Archie and the gang

We were on the checkout line, in a supermarket several years ago, in a different neighborhood. When the guys were little, and they had to be dragged to do food shopping in the summer months, we would head to this supermarket.

The reason they didn’t complain about going there? It wasn’t our neighborhood market. We didn’t know anyone in the store and no one knew us. We could shop and not stop for any conversation.

Fair enough. We were on the checkout line one steamy afternoon in the icy, air-conditioned store. My older guy spotted an Archie comic book on the magazine rack. He was five years old.

“What’s that?” he asked.

He reached up and grabbed a copy and started to read through it.

Little did we know this would spark a years-long obsession that continues today. He gets new copies of Archie comics every week as they come out. Little brother has become a fan too.

From the pages of Archie comics, we began our tradition. Malted milkshakes after dinner when school is out for summer vacation. We sit outside and have the malted milkshakes by the pool. Sometimes, we do a full Archie and the Gang dinner. That means Jughead cheese burgers. 

They know, when the blender is whizzing, the shakes are soon to follow. We have tall glasses that look like fountain shop glasses. We measure out organic, whole milk in the glasses. Keep in mind that once the ice cream, and other ingredients are added, it will take up more room in the glass.

After you’ve measured your amount of milk in the glasses, pour into the blender. Add 2 scoops of chocolate ice cream. Add a half cup of malted milk powder. You can find it at the market with the hot chocolate mixes and cocoa powders. Add a half cup of cocoa powder. The guys like the flavor of a hint of vanilla flavor in their chocolate malted milkshakes. 

We split a vanilla bean and scrape out the inside at the beginning of the season. We place the pod in a jar of sugar and infuse it with the vanilla flavor. In a few weeks, it will be vanilla sugar, and we’ll use the sugar in our milkshakes. Chill the glasses you’ll use for the milkshakes. Pour the milkshake, from the blender, into chilled glasses and garnish with mint. Don’t forget straws. A cold and frothy treat on a summer night.

School is over this week, and first grade comes to an end, for the little guy. Big brother closes out his career in elementary school. When did that happen?

It’s the final week of the blogathon too! See you tomorrow.

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