Gargantuan Banana Split
Gargantuan Banana Split at the Central Dairy inJefferson City, Missouri
By(Jack) Harold J. Mc Laughlin, Ph.D.
610 Madison Street
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
Telephone: (573) 635-6148
Each time my wife Bev and I visit our friends of 50 years, Bob & Jody Jones in Missouri, 35 miles south west of Jefferson City, they take us to our favored spot in all of Missouri ? well ? almost all ? the Central Dairy in downtown Jefferson City. This is home to the biggest, grandest, tastiest, most diet destroying banana spilt in all the universe.
The Central Dairy is not just any old ice cream shop; it makes its own ice cream and can put Baskin & Robbins to shame with its 31 flavors. I didn?t count them at Central Dairy but there are at lest that many if not more. Regardless of the number, each flavor is rich in fat that makes ice cream so tasty ? and diet busting ? but just looking at all that goodness makes one throw caution to the wind and indulge ? and it?s so inexpensive. Ben & Jerry, eat your heart out.
The Dairy is reminiscent of the ice cream soda fountains of the 50s & 60s but without a soda bar. There are plenty of window booths where one can sit at ease and contemplate and discuss the goodness that is about to bestow them as their order is being prepared. A long red & white striped awning cover all the windows, and protects those customers dreaming of their ?sugar plums? in the making, from the hot sun.
The biggest decision one makes after deciding he or she is going to have a banana split it to decide on the ice cream flavors and the toppings that are so numerous it?s hard to count them all. The banana split expert begins the creation in the usual manner by splitting a ripe banana lengthwise and positions the pieces in a banana split ?boat.? She then scoops out six ? that?s right ? six huge scoops of your selected flavors. These are not just puny petite scoops but ?Hungry Man? sized scoops that are placed three to a row on top of the bananas and three more on top of the first three. She then places the banana bowl on a large piece of waxed paper before adding the finishing touches of three or more toppings, such as Marshmallow, chocolate, caramel, Strawberry, Raspberry ? and then she tops it off with whipped cream and a sprinkling of nuts.When she is done, these toppings, in great abundance, run off the side of the banana boat onto the waxed paper. You then pay the bill, an ?enormous? $4, up from $3.50 in 1999 and $3.00 in 1998, and carry your treasure, gingerly to your table, being careful not to spill any bit of it?s goodness ? and say to yourself, ?How can this be so inexpensive??
My friend Bob and I then engage in a contest to see if we can eat it all ? without getting sick. We tear into it with gusto then slow down when we?re satiated but we both don?t give up until the last bit in the ?boat? is gone. We then finish by scooping the stray remnants from the waxed paper. We then sit back, in a sigh of relief and satisfaction that neither one of us won the contest. Our wives, however, stare at us in a look of bewilderment and perhaps a touch of disgust, that two old men could act so childish over a gargantuan banana split. Ah ? but it was so good and satisfying. We just hope that our ulcers don?t act up and spoil the whole thing ? but still, it was worth it!