Growing up in Chicago in the late 70’s/early 80’s was a blast. There were so many things that were embedded into traditions, whether it was something as big as putting up the artificial Christmas tree with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on TV and hot cocoa in our santa-shaped mugs or something as small (but clearly influential) as getting a Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s when the end of February approached. I had plenty of McDonald’s to eat in my childhood, and there are also many other fast-food-type of memories that lace my nostalgia; I’m not ashamed of any of it despite not eating fast food any longer. Anyhow, the Shamrock Shake was something my friends and I always looked forward to. When word got around (aka TV commercials that you couldn’t fast-forward through) that they were serving them, we begged and begged our parents until they caved and we finally got the first one of the year. And I remember they were delicious. I was lucky to have a variety of other (better) ice cream options back then: Gertie’s, Cupid Candies, Farrell’s, Rainbow Cone, and Tastee Freeze to name a few. I told you I was lucky! But that Shamrock Shake. How sad it was when it was no longer illuminated on the brown and orange menu at Mickey D’s and how disappointed I was to have to order just a plain ol’ vanilla shake for another 11 months.