Lunch A La Mode?

It’s rare that my only (so I easily say favorite) niece Emma comes to West Chester. When she is in town, it’s all about great food. (I know, I know, when is it NOT about food?) But “great food” has a slightly different definition from the perspective of a seven-year-old. (I’m sorry… “almost eight-year-old.”) So I try to adjust. Which isn’t hard.

When my sister and Emma arrived around 11:00am on Saturday, my first thought was to take them for brunch. However, their schedule called for them to be at a baby shower in Philly by 1:00pm, so I quickly realized that we wouldn’t be able to give brunch the attention or time that it really deserved. So we opted for plan B. Ice cream….for lunch.

My niece loved the idea and my sister gave her blessing. She was determined to get to the baby shower on time and ice cream is a very grab-and-go type of meal… so it made sense.

We walked the few blocks from my apartment into the best ice cream spot in town, which in itself is a treat because my sister and her family live down a twisting country road, far out of reach of any walkable retail location.

We happily spooned bits of creamy ice cream and gelato out of the little plastic cups at Sprazzo. I savored some cake batter yumminess and my sister had some chocolate, malt concoction. Emma gobbled up brownie bite ice cream and her chocolate rimmed gap-toothed face look at us with suspicion. Her eyes asked “is this REALLY okay? How am I getting away with this? How is it okay to be eating ice cream for lunch?” When my sister wasn’t looking I winked and whispered “awesome isn’t it?” That’s when Emma announced she wanted to move in with me.

After lunch we headed into the city where I dropped them off at the shower and I headed for a coffee shop. I returned to pick them up and plan the rest of our visit. It would include pipe cleaners (big fluffy ones because “I love working with them”) nachos, “fun snacks” and lottery tickets. I’d say those are the makings of a really good girl’s night.

After a dinner of nachos and tacos and a run to Michael’s craft store we headed home. The rules were that we needed to put on our pajamas right away and head to the local 7-11 to get snack food and chocolate.

We walked across the street in pjs with pipe cleaner hats and chose our weapons. I picked a peppermint patty, my sister picked Hershey’s dark chocolate and Emma got a regular Hershey’s bar.

I grabbed some popcorn and requested three winning scratch off lotto tickets from the check out man. Emma then announced that I was like her sister and asked her mom when she would be old enough to live with me. I winked again and whispered she can move whenever she wants to.

Three full bellies and one “free ticket” later we called it a night. Emma curled up on the couch next to me and said that she “could stay here forever.”

I smiled and secretly wished she could.

The Final Dish: A quote from Emma. “When I’m done eating snacks like this I like to lick my fingers… what about you?”

A song I played for Emma…

“Click here to listen to Holy Smokes It’s Ice Cream for Breakfast”: