Last week Mike and I had the opportunity to attend the 150th anniversary of Young’s Jersey Dairy. We took our 6-year-old grandson Steve who always loves to go to Young’s. All the cones were $1.50 in recognition of the 150 year celebration so Steve ordered the absolute coolest one he could think of — a homemade waffle cone dipped in chocolate and multi-colored sprinkles, filled with chocolate ice cream! He enjoyed every bite. And I enjoyed my waffle cone filled with butter pecan ice cream. Mike loved his strawberry cone.

Young’s Dairy has always been a big part of our lives. Mike and I both grew up about a mile from Young’s and it was one of our favorite places. At that time it was a small dairy store in the block building close to the road. In high school Mike and I would go there a couple of times a week. We would always take my little brother and sister with us. We had a good time, and in my father’s eye, it did not count as a date because we had these young chaperones with us! Over the years it has been one of our favorite campaign stops — with Elizabeth Dole, with John McCain, and for our last stop the night before our gubernatorial election. We love it because it’s family owned and operated and family oriented. And we love their ice cream! It’s always what we serve at our annual Ice Cream Social.

And speaking of ice cream, one of my favorite ice cream desserts is Baked Alaska. I always let my kids pick their birthday cake, and this was always a favorite. It is certainly the most dramatic! If I’m in a hurry, I make a brownie mix, let it cool completely, and then place a half gallon block of Neapolitan ice cream on top of it. Then I trim the brownie evenly with ice cream and cover the entire cake with the meringue. The meringue insulates the ice cream but you must work quickly. The oven must be preheated. The tall candles (or sparklers) must be ready, and the birthday group assembled and ready to sing!

Brownie Baked Alaska

1. Ice cream layer (make ahead):

Line 1 1/2 quart round bowl with foil. Put softened chocolate ice cream 1” thick layer on bottom and sides of bowl. Freeze. Soften mint-chocolate chip ice cream. Pack it into center of mold. Smooth top. Freeze.

2. Brownie layer (make ahead):

Prepare 1 recipe cake-like brownie (can use box mix). Bake in greased 8 or 9” round pan. Pan size should match bowl size. Cool.

3. Meringue (preheat oven to 500°):

Beat 6 egg whites and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar. Slowly beat in 3/4 cup sugar. Beat until stiff peaks.

To assemble:

Place cooled brownie layer on a cookie sheet or wooden cutting board. Remove foil from ice cream and invert on to brownie.

Quickly cover ice cream and brownie base with meringue. At once, place on lowest rack in oven. Bake 3 minutes until meringue is browned.

Top with tall candles. Sing Happy Birthday quickly! Cut in wedge-shaped slices.

By Fran DeWine

Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, guest columnist and First Lady of Ohio.