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Young's Jersey Dairy

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A potent legacy from my father Dale Zickefoose is my penchant for roadfood. Not burgers and fries, but real cooking with local foods and especially small local creameries. He was in absolute heaven at the ice cream counter of a store attached right to the dairy where the cream was processed. If they had black raspberry or black walnut ice cream, they made his day, his week, his month. All the better if you could smell the cow manure in the parking lot. He was a farm boy and loved that smell. Got that gene!

Why, I believe he's eating ice cream. What do you know. Photo by Larry Fitch.

Dad ate local way before it was cool. He'd take us on road trips just to go to a little restaurant he'd ferreted out, and he'd order the weirdest thing on the menu. Not having heard of a dish was his signal to try it. I got that entire complex of genes from Dad. His food pilgrimages with the family in tow are some of my fondest childhood memories--slurping peanut soup and eating peanut pie in Surrey, Virginia, for instance. He loved a restaurant that had sweetbreads on the menu. Don't even ask. Click if you must.

Note that the statue actually depicts a Jersey cow. It is not a Holstein painted brown. I liked that. And of course I bought their homemade cheese, and it is excellent.

So, on my first trip to this part of Ohio, when I exited Interstate 70 and found this sign on Route 68 heading into Yellow Springs, it was all I could do not to slam on the brakes and stop right then and there. I went into town, met my contacts, and informed them that one thing I meant to make time to do before I left was to patronize Young's, a request my hosts happily fulfilled. I am not a diva, I explained, but there are some things I simply must demand.

I walked in and stopped before the extensive ice cream flavor menu. It was meant to be: they had Black Walnut. I ordered it for Dad, and I swear I could feel him smiling down as I devoured it.
Two of my favorite things: my little Forester, and a black walnut ice cream in a waffle cone. It was beyond delicious, Jersey rich, Jersey smooth, subtly infused with the purple notes of black walnut, with fresh little chunks of nut throughout.

On this latest trip, I made two stops there, one each day. I fought with myself a bit the last morning when I was leaving to head for Cedar Bog. Should I really have an ice cream cone at 10:30 AM?

When and where was I going to get another black walnut waffle cone made from local Jersey milk?

Carpe cream! Ice cream for breakfast!

I was the only ice cream customer. The scooper people were still tying on their aprons. I decided to give them a chance to get ready, so I watched the Cone Man making the day's waffle cones. Look closely and you can see the scoopergirl heading toward me with my second black walnut cone of the trip.

WaffleMan was pouring waffle batter into the irons when I snuck up on him.

I chatted him up (another of Dad's genes that I seem to have happily inherited) and learned that the waffle batter comes powdered from another Ohio institution, Graeter's in Columbus. Oh, good. No wonder those cones were so delectable. And fresh!

He'd take the newly baked waffle from its griddle while it was still floppy and pliable

roll it onto a forming cone

let it cool for a little bit on the metal cone,

and then remove it and place it in a rack to crisp up.

They are just perfect, not crackly crumbly; just chewy enough to stay together, ever so slightly salty, and suffused with vanilla extract. He makes about 6-700 cones a day in high summer.

Mine was Number One.


Oooh. I just ate lunch, but the ice cream...I am sitting at my computer drooling.

Re. black walnut ice cream. Is that a Midwest specialty? I have never heard of it before.

Ice cream for breakfast! I love the idea! Thanks for sharing the Young's Jersey Dairy with us and most of all for sharing the memories of your Dad.

Posted by Anonymous August 24, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Oh, how did I miss this post? Totally my kind of post. I would have liked your dad an awful lot. If you ever make it this far North, I will take you to Ed's Real Scoop (Ed's from Ohio) for a good cone. Maybe not as good as Young's, but darn good.

Oh, Young's is amazing, I went there all the time when I was working in Yellow Springs. My favorite flavor is the one they call Cow Patty. And the manure smell... I love it too. It must be something about being an Ohian.

Young's is da bomb. It doesn't get any better than eating an ice cream cone while smelling the cow that it came from.
And I wish I could have an entire meal of nothing but Graeter's waffle cones.

Since moving down here from Columbus to North Carolina, I make it a mission to go to Graeter's there in Westerville as soon as we've said hello to family in Clintonville.

Nothing comparable here.

I don't think Black Raspberry ice cream exists west of the Mississippi. It is my absolute, absolute favorite. I'll have one or three for your Dad the next time I'm home on Lake Champlain. I'd have liked him for sure.

More info on Young's.

Young's was our traditional stop after picking up the boys from spending a week at camp in Yellow Springs. It's been probably 10 years since I've been there...glad to know it's still around!

And, you know, they may have a Graeter's in Columbus, but it's a Cincinnati family business!

Thank you for paying homage to two of our family's fav places evah: Cedar Bog and Young's! We drive up from Cincinnati several times a year and make our loop---a walk through the magical fen and then a burger, ice cream, and obligatory goat-feeding and sitting on the tractors and squee-ing over calves and other babies at Young's.

Posted by Anonymous August 24, 2010 at 7:21 PM

You're not by chance related to two brothers Zickefoose that were both teachers in Nampa, Idaho about 20 years ago are you?

Mmm. I'm down with ice cream any time of day.

When we were in Maine this summer, I noticed the Amish store we patronize had a fridge with locally made cheeses in it. There is an Amish family right down the road, with a small herd that are fed nothing but pasture, local grains and hay, and they are pastured in different fields every day. They make small batches, nothing artificial, and cool it with ice they cut from the lake in winter. We got small hunks of cheddar and another one (now I can't remember which) and they were the best cheeses I've ever had. Next year, I'll go there sooner than the day before we leave so we can get HUGE chunks of cheese.

I am an ice cream addict, if there ever was such a thing. How am I going to go to bed without one now? Great post.

First dinner out I had with my boyfriend and his mom, he ordered liver and onions and she ordered sweetbreads.

Now I will think about black walnut ice cream for a while. (Gifford's, Lee Highway, Arlngton, Virginia.)


I got the ice cream gene, too; both of my parents were carriers. I'm lucky to live close to two sources of homemade ice cream, one a longtime family farm with a lovely herd of Jerseys, the other, a woman-owned Mexican ice cream store. They make having ice cream for lunch all too easy.

Waah! Not fair! Before I finally knuckled under to being lactose intolerant, I used to love dairy. There was an ice cream store, the Triple G that my family used to patronize in Denver, PA. It was incredibly creamy and came from milk produced by the cows out back. I remember their banana ice cream fondly. Triple G ended up being the foundation of the Turkey Hill dairy chain. Turkey Hill's ice cream is okay, but nothing like Triple G's!

Were you standing on a chair for those waffle making shots?

Maple walnut is for me, what Black walnut is for you, except it is memories of my mom.

There is a local ice cream shop in my little town of Takoma Park that whenever my sister comes over we have to go to and get maple walnut ice cream. We always raise our cones in a toast to mom!

Possumlady--you wouldn't be talking about Summer Delights, would you?? I go there for the decor alone (an integral part of the road-food experience)! Small world :)

Love all around. You had to have it. The black walnut cone. He smiled.

I crave Butter Pecan and my Mom smiles.

Love you for this, Julie.

Too bad your dad couldn't have tried the milk from Miller's Jersey Dairy in Marietta, OH, which was the farm my dad's family had until the early 1960s. Jerseys make the creamiest milk.

Hi CNemes,

Not to hijack this blog post, but YES, Summer Delights is the ice cream shop. Do you live close by? I'll have to check out your blog. The owner of Summer Delights took it over after his dad died. Wonderful man and family that are BIG community supporters. I try to patronize his little independent shop as often as I can (she says as she pats her big belly!)

Your dad and my mother must have been distant cousins! She also had the gene for striking up conversations with strangers, liking sweetbreads (yuck), and making memories around fresh dipped, full fat, worth-the-calories ice cream. Black raspberry or pistachio were hers...and are mine.

You make me want to take a trip to Ohio!!

Julie--you bring tears to my eyes--just thinking of you remembering your dad as you eat his favorite icecream.
My parents' first date was to a local icecream place here in central PA to get black raspberry icecream.
Something magic about icecream!

Been going to Young's since the 70's when you could still had to guard your ice cream cone from the cats that hung around! Sadly, with increasing popularity and traffic, the cats seem to be gone, but the ice cream is just as good! Chocolate Peanut Butter forever - oh, those CHUNKS of peanut butter in that creamy, creamy ice cream!

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