Host an Ice Cream Block Party
Neighborly neglect. We do it, too. A quick wave as you’re driving down the street, or a well-intended promise to get together and catch up…one of these days…before school starts for sure! Have you looked at your calendar lately? Not your daily schedule, the month-at-a-glance. The last fleeting weeks of summer are already upon us.
Time to fit in those to-dos that haven’t been done, like reconnect with the neighbors. Host that BBQ, let the kids stay up late for night games, light a bonfire. But might we suggest another super sweet and easy way to get the attention (and attendance) of your entire street? Throw an ice cream block party!
SPREAD THE WORD
Pick a date and alert the ’hood! (HINT: National Night Out is a good option if your area doesn’t already have an organized get-together on that date.) You can e-mail, text or use social media, which are all handy when summer busyness has neighbors coming and going. Or give this job to the kiddos. Have yours (and their buddies) come up with homemade invitations and hand-deliver them. Paper or digital, the kids will love being involved. Walk door to door with them and you may even get some real live face time before the big event.
SET IT UP
Backyard or patio works, but why not keep it front and center? This might encourage those who were on the fence to stop by for a quick hello. Scatter lawn chairs around and bring out a portable outdoor speaker and stream a warm-weather playlist. Create an outdoor buffet by using a patio, picnic or utility table topped with a washable tablecloth. Arrange the goodies in order and get ready for an easy and laid-back meet, greet and eat!
HOLD ON TIGHT
Start with the foundation and work up from there.
- Cones: Stack towers of waffle, sugar and plain flat-bottomed cones top side down on a Corelle® Livingware™ Winter Frost White Serving Platter or arrange in a basket or two.
- Cookies: Excellent for making a sandwich instead of a sundae or cone. Offer a couple of shapes and sizes, like larger chocolate chip cookies or sugar cookies, smaller gingersnaps or vanilla wafers, and graham cracker squares.
- Containers: Lightweight, durable and stackable dishware keeps scoops and sundaes neat and easy to eat. Corelle® Livingware™ Winter Frost White 11-oz Dessert Bowls are small enough for little ones to handle—and for bigger hands to rationalize seconds. (Don’t forget the spoons!)
LAY IT ON THE LINE
The more choices, the more fun. Offer as many as your table and budget allow.
- Ice creams: Go for at least three flavors (chocolate, vanilla and a fruit-flavored one), and store containers or serving bowls in metal or plastic tubs filled with ice. (Wrap the outside of paper containers in plastic wrap first.) Place a couple of scoops next to small bowls filled with warm water for rinsing.
- Sauces: Prepare for drizzles and deluges. Think chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, hot fudge and fruit.
- Toppings: Set out as few or as many as your heart (and sweet tooth) desires! Include a variety of sprinkles, crushed cookies and candy bars, chocolate chips, nuts, gummy bears and other chewy fruit-flavored candies, and berries and other chopped fruit. Fill small shallow bowls like Corelle® Square™ Pure White 10-oz Dessert Bowls. And, of course, whipped cream and maraschino cherries are a must!
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Remember to offer options for friends with dietary restrictions. Ice cream can be gluten free, but it isn’t always. Be sure to read labels and watch for added ingredients. The more natural and/or organic, the more likely they’ll be free from gluten. Most sorbets are gluten and dairy free; you could also include soy- or coconut-based options to cover those bases (and many of those qualify as vegan as well!).
- HELP ’EM OUT. Keep it neat and save time by offering pre-scooped ice cream in ice buckets or large bowls (set these on top of another larger bowl filled with ice to keep cool). Prep by placing scoops in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and freezing again till it’s party time. This will also keep them from sticking together.
- CLEAN ’EM UP. Hot temps, cold treats? A recipe for drips! Designate a cleanup station and set out stacks of napkins or rolls of paper towels and packages of wet wipes for those sticky chocolate goatees. And don’t forget a wastebasket!
- WASH ’EM DOWN. One word: water! Keep friends and neighbors hydrated—and balance sugar overload—with bottles, pitchers or, even better, a big container with a spigot.