The Last Best Milkshake

I've discovered the best milkshake on earth, but I'm afraid you'll never have one. I could reveal all of the details – that it's real strawberry and frozen yogurt, made by Freshens – but it wouldn't matter.You still wouldn't be me, sitting in the cafeteria of George Washington University Hospital, just after your mother came out of brain surgery.

People often associate events or periods in their life with certain foods. Home cooks and professional chefs spend great effort trying to recreate grandma's roast chicken or mama's ravioli. Not only are the dishes delicious, but they conjure fond sentiments and memories. There's much attention given to these nostalgic meals (just look at how Anton Ego is converted in Ratatouille). But what is rarely mentioned are ordinary foods that are made remarkable by experience.Such meals are wonderful in the way soggy airport pizza is wonderful after you've been flying for hours, subsisting on peanuts.

This milkshake falls into that category of amazing, ordinary food. On another day it would just be a milkshake, albeit a pretty good one. But under the circumstances, it was the best milkshake of my life. After weeks of excruciating headaches, my normally healthy mother had a brain aneurysm removed. It could have proved fatal if left to grow. I've been extremely fortunate to have a full-time mom who is always my first call for advice, help or just wonderful company. She is my mom, my dearest friend and the constant in my life. The prospect of losing her to either a serious affliction or serious surgery was terrifying. But she has a tough will for someone so sweet, and made it through. Although the future held more tests and treatments, the present seemed stable for the first time in days. The milkshake was sweet, and cold, and perfect.

These extra-ordinary food moments are rare, and I've only experienced a handful. I was eating a Thomas' cinnamon raisin bagel when the news came that I got in early-admission to Middlebury College. No bagel, not even the fresh ones from H&H on 80th, has tasted as wonderful since. Rosemary Chicken Lean Cuisines were divine for a time, only because I was working my first kitchen job in St. John. I'd come home blissfully happy and exhausted, with just enough energy to unwrap and microwave. And then there was a slimy, monstrous Carnegie Deli corned beef sandwich that I remember fondly. It was 3 am, I was 20 and completely in love with a boy and New York for the first time.

And now there's this milkshake. It was like a great book – I was sorry to finish it. But unlike my mother's salad dressing (which I still can't replicate), I'm happy to never eat it again. I pray the restless hours in hospitals – even ones that can turn sick patients healthy and average milkshakes extraordinary – are over.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
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            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.