Beat the heat every Friday with "Hot Enough for You?" -- a weekly assortment of summertime stories and tips on surviving the swelter.
Bryan Soronson has a consuming passion for ice cream. Off-hours from his day job as administrator of University Hospital's neurology department, Mr. Soronson organizes ice cream tastings, consults for manufacturers and writes and speaks at every opportunity about the chills and thrills of this hot weather treat.
So in honor of National Ice Cream Month -- we'll double-dip to that! -- we asked the 37-year-old Pikesville resident for some cold, hard facts.
Most bizarre ice cream he's eaten: "Jalapeno pepper, which sounds worse that it actually is . . ."
Worst sorbet eaten: "Broccoli. Tomato sorbet isn't bad, but broccoli . . . "
Best ice cream eaten: "There are two very good local flavors -- the almond joy at Dave & Darrell's Almost Famous and the chocolate raspberry at Lee's."
How much ice cream he eats: "I probably eat the equivalent of a quart or half-gallon a week. I don't eat tons of it -- I sample a lot, you don't eat a lot that way -- but I can eat a pint at once."
Recent thrill: "Ben & Jerry's now has cookie dough ice cream with real, raw cookie dough."
His body size: 6-2, 170 pounds.
His cholesterol level: An enviable 157. "I think it's because it all balances out: the exercise -- I run a lot, about 30 miles a week -- and I don't eat a lot of meat and eggs."
Salty dog days
If you're going to exercise in hot weather, avoid the heat cramps that can strike your leg or abdominal muscles by taking in extra salt and water, says Dr. Dan Morhaim, of Franklin Square Hospital's emergency medical department.
He suggests drinking a salt water solution, or drinking water and eating salty foods to replenish the salt. But if you're on a salt-restricted diet or fluid pills, check with your own doctor first.
Laura's on the line
The most creative Heatdial suggestion so far this summer comes from frequent contributor Laura Sheridan, an eighth grader at Dumbarton Middle School in northern Baltimore.
She recommends putting part of a string in each section of an ice cube tray, filling it with water and freezing it. In a few hours, the cubes will freeze on the string, making an ice necklace.
"A flavored ice cube necklace would be better, but it would stain your clothes," said Laura, 12.
Since Heatdial began a few weeks back, she has made many suggestions by phone, including one that didn't work out so well: She dipped a wash cloth in cold water and laid it on her pillow before going to sleep, which cooled her off but also "made my pillow soggy," she said.
Her parents weren't pleased.
Beating the heat is something of a full-time pursuit for Laura right now. "My parents don't like to turn on the air conditioner," she said. "It's not hot enough until it's like 100 degrees."
What are your ideas on keeping cool? Using a touch-tone phone, call 783-1800 (or 268-7736 from Anne Arundel County.) Once the system answers your call, enter code 4400. This is a local call from the Baltimore area. If you don't have a touch-tone phone, send your ideas to: "Hot Enough," Features Dept., Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.