September has arrived with a gentle breeze and lower temps in the 70s. For many, September signals the end of summer. I’m still clinging to the knowledge that summer doesn’t end until it ends, no matter the date on the calendar or the number of pumpkin spice lattes sold. Some September days will tease us into thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, that as we grasp the last vestiges of long, lazy hours of swimming, kayaking, and outdoor grilling, summer will forget to leave.
To some people, September brings the idea of hot chocolate, cozy comforters, and stews. I am still looking forward to thick, rich milkshakes so it’s a lucky day to have Sunday, September 12, as National Chocolate Milkshake Day! It’s such a shame that it’s overshadowed by pumpkin spice everything!
When I was a little girl, milkshakes were an extra special treat. Howard’s Liggett Rexall Drugstore on Main Street in Farmington, Maine, had a lunch counter to order a light lunch and ice cream. Every once in a while, after work on a Saturday afternoon, Mom would ask if I’d like to get a milkshake. Of course, the answer was always yes and off we would go!
At the counter, puffy, stationary cushions topped tall chrome stools. Everything always seemed to be sparkling, including, I am sure, my eyes as I clamored up and wiggled my way into a comfy position. The server would lean in as I shyly asked for a grilled cheese sandwich. For dessert, may I please have a milkshake? It may be hard to believe, but I wasn’t one to speak up and was cautious of those who seemed to have charge of the world, especially those in charge of milkshakes.
I always chose a malted coffee or chocolate milkshake. I’m still as impatient now as I was then waiting for the blender to finish blending the milk and ice cream into creamy, frothy deliciousness. The milkshake was then poured into a tall glass; topped with whipped cream and a cherry! As I knew it would be mine, too, I loved seeing what remained in the mixing container. Sometimes, if I were lucky, there would be a bunch more! The server set my shake before me as I eyed the icy coating on the outside of the chrome. As the iciness melted, droplets would run down the side and pool on the counter as I daydreamed my way through decadence and extravagance!
Milkshakes were initially served in bars and included whiskey as an ingredient. I’m mighty grateful someone eventually thought to leave out the whiskey. Ivar Coulson first added malted milk powder to milkshakes in 1922 and sold them at Walgreen’s. I wish I could give him a great big thank you!
Howard’s lunch counter has been gone many years, but there’s a new place outside of town on the Wilton Rd, The Ice Cream Shoppe of Farmington where you can get a decadent chocolate milkshake of your own!

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