What do you get with the fearlessness of a 7 year old?
|We love root beer floats. They are a special treat for rare special occasions.
Once we were all enjoying our floats and we started talking about all the other float possibilities that we would have to have soon. Vernors and vanilla, the Michigan treat called a Boston Cooler for some strange reason, orange soda and vanilla, who doesn’t love a good Creamsicle, and Cherry Coke and vanilla were all top choices at our dinner table. Then things got a little crazy.
“Ooh, you could do Cherry Coke and chocolate, like a chocolate covered cherry, or Red Pop and chocolate, like chocolate dipped strawberry,” I said, teasing.
My husband wrinkled his nose. “Ew, I don’t think that would work,” and he is usually the more adventurous one.
“What about something with Cookies and Cream?”
“No, remember when we used vanilla bean ice cream and we had all the black flecks left at the bottom like dirt?”
“Or fleas! Yeah, cookies and cream would be worse. Although, it might work in a pinch.”
Then my daughter chimed in, “how about mint chocolate chip ice cream and root beer?” She’s 7, by the way.
“Um, I don’t know if those flavors would work. Wouldn’t the strong mint just fight with the strong root beer?” I tried to stop curling my lip in disgust. I didn’t want to discourage her too much.
“No, it’d be really good. Well, for everyone except Lyle, because you don’t like mint.” She turned to her brother, “remember that time you threw up because you tried the minty Tic-tac?”
“Claire, let’s move on. We don’t need to talk about that.” I interrupted her before she could go into too much detail about that incident. Yes, dinner at our house has some rules. No growling like lions, monsters, or other animals, and no talking about bodily functions like vomit, but with a 5 and 7 year old it’s hard to always follow those rules.
“Well, he wouldn’t like it, but I would, because I love mint ice cream and I like root beer,” Claire finished. “It would be really good.”
“OK,” Daddy said, “if you think it would be that good. Sometime I stop at the store, I’ll pick you up some root beer and mint chocolate chip ice cream, and you can make your float. Maybe we can even video it and we can have Claire’s Cooking Show.”
“Really?!” Her face lit up and I could see her thinking how cool this would be. Then she asked, “What is a cooking show?”
“Well, how about when we are done, I’ll see if I can pull up a couple videos to show you.” Daddy was always thinking.
As I was cleaning up our dinner and dessert mess, Daddy found some YouTube cooking videos. The first was a 20 or 30-something girl making cookies. The second was just for fun. The Muppets' Swedish Chef had a video where he was making “Popcorn Shrimp.” We laughed so hard during that video we had to watch it a couple times. It was so funny for everyone; I wish the Muppet Show was still on TV.
A couple days later, Daddy came home from work with a ½ gallon container of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
“So, Claire,” Daddy started with the store bag in hand. “Are you ready to make a float cooking show after dinner tonight?”
“Yeah!” Claire yelled and came running over to him. “Did you get the minty ice cream?” Claire bounced on her toes, hanging onto Daddy’s arm, and Daddy laughed.
“Awgh!” Lyle grumbled, “But I don’t like mint.”
“Lyle,” I said, “we know you don’t like mint. You don’t have to have a mint float.”
Dinner was a hurried affair so we could get to the big show. As soon as we were done, the table was cleared and the camera was set up, along with the ingredients: mint chocolate chip ice cream, root beer, scooping spoon, and a tall cup.
Claire was ready to go. We were ready with the cameras. We had kind of a hidden agenda with capturing her making and eating her float. Daddy and I thought we’d catch a good expression on Claire’s face when she took her first bite. We were expecting a look like the ones new moms always get of their babies trying new foods: the grimace and the involuntary shudder. So we waited anticipating the worst and trying not to give it away with our grins.
Claire scooped her bright green ice cream expertly into her purple cup. She filled the cup with as much ice cream as she could and explained every step. Once she started and the cameras were rolling little brother decided to crash the show. As Claire was seriously explaining each step you could see the top of a little blonde head move along the edge of the table and a little hand poke up and wave with a “ooo-who.” Oh, he thought he was so funny! He couldn’t contain his giggles.
Finally, it was time to pour in the root beer. Lyle poked his entire face over the edge of the table and kneeled on a chair to watch Claire carefully pour. When the foam started to raise above the edge of the cup, Lyle’s hands flew to his mouth and he gasped.
“And that is how you make a mint chocolate chip root beer float,” Claire finished. Now was the moment Daddy and I were waiting for, the first taste. We rechecked our cameras making sure we had a good shot. Claire raised her loaded spoon, leaned over her cup, and we held our breath barely allowing a knowing glance at each other. She took a bite, and disappointment! There was no grimace, no shudder, she actually liked it! I raised my eyebrows at Daddy.
She gave a little “mmm” sound, and thoughtfully tasted her creation. “It’s really good if you like mint,” she smiled confidently with her success.