Thomas Sweet: The Evolution of My Blend-Ins
My father began taking me to Thomas Sweet Ice Cream Shop when I was around six or seven years old. He introduced me to Blend-Ins, which is ice cream that is blended with candy in a special machine. YUM! I started off with Sweet Cream Ice Cream and blended-in Oreos, Plain M&M’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. My Dad thought it was ridiculously sweet, but always managed to take a taste or two of my piece of heaven in a paper cup.
A year or two passed and I evolved, slightly. By age eight, I only had two items blended-in (Plain M&M’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups) thanks to the invention of Cookies ‘N’ Cream Ice Cream. In fact, I’ve been treasuring this combination for the past 23 years! (I deviated slightly when I was home in NJ this past weekend. I got Birthday Bash Ice Cream, which contains yellow cake, cake batter, and sprinkles inside of vanilla ice cream, instead of the Cookies ‘N’ Cream. I like it, for a change, but the next time I go to Thomas Sweet, I’m going back to my personal concoction that I’ve loved since I was eight years old!)
Thomas Sweet has been a special place in our family for years. I remember going there with eight of my closest friends when I had my tenth birthday. I went there with my parents on a many Saturday nights. Often, I’d stop by Thomas Sweet (i.e., the one in Princeton) after school for an occasional Blend-In when I managed to convince my Mom that I “just needed to have one.” In fact, I think that a few of the birthday cakes we had at family celebrations, later in life, also came from our beloved New Brunswick Ice Cream Shop.
This past Saturday night, my parents, Marc, and I sat at a small table in Thomas Sweet together eating our cups of sweetness. Sitting there, with three of the people I care about the most in this world, made me definitely feel like I was at home.