We’re spending more time than ever at home lately, so I’ve been getting creative on ideas to make sweet summer memories for my family.
When I think back on my childhood, what stands out most are the many family meals we ate together at home. I come from a big family with a variety of personalities, but one thing we all have in common—we love food. More specifically, we love dessert.
Growing up, my mom always let us pick any meal we wanted for our birthdays, graduations, or other milestones. My brother, whose birthday is two weeks before Thanksgiving, always chose turkey dinner for his meal, which we all complained ruined the excitement of Thanksgiving. I always chose a pasta salad with chicken and peppers that my brother said was “too slimy.” My other brother always picked wontons that took my mom forever to make and took us zero time to eat. However, what really mattered to each of us was the dessert. Some of us picked cake, some pie, some cookies, but we all always had ice cream.
Our family is even bigger now with nine grandchildren running around, and they each love dessert just as much as the rest of us. We always joke that the house is quietest when we are all eating dessert. Unfortunately, with the pandemic this year, we haven’t all been able to get together as one big group and we are missing our big, loud, dessert-loving family.
Lucky for us, though, even in the midst of worldwide upheaval, we can focus on small joys – like the fun we have at home with the people closest to us and the things we love most, like ice cream.
This past week, I had a shipment of Hudsonville Ice Cream sent to our house as a surprise and it sparked a week full of sweet memories for us. Hudsonville Ice Cream’s roots are in Michigan, but this delicious ice cream is available right here in Cincinnati. You can find Hudsonville at a store nearest you by using their Scoop Locator. Make sure to grab a variety, because you will definitely want to try them all. Our theme this week was ice cream and I’m so glad we now have this to look back on. Here are just a few ways to make sweet summer memories of your own at home.
Idea #1: Free-for-all Ice Cream Party with close friends and family
If there is one thing I’ve learned as a mom, it’s that sometimes you just have to embrace the chaos. I had a perfect Pinterest ice cream party/movie night in my head for my kids and a few of their cousins, but a pop-up thunderstorm put an end to that dream. We ended up throwing in the towel and gave the kids free reign over all the ice cream, sprinkles, whipped cream, and popcorn they could get their hands on. They were in heaven. Despite the rain, there were a ton of giggles, sticky hands and smiling faces. They had a blast sampling the different flavors. Their favorites were Cookie Overload and Raspberry Chocolate Chunk, while the adults enjoyed the rich and creamy Mackinac Island Fudge.
Idea #2: Impromptu Family Fun Night full of sweet summer memories
My daughter loves to bake, and we happened to have some fresh blueberries from my uncle’s farm. She asked if we could make a cobbler together, and I remembered we had Hudsonville’s Limited Edition Blueberry Cobbler ice cream in the freezer. This was the perfect opportunity for a little mid-week pick-me-up, and a chance for us to create the ultimate Blueberry Cobbler experience. We whipped up a cobbler and let it bake while we ate dinner. After dinner, we pretended we were going to an ice cream shop and headed outside for warm cobbler with a scoop of Hudsonville Ice Cream on top. Truly delicious. I think the smiles speak for themselves.
Idea #3: Kid-inspired Milkshakes and Movies
I love getting my daughter involved any way I can and milkshakes are such an easy way to let kids create in the kitchen. No measuring necessary and it is ALWAYS delicious. Since our original movie night got rained out, we decided to do one ourselves. It was such a hit! I loved watching my daughter’s sweet little face as she watched the movie and sipped the milkshake that she made for herself. These are the things sweet summer memories for kiddos are made of. Her milkshake recipe:
- Two scoops of Raspberry Chocolate Chunk
- One scoop of Blueberry Cobbler
- Splash of Milk
- Whipped Cream and Rainbow Sprinkles to top it all off
Idea #4: Post-bedtime ‘Grown-ups get their own pint’ Date Night
You’ve probably heard people mention the five love languages and how important it is to give love in the way your partner receives it. Well, I am so lucky to have found a partner with the same love language as me—food. Since the beginning of our relationship, we have made a habit of surprising each other with treats. (My little secret: I’m embarrassed to admit that when he was getting ready to propose, I thought he was going back to the car to get something sweet for us to eat.) Anyway, don’t tell anyone, but I stashed two pints in the freezer for us to have a date night on the couch. I picked Crunchy Peanut Butter for my husband because peanut butter is one of his favorite things of all time. I chose Cookie Overload for myself because I knew the kids would eat all of the other one, and I was right. I love ending our crazy days with each other, catching up over a delicious treat.
Now it’s your turn! Grab a coupon here to try Hudsonville Ice Cream and make your summer the sweetest one ever.