Nothing like a good party
May 21, 2007
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I ironed through the whole thing. With the calendar full this month recitals and ball games and ceremonies and picnics I do my best to spend spare time doing something I enjoy, and ironing is right up there. A therapist I once knew often said, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" and I believe there's a bit of truth in that. If I can't bake up some muffins or take a walk or do a bit of ironing when I feel like it, things are going to get tense and that's all there is to it. Which is why I was so looking forward to the graduation party we'd been invited to on Saturday afternoon. Nothing like a good party. Someone else does the cooking and the cleanup and you simply hang out and chat and get your drink refilled now and then and you can leave whenever the spirit moves you.
Funny about neighbors. You get a sense of what they're about just by being nearby for a stretch of years, but you never really know 'til you spend time with them on their patio. When Mr. Sundberg and I pulled into the Burkharts' long driveway, I knew immediately we were in for a trip. There were checkered flags lining the drive all the way up to the house, and a big black sign surrounded by flames reading, "Way To Go, Jerry!" I'll confess I knew next to nothing about NASCAR up until Saturday afternoon. I knew it stands for National Association of Stockcar Auto Racing; I didn't know it's a way of life for the Burkhart family.
We wore NASCAR hats all afternoon and ate popcorn and hotdogs and chips. Someone offered Mr. Sundberg a Bud Lite every fifteen minutes or so, and I believe he said "yes" only twice. I had to ask for a beer. I imagine I don't look like the beer type, and I really don't care much for it, but since I was wearing a NASCAR hat I figured I ought to keep an open mind. So I mingled and heard a few good jokes and several I won't repeat for the sake of decorum, and I managed to corner Jerry Burkhart and congratulate him on his graduation from tech school. He said he's working as an electrician and liking it, and that there's nothing he'd rather do. Well, there you go, I said. That's how it should be. Do what you like, like what you do, and have a party in the meantime.
By the time the clouds started rolling in late in the afternoon, I was about ready to head out. I'd had several conversations about racetracks and safety regulations, had eaten more than my share of meat and cheese, and the show would be on soon. I made eye contact with Mr. Sundberg, who was talking with a couple men wearing NASCAR T-shirts and gave him the signal. He had a big smile on his face. We thanked the Burkharts for a lovely time, and I hid my half-full beer can behind the trunk of a pine tree as we made our way to our car. Well that was interesting, I said as I backed out of the driveway. We ought to go to the races sometime, don't you think? I asked, and stepped on the gas. The tires gave a little squeal. "As you wish, Mario," Mr. Sundberg said as he lay his head back and pulled his NASCAR cap down over his eyes. "Wake me when we're there," he said, and three short minutes later, we were.
Neapolitan Ice Cream Dessert
2 c crushed graham crackers
1/3 c sugar
1/2 c melted butter
Mix above three ingredients. Reserve 1/2 c crumbs and press the rest into a 9 x 13 pan.
Layer banana over crust, sliced about 1/2 inch thick. (This is optional).
Cut 1 inch slices from a block of Neapolitan ice cream; press onto bananas/crust until
covered. Use all the ice cream by filling in the gaps. Sprinkle with 1 cup of peanuts. Place in freezer.
1 c sugar
5 T butter
1/3 c milk
Boil above three ingredients for one minute. Remove from heat and add a cup or so of chocolate chips. Stir until chips have melted.
Remove pan from freezer. Spread chocolate mixture over and return to freezer for 10 minutes or so. Then take it out and cover it with 8 oz Cool Whip, and sprinkle reserved crumbs over the top. Return pan once again to the freezer and leave it there for a good stretch of hours or overnight.
Let sit out a few minutes before cutting. Serves 12.