Patti Dobelbower has spent more than six decades protecting her girlish figure, but thanks to an email she sent me several months ago, that task is about to get a whole lot tougher.
Shortly after the first “Try This” column ran, Dobelbower, 61, contacted me to say she'd never had a banana split.
With National Ice Cream Month upon us, it was high time she break her streak for super sundae futility. So, she agreed to meet at the Braum's minutes from her Yukon home.
Before meeting Dobelbower, I wondered what a sad path one must walk to avoid the ice cream equivalent of a home run. Turns out she has always just been diligent about maintaining her weight.
“I never much cared for ice cream, plus I always thought it was just so fattening,” she said.
Dobelbower said she preferred brownies or chocolate truffles, and the thought of bananas mixed with ice cream didn't appeal to her.
Now a grandmother, she had to adapt. A couple of years ago, she started buying mint chocolate ice cream, which edged her closer to the brink of the ice cream nirvana that is the banana split.
Dobelbower became an optician in 1976 and has continued in that capacity and as a contact lens technician ever since. She is semiretired, working one day a week at the office of Dr. Robert Cooper, which allowed her to meet me at Braum's, taking a break from the gardening that keeps her busy most of the time.
Luis Galvez was kind enough to prepare a classic banana split, which was the brainchild of a young drugstore apprentice in Latrobe, Pa., back in 1904.
When asked if he was up to the challenge, Galvez had a simple response.
“Shore 'nuff, everybody needs a good banana split.”
For this banana split, Galvez lined up scoops of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. Then he varied a little from the traditional chocolate syrup on chocolate ice cream, strawberry topping on strawberry ice cream and pineapple or caramel over the vanilla.
Instead, he topped the vanilla with chocolate syrup, the strawberry with strawberry syrup and the chocolate with marshmallow topping.
The choice must've worked, because the look on Dobelbower's face was paradise lost. But the good news in life is it's never too late.
“I'm probably gonna be eating these all the time,” she said.
And this is good news and bad news for her dapple dachshund, Sophie.
“Sophie gets half of everything,” Dobelbower said. “That's how I stay skinny.
“Sophie's not supposed to weigh more than 12 pounds, but last time we checked she weighed 27.”
Hard to imagine a dachshund either fatter or happier.
To Try This
If there's a food you've never tried but should have, or if there's something exotic you've always been afraid of, give me a shout. Email dcathey@