Magic Spoons at the Arctic Ape
Even spoons are part of the décor and fun at Arctic Ape Wild Desserts. It is wonderful to watch guests discover the spoons changing color as they move between the frozen desserts and mouths. Sometimes that discovery is halfway through or towards the end of the dessert.
The Arctic Ape has chosen a white spoon that turns blue when chilled, for the standard, to match the store’s interior colors. On special days throughout the year, you will find other color combinations. An Orange to Black spoon for Halloween is one example.
Many customers save the spoons, take them home, wash them by hand (never in a dishwasher) and reuse them for homemade treats. A few customers have mentioned collections of these spoons in their kitchen drawer. Note: If you sneak over to visit the Arctic Ape, without the kids or your partner, do not save the spoon, especially when different color spoons are in.
You will get caught! No doubt about it.
For the customers who are curious about how they work: The spoons contain organic compounds called “leuco dyes” that change color when they become cold. If you place the spoon in a refrigerator, it will change color all the way up the handle. When your fingers pick it up, the spoon will start changing back, directly under your fingers and will gradually change back to its warm color.
Some companies offer other products like straws and bowls with color changing ability. You may also see clothes and bags in touristy areas that change color when exposed to the sun (or other ultra-violet light sources). I have even heard about glasses and coffee cups that have images which appear, when a cold or warm drink is poured in, and gradually disappear as you empty the glass.
All of these products depend on leuco dyes to perform their magic.
The Magic Spoons are just one more treat for you to enjoy with your perfect dessert, at the Arctic Ape.
Arctic Ape’s Guide to “Safari Through Windcrest”
Windcrest Light Up is one of the reasons I moved here. This year, “Safari Through Windcrest” will draw lots of my animal friends to Windcrest. I have seen polar bears, lions, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, giraffes, monkeys, snowmen, Yeti, penguins, little white dogs with big noses, elephants, birds, and tigers. Try to count how many animals you see and which of them have relatives at the San Antonio Zoo or Primarily Primates. You must also watch closely for Santa. There is no missing his house as it always provides a magnificent display for the Christmas Season.
This is the 58th year of Windcrest Light Up, presented and managed by the Windcrest Women’s Club. Each year, these ladies perform stellar jobs, managing the show from selecting the theme to managing the awards dinner. The theme makes the displays vary so that visitors do not see the same thing every year. Windcrest Light Up is featured on local TV stations, national news programs and has been reported as having been seen from earth orbits. The official opening is 10th of December and most of the Safari continues through New Year’s Eve.
Fifty-eight years ago, the Windcrest founders decided that lighting the homes for Christmas was a great tradition and every new resident was given a starter strand of lights. In typical Texas manner, there soon developed a Windcrest style of decorating that was certainly not understated. (Windcrest Newsletter, Dec 2011)
Residents and organizations can register to be judged in one of 9 categories.
Before you start your Safari, please pick up one of the maps, with the winners clearly marked. They are available in front of the Fire Station or at one of the satellite locations around Windcrest. The Windcrest Fire Fighter’s Association accepts donations to help cover the costs of printing the maps, and to raise money for equipment and training. Please add generously to the Boot when you pick up your map.
I heard there are monkeys in Windcrest. Please drive carefully, so you do not accidently run over one of my cousins. They do not always wear reflective clothing and their movements are unpredictable.
I highly recommend avoiding the weekends, because Friday and Saturday become very busy as thousands of our friends and neighbors enjoy the lights.
Please do not speed in Windcrest (20 means 20 and stop means Stop). We do not want any accidents and you would rather keep your money for presents. If you stop to enjoy a display, or there is a long line of slow moving cars, please use your parking lights, to enhance the experience. Remember to turn headlights back on, before moving on.
Unless a clear photo spot is provided, please stay on the streets or sidewalks, and do not walk on grass or planting beds. Even though most of the lights and decorations are protected by GFI circuits, we do not want anyone to have an electrifying experience, during their visit to Windcrest.
After or during your Safari, you can warm up, at the Arctic Ape, watch the snow falling outside his window, gaze at the Northern Lights, and enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate, cappuccino, or coffee. Or… you can pretend you’re warming up with a nice warm brownie, with a yummy frozen yogurt, Custard, or Sorbet, and top it with hot fudge. Warm on the top and bottom makes the cool treat OK. I’m easy to find on the map, just look for the First-Place Business marker.
Enjoy your “Safari Through Windcrest.”
The Origin Story
The Arctic Ape
(Simia glacialus habitatus)
Discovered and rescued by an Inuit hunting party, the Arctic Ape was found in a small glacial cave just inside the Arctic Circle. The cave was discovered as a result of warming temperatures around the world. The scientific community, intrigued by the discovery of a new Great Ape species, conducted DNA analysis and found that he is related to mountain gorillas. He may also be related to Sasquatch and Yetis, based on descriptions given by eyewitnesses.
Extended hibernation seems to have caused traumatic amnesia and the Arctic Ape does not know how old he is; how or when he arrived in the Arctic Circle; or how long he was in hibernation.
Several artifacts, equipment, and supplies were found with the Arctic Ape. These items were collected and saved for when he found a permanent home. Not all of them will fit in his new house at once, so he exchanges items between storage and his research facility from time to time.
During considerable thawing and reconditioning, he developed an insatiable sweet tooth and desire to eat everything cold that he encountered.
He traveled the world, sampling all manner of frozen treats and drinks. This appetite led to research and study around the science of churning and freezing liquids and mixing in other substances to create yummy compounds. Through a series of experiments, he discovered that real milk, cream, soy, and yogurt form better tasting, nutritious desserts than re-hydrating powder-based mixes. He believes that infusing real fruit, chocolate, nuts, and grains make icy treats even more flavorful.
While doing all of this work, he found that there were way too many choices for him to decide which one was best and started looking for the perfect place to continue his experiments. Besides, hogging all this yumminess was not fair to the world.
The Arctic Ape reflected on his travels and searched for a vibrant, multi-cultural, friendly city with (of most importance) a warm year-round climate. He found the perfect location for his first one-ape dessert heaven, development center, and research laboratory in a “City of Lights” – Windcrest, Texas, a wonderful small city in the northeast corner of the San Antonio area.
The Arctic Ape is a master of frozen dessert technology, but he quickly admits that others have different ideas and can create things that enhance his creamy desserts. He provides his lab assistants with icy treats and goodies for underneath, on-top, and mixed inside, to form their vision of a perfect dessert. That’s our story!
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