Perhaps due to its overwhelming percentage of gluten intolerant members, my family is really into ice cream cake. No occasion is too mundane—no accomplishment too mediocre—to be commemorated with this frozen dessert.
In the seventh grade, the youngest of us four children managed to attend school not just Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday but the entire five-day school week.
This monumental event was memorialized with an ice cream cake emblazoned with this congratulatory message: "Benny Madison (a hybrid play on the title of my mother's secret favorite movie and her son's name): Five days in a row! Way to go!"
A few years later, my sister—whose name is Holland—was leaving for a few months of volunteer work in Bolivia. At her going away party I surprised her with an ice cream cake with the inspirational message, "Have fun in Holland, Bolivia!"
Her return cake was the straightforward, "Bolivi-yeah!"
Around that same time, I set off for Eastern Europe, which precipitated another cake—this one with a message from my older brother: