Thursday, January 29, 2009

Game on!

Guess I didn't pick the best day to reopen for biz. Seems Mom Nature had plans of her own. In any event, the freezers are restocked. The scooping arms are getting back into shape. Chocolate Valentine's Day heart boxes and pops production is ramping up. The team and I are feeling rested and refreshed and excited about another great year of ice cream, candy, chocolate, coffee drinks, and all sweet things in between.

The news on every page of the paper may be bleak, but it still smells like waffle cones and chocolate in here. I'm looking forward to making all your favorite flavors and definitely have a few new ideas rolling around in my head. As always, don't hesitate to drop suggestions...into the suggestion jar, email,, in the comments here, or whenever you're in the shop. Feel free to stop me in the supermarket too. No idea is too crazy. If I can make it (and it's not completely off-the-wall, like shoehorn chip or rocksalt sorbet), I'll give it a shot.

And I'll do my best to keep the blog light and upbeat, seems we all need as much of that as we can get our hands on.

In the spirit of looking on the bright side, here's one of my favorites from the storm before last...

Hope you've chipped yourself out from the ice, and the sun is shining brightly on your driveway.

See you soon.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Winter Break: Part II.

Well, as you can see by the first image, travel adventure part deux this break was of the winter sport variety. Thanks to friends living in cool places, I was off to picture postcard Park City, Utah for a mini-week of amazing west skiing and catching up with a buddy. What began as primarily a chance to hang out with an old bud, hit a few brew pubs, and check out his new life (he just got a job with the ultra-hip company, Skull Candy.), quickly transformed into an amazing mini-ski vacation. If you've ever been to the Salt Lake City area, you know how stunningly beautiful it is, how much light fluffy snow they get, and how cool the downtown is.

Needless to say, I was grinning like a kid on Christmas from the first turn.

Conditions were great, packed powder top to bottom, unlimited sunshine, and 37 degrees. No lift lines either. And the view didn't suck.
Didn't come home with one, but I did get to check these out at the 2002 Utah Winter Olympic museum and skiing jump center in Park City.
You may have noticed the lack of other skiiers on the slopes of Canyons Resort. Seems many of the tourists were watching movies instead...

Speaking of Sundance, we just had to play the wide-eyed star hunting tourist after the lifts shut down for the night.

Here's me pretending to be famous at the Ray Ban hospitality tent.

From what I've read, the stars were out in full force over the two week festival, but it seems most were hunkered away in private parties while being showered by fancy gift bags full of free stuff.

My buddy saw Denise Richards the day before I got there. The closest I got to a star sighting was Phil Vassar, who sang a few tunes in one of the hospitality tents we wandered into. Can't say I've ever heard of him either.
I did, however, manage a shot with a couple local celebrities...

In any event, it was a sweet little getaway, even if I didn't have my picture taken with Kevin Bacon or Paris Hilton, we didn't get any fresh powder (of course it's snowing like crazy there now, a point my buddy didn't hesititate to call me about...from the lift), and the beer was only 3.2% (seems Utah has all these crazy LDS-influenced rules on alcohol). LDS is Latter Day Saints (Mormons), by the way.
Thanks to Marissa, Mark, Mallory (shown here), & Whitney for letting me set up camp in your living room, and to my buddy Mark for the sweet ski day, the shop tour, and the couple of 3.2's we enjoyed at Wasach Brewery and the like. A great time had by me.
Been a long time since I strapped on the boards, and with the help of those fancy new shaped skiis, it came back to me pretty well. So, needless to say, skiing is back in my blood, although after skiing in warm sunshine on the 7000 foot peaks of Utah, New England skiing might just not be the same. If you've ever skiied out there, I'm sure you know what I mean. Here's to hoping my buddy continues to enjoy his new life in Park City for many more winter breaks to come...

Then again, it looks like our own snowstorm is heading our way for Wednesday...

Which is, by the way, reopen date for season 2009! Ice cream making all day tomorrow (tuesday), then game on. Been a nice break in the action, but feels like it's time to make ice cream again. I hope to see you soon!


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Shameless Request...

I realize it's a shameless request, especially given the fact that it's mid-January, and I'm not even open this week. But I figured it couldn't hurt to ask you to take a minute or two to click over to , click on VOTE NOW (or just click on the 'vote now' I just typed), and vote for your favorite local ice cream shop (which I hope is Mt. Tom's Homemade Ice Cream!)

While you're there, I hope you'll cast votes for your other favorite Easthampton haunts...

Under Edibles & Eateries

Ice Cream: Mt. Tom's Homemade Ice Cream (Thanks a lot!)

Sweet Shop: Mt. Tom's Homemade Ice Cream (Thanks again!)

Neighborhood Bar: Brass Cat, Treydon's, Amy's...

Mexican (and best new): La Casita Azteca

Creative American Fare: Tavern on the Hill, Apollo Grill...

Thanks again for voting Mt. Tom's 3rd best in the Valley in 2008. With your support, hopefully we can repeat, and who knows, maybe even move up a notch or so!

Polls are open from now thru February 11th...

See you soon.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My winter break: Part I.

Since it's too darn cold out there today to be anywhere outside you don't have to be, I've conceded to the couch for the day. I'm sure it's beautiful out there on the cross-country trails thru the woods of Nonotuck, but with minus whatever windchills, no thanks.

Especially after a week in shorts and a tee.

So with last week's airport read just completed and nothing much for movies on cable, I thought I'd post up a few photos of my trip south to see the family. I'm still, for the most part, keeping my mind clear of ice cream thoughts, and aside from a few short 'shop talks' with Dad, my ice cream mentor, and a brief spy mission at the Cold Stone next to the movie theater as we waited to see Slumdog Millionaire (a great flick by the way), I've been quite successful at putting the brain on vacation too.

In any event, I hope you're staying warm and still enjoying the last bits of pints from last week's firesale. Here's a mini-photo essay from my visit to the sunshine state. Hope if it's not too dull, at least it'll make you yearn for Spring a little bit more than you already do.

Decompressing by the pool.

The obligatory bury the the nephews in a hole at the beach.

Catching mullet for the pelicans
(meant for bait, seems there's no arguing with a hungry pelican)

Marky, Dagney, & Willie: 2 nephews & a niece.


Willie enjoys his new present from Uncle Jim.
A rocket (to no one's surprise, destined for the roof)

The Folks, Dave -ice cream genius & Jen - cake maker legend.
(Dad, wearing his Christmas present...just kidding)

What's a Florida house without an orange tree in the backyard.

And what's a trip to FL without a drop-in on Mickey & the gang.

Epcot fireworks, way cool.

Not a bad gig if you can get it.

Speaking of good gigs, my retired aunt scoops ice cream here.
And I thought I had a good location!

I started my day at Disney with the thought of doing a photo essay
'from a kid's view'. This was as far as I got with it though.

Ending where I started. Dagney inspects dinner.

Well, that's it for now. Looks like the sun is out, and the mercury's climbed all the way up to 15, so perhaps I'll venture out...

Stay warm, and I'll see you soon!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Gone Fishin'.

In the spirit of 'all ice cream and no play makes Jim a dull boy', I'll be taking my annual little winter break starting Monday, January 5th thru Monday, January 26th, reopening up shop on Tuesday, the 27th of January.

Thanks to all for your amazing support in making 2008 another banner year for Mt. Tom's. It's your positive 'word of mouth' support that makes this whole thing work, and for that I sincerely thank you.

And as always, thanks for popping into the Ice Cream Diaries to read my rants and check out my images. Blogging, although a bit more challenging 'in season', has become a fun and regular creative outlet for me and a great way to feed my writing & photography urges. I look forward to trying to come up with new ways to keep it interesting, at least for as long as 'blogging' remains hip and cool. Who knows what the next medium may be...

Needless to say, my blogging will likely be limited during my break (planning to do my best to shut off the ice cream side of my brain for a while), but I may post a photo or two along the way, we'll see.

If you find yourself unable to sleep some night, feel free to peruse the old ICD archives, or if you've never read the Original Diaries, you can learn all about those early ice cream-preneurial days back when Mt. Tom's was just a pup.

Happy New Year, and see you soon.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Pre-Break Stock-up Sale!

Happy New Year to you. Hope you had a festive set of holidays and are still enjoying a slow wind-up to the new year. With any luck, you don't have to go back to work until Monday.

By that time, I will be enjoying my first day of my annual winter break. If you didn't catch my last blog entry on the subject, Mt. Tom's will be locked up tight from Monday, January 5th thru Monday, January 26th, reopening Tuesday, January 27th.

A much needed few weeks to relax, recharge, and give the brain a little break from being full of ice cream, candy, and such. Not that this is a bad thing to fill your brain with, I think you would agree.

So I'm hoping you'll wander by for one last fix before then. To give you a little incentive to stop in for a stock up before the shut down, we'll be offering up a little buy 1, get 1 half off on handpacked pints & quarts! I hope to see you before the weekend is out. As always, you can check out the current specials at .

Right now, we've still got all the flavors, but that may change as the weekend progresses...

And if you already know what you want, just give a call with your order, and we'll have it packed up and ready to go. (413)-529-2929

Hope to see you soon.