Marsha Delaney: Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 11:21 PM
|At the end of last month, as a special treat for surviving their first day of school, I took my kids to Cold Stone for an ice cream. It’d been a long time since we’d ventured there, or anywhere, frankly. Our past experiences had put us off such endeavors. It seemed that anytime I took them out to any establishment involving food, whether they had a gluten-free menu or not, my oldest daughter would inevitably end up feeling sick for days, presumably from gluten cross-contamination.
We’d been to Cold Stone in the past, and I’d memorized their list of ice creams that contained gluten (all cake batter ice creams and ice creams involving cookies, for the most part), and although we thought we were being careful when choosing which flavors and toppings my daughter could get, she always ended up feeling horrible afterward.
This time was going to be different. I’d already prepared myself for taking every measure I could think of to keep gluten from getting anywhere near my daughter. I’d even rehearsed (in my head), how I would ask them to please wash their utensils before scooping her ice cream and to please not put her ice cream on their cold stone. I was going to ask them to do what I hadn’t thought to do in the past.
I began to feel a little sheepish as I started to explain our situation to the young man behind the counter. I felt bad for asking him to take extra measures to help us when he had other customers waiting in line. He quickly assured me that I was right to speak up and that he would do everything in his power to make certain that there was no cross-contamination involved. I liked this kid.
I was only asking him to wash his scooper and to avoid the stone. He insisted on going into the back and opening fresh ice cream containers for any of the flavors my kids ordered. He told me that even if the scoopers were clean, because they’d been busy that day, there was the possibility that there could have been some remnants of gluten passed between containers.
For the first time in my daughter’s life, we sat down, ate our ice cream, and everything was fine. When she neared the bottom of her ice cream cup with her spoon, she said, “Mom, you know what’s weird?”
I said, “No, what, honey?”
She said, “I’m almost done with my ice cream and I don’t feel sick.”
I smiled and made sure I placed a tip in the jar on the counter before leaving. I also said my tenth or eleventh, “Thank you,” to the young man behind the counter for going above and beyond in helping us. We will be frequenting Cold Stone again because of this experience. Thank you, (for the twelfth time), young man behind the counter at Cold Stone (Fremont)! You made our day memorable.