For weeks, a Mr. Softee ice cream truck has stalked my neighborhood. From about 10 AM until 9 PM every weekend the incessant sounds of “Pop Goes the Weasel” have invaded my ear drums. And the thing is, Mr. Softee is wanted here. The park across the street is like our town square—the neighborhood children and their parents spend their entire Saturday there—and Mr. Softee is like the mayor.
So yesterday, after loving and loathing the Mr. Softee truck from afar for so long, I decided today is the day I would have an ice cream. We go outside, our ears perked for the now familiar noise, and…nothing. Mr. Softee was no where to be found. We walked ten blocks to the other corner Mr. Softee is known to frequent and still, nothing. We finally decide to settle for a Dominican fruit ice (a delightful sorbet) and begin the trek back home, our faces and fingers sticky with mango flavors.
As we round the corner to our apartment, we wonder…is that…could that be the faint tinkle of the Mr. Softee truck? I powerwalk ahead (because I am a GD adult) and there it is, the off-brand Mr. Softee, in all of its summertime glory.
He gets chocolate/vanilla twist, I get a chocolate dipped vanilla cone. We stand at the edge of the park, giggling, and trying to recover as much ice cream as we can before it melts.
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I’ve been working on overcoming my introverted tendencies by inviting people over for dinner, and first up are our neighbors. My usual go-to for family style dinners is a vegetarian mashup of this insanely good mushroom ragu and the classic Marcella Hazan sauce (and which I will now forever be serving with bronze-cut pasta), but I started thinking it felt a little heavy for an early summer meal.
Over on Facebook, I asked my friends about the meals they make when company comes to visit. The thread, I must admit, turned into a bit of a magical place. Here’s what they recommended: