Back in July of 2006, I wrote in Globe Travel that the snack bar at the sandy eastern Ontario preserve "serves up the thickest milkshakes around." Last week, I was looking forward to updating that assertion on a family camping trip.
I was happy to see that the ice cream counter was as amply stocked with local Reid's Dairy products as it was nearly a decade ago, before the generic eatery was reborn as Currah's Park Store & Grill. Various blending contraptions still lined one wall, with an extensive menu of flavours, sizes and variations looming behind the teenage servers.
But I knew exactly what I wanted: "One chocolate milkshake, please."
To which the bubbly counter staffer (let's call her Tracy) replied: "Sorry, we don't have milkshakes."
I was aghast. "You don't have milkshakes?"
Tracy shook her tanned, blonde head. "Nope."
It didn't seem possible. "Do you have a blender?" I asked hopefully.
"I think so."
"In that case, can you put some milk and two (read: five) scoops of chocolate ice cream in the blender?"
My request clearly flummoxed Tracy, who flashed her braces apologetically as she sought assistance from her absentee manager.
With a line-up quickly forming behind me, and not wanting to upset Tracy, I rescinded my request and went for a large cone instead. It was delicious, and to be clear, the cafe's milkshakelessness didn't stop me and mine from having a ball at Sandbanks. The campground, beach (pictured) and dunes, which comprise two of the largest freshwater bay-mouth sandbars in the world, are still top notch.
But looking back, I should have pressed the issue. Milkshake omission, after all, is a slippery slope. What's next? No bacon on the quadruple cheeseburgers? Poutine with grated mozzarella instead of curd? This creeping evil must be stopped!
If you feel the same way I do, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and politely demand that milkshakes return to the menu. (Not in a Daniel Day Lewis sort of way, because, you know, we can't actually drink their milkshakes at present.) And if you encounter another establishment that has removed milkshakes from its menu, please make the same demand, or at least share the information in the comments below. Together, we can make a difference. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, himself an obvious milkshake aficionado, "Never, never, never give up your milkshakes."