Monday, July 20, 2009
Perpetual Sundae Bar
I don't remember who it was, but I remember the moment exactly. We had a meeting to try to figure out a way to thank the Dominican sisters for leaving us their convent so well furnished and loved. A statue? A speech? Some other gift? Some visionary soul shouted out: ICE CREAM PARTY!
Those words echoed through the Catholic Worker and set in motion a chain of events that has steered the course of our community ever since.
Cheryl got the ball rolling by dropping off tubs of ice cream, bottles of syrup, nuts, sprinkles, cherries and whipped cream. In other words: A recipe for success.
The ice cream party at the Dominican Mother House was not a one-time event (I'll be blogging about that event in more detail soon). The perpetual ice cream bar has been a mainstay of Catholic Worker life ever since. It is a balm for many ailments.
Every so often we break out the sundae bar during ESL class, and the students are overjoyed. Some chop up whatever fruit we have on hand to make a banana split or some other concoction.
Erin comes over frequently to help out at various events, and she often brings her kids. While her kids generally love the house (there is nothing like playing hide-and-go see here!) sometimes the kids just want to be at home doing their own thing. They patiently wait for her. The cure? Sundae bar! Suddenly those frowns are upside down!
Weary travelers? Long day? Need an excuse to hang out? All roads lead to ice cream around here. Some scoop in peanut butter. One ESL student spoons on at least a half-dozen Maraschino cherries. And still others just like a plain bowl of ice cream. The style may be different, but the core reality is the same: This is how we do business.
Whether the crowd is Dominican nuns, Latino immigrants or fidgety children, ice cream is a common thread that runs through our lives. We owe so much to the genius out there who suggested it! Whoever you are, please come forward to collect your reward, which is--you guessed--it: A sundae!