carry out the garbage.

[Hmmm….now there’s an idea. I wish courts could tell a man to take out the garbage, and sweep and do laundry and clean the bathroom and change diapers and do night feedings….maybe Sotomayor can work on that. Here’s hoping.]

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