Grandma always added extra Vanilla Extract to her cake frosting. It could have been stirred by hand, but she preferred to use the old electric mixer with the heavy head that would clunk down into the mixing bowl and whir at the click of a switch. Grandma’s cakes reeked of alcohol. Licking the bowl wasn’t just a sugar high. I think I may have gotten a little drunk each time my birthday rolled around.
As a teenager, and beyond, I would buy 16 oz. plastic tubs of Pillsbury Vanilla Frosting and consume it one spoonful at a time when I couldn’t find a box of Screaming Yellow Zonkers. I was a Coke addict with a ready supply during the Drive-In days. The soda fountain at Westlane Auto Movie, and later the Del Oro Theatre, was tuned to my satisfaction, the perfect balance of syrup and carbon dioxide.
My drugs of choice were usually available over the counter. During the Winter months at Westlane, I would fight congestion with sweet throat lozenges, sucking Ludens, Chloraseptics, and Sucrets one after another.
Grocery stores usually stock eggnog November and December, but it’s hard to find it the rest of the year. When I complained, my parents referred me to a cookbook recipe that called for a lot of sugar and raw eggs. On Sunday nights, while my parents were working, I would mix up a wicked batch of nog and watch The Mothers-In-Law, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and Mission Impossible. After the local news, I would watch an old movie with my parents, usually something made by Warner Brothers starring Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, James Cagney, or Errol Flynn. I seldom made it to bed until one or two on a Sunday night and I usually slept through my first couple of classes on Monday morning.