Invite your neighbors for an ice cream social!
by MELISSA GORDON
My husband is a nut. If you’ve ever met him, you already know that. And if you haven’t met him, but you’ve seen him, you’ve probably thought, “That guy’s a nut.” What gives it away is his hair. He has a head full of curls that look like the cords of a thousand phones all calling you collect.
Now you must understand that I use the word “nut” as a term of endearment. Rob’s nuttiness is one of the reasons I fell in love with him. It’s a silly, mischievous, playful nuttiness, which can be easily glimpsed in his daily life — instead of random acts of kindness, he commits random acts of nuttiness.
His most recent act of nuttiness was an ice cream social he hosted for all the neighbors on our block (many of whom we’d never met, despite living in our house for more than six years). He knocked on each person’s door, introduced himself, and hand delivered the invitation. Some were confused (“neighborliness” can be somewhat shocking these days) and a few were wary (Rob’s hair can be alarming), but most were very excited to receive the invite.
The ice cream social was held on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. The weather was lovely, the convivial atmosphere felt almost nostalgic, the pure delight of the kids was contagious, and by the end of the night we had given out 40 cones. I guess there’s nothing like ice cream to bring people together!
Homemade Cones for Your Ice Cream Social
OK, I wouldn’t really recommend making homemade cones for an ice cream social — that would be way too much work. But it’s a super fun summer project and raises the merriment of any summer gathering by about 50 notches!
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
• 3 tablespoons milk
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until frothy. Continue whisking, and slowly pour in the butter, milk, and vanilla. Next whisk in the flour and salt until the batter is smooth and well-mixed. At this point, your batter should be thin. If it’s not, whisk in more milk.
2. Heat a small, lightly oiled skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the skillet and turn to spread out the batter into a thin circle. When the underside is golden brown, flip it and cook until the other side is golden brown as well.
3. Remove from the pan and form into a cone while it’s hot, squeezing the end to seal. (A paper plate rolled into a cone shape and taped makes an easy mold.) Place on a wire rack to cool and harden. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Adapted slightly from Allrecipes.com