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A note: Andy’s Frozen Custard did not pay me for this open letter, I just very much like this particular menu option from Andy’s.

An Open Letter of Appreciation to the “Words Can’t Describe It” Apple Pie Sundae with Roasted Pecans from Andy’s Frozen Custard

Dear “Words Can’t Describe It” Apple Pie Sundae with Roasted Pecans from Andy’s Frozen Custard,

Yesterday was rough. This past week, accidentally forgetting a couple of doses of my morning medication until later in the day caused some turbulence in terms of the side effects I experienced. Among my various symptoms, some of the worst were sleep related: trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, trouble staying awake during the day. Consistently grabbing the short end of the stick in terms of possible side effects was like a wash of discomfort, frustration, sadness, and longing that I was soaking in.

As I was driving home from the doctor, armed with a new prescription for a mild ear infection that’s come back for the fifth time, all I wanted to do was lay in bed and pretend that somehow, I would nap my symptoms away, even though I’m not of a napper and the pursuit of a nap would almost certainly be fruitless. Trying to maintain my composure as the discussion about a handful of ailments loomed around in my head, I had a sharp change in volition from the quiet despair I felt. I was going to stop by Andy’s.

You see, Andy’s is a favorite spot of mine for dessert. I try not to go too much, as it’s not the most health-conscious choice, but it’s one that I enjoy and use to celebrate the little things every once in a while. This year, when I graduated from college, I know I had Andy’s one or two times to compensate for the lack of an in-person graduation. Despite all that was going on around me, namely, the social isolation, the placement of restrictions, the shifts in the job market, a new crop of health issues, and other personal struggles, Andy’s was always there for me. It stayed open late; it was close to home (and if not at home, had many locations in my area); the seldom-occurring long line always cleared quickly; the experience included kind, helpful, patient employees; and it provided an avenue to normalize sitting in my car to eat custard.[1] Despite its rapid melt in the hot summer heat, I began to associate Andy’s with comfort, security, and enjoyment, as that is what I saw exemplified in the steadfast and unwavering presence of Andy’s Frozen Custard in the face of a global pandemic. To the nameless forces that allowed Andy’s to survive and thrive, it didn’t matter that cases were spiking or that I couldn’t see my friends as often as I’d like: the Key Lime Pie Concrete would still be available starting late July, and that was something dependable that I could look forward to when there was little else.

So, coming back home from the doctor, I made that pit stop at my local Andy’s. I had eaten the pumpkin pie concrete a week ago or so, and I wanted to try the apple pie concrete to have the other seasonal flavor. However, when I asked the employee taking my order about her preference between the apple pie concrete and the apple pie sundae, she knowledgeably said that the sundae was better, since it had caramel and you could add pecans to it. I ordered the sundae with pecans, drove into the parking lot, and put my car in park.

Normally, the custard from Andy’s starts melting fairly quickly. Today, since it was a bit colder, it wasn’t so. I was struck by how strong yet smooth the custard was, despite being placed on top of a warm slice of apple pie. The apple pie wasn’t the best I’d had (that distinction is reserved for an apple pie that someone in my family makes), but it was very good. And, out of all my recent trips to Andy’s, the structural integrity of the custard was the best it had been, by far, contained in that sundae.

While my symptoms didn’t go away (I ended up sleeping horribly last night), I was surprised by how much more, for a brief moment, I enjoyed what I was experiencing. The fatigue wasn’t the loudest sensory feed into my mind, rather, it was the temperatures of the pie and the custard together. The flavors melded into gooey, cream-and-spice bites. And when it was done, I knew I consumed something that, while providing a less than substantial nutritional value, fed my soul a bit.

I don’t think I’ll go back to Andy’s every day or anything of the sort, though I like the experience of going there and having a dessert in my car every once in a while. But the appreciation for the small things in life, like the brief, ephemeral consumption of an Apple Pie Sundae with Pecans from Andy’s Frozen Custard, is something that I’m trying to build up and enjoy more.

So, Apple Pie Sundae with Pecans from Andy’s Frozen Custard, I thank you. While you’re touted as the “Words Can’t Describe It” Apple Pie Sundae, I believe that I can accurately describe it akin to a warm embrace, a smile from a friend, or a miracle of modern flavor combinations and supply chain management, especially considering that both the pie and the custard were freshly made.

With gratitude and thoughts as warm as that apple pie,

Federico

[1] As pointed out by my British/American-expat friend, I mean frozen custard when I say custard and not a Crème anglaise, denotative custard

Former Writer at Pizza FM, Media Consultant for Twocanoes Soft., & Music Tech alumnus @UIUC (w/Spanish & Informatics Minors). Also a Songwriter/Sound Designer!

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