Tonight there was a dinner picnic with dessert potluck at a park that is relatively near our house. Just about a mile as the bike spins, so it would have been easy if... well... if we hadn't LEFT our working bicycles in Seattle. Hmph.
So we walked, instead. John pulled the red wagon loaded to the gills with ice and ice cream makings, as well as a very spare dinner of cheese, crackers, and apples as well as a few drinks.
It was nearly 90 when we headed out at 5. Ugh. I made sure Jet walked in my shade. It actually made a difference for him, which was nice. He perked up almost immediately when I figured out that he was on the sunny side. But about two-thirds of the way there, we found road construction had ripped up the bridge we were depending on to get us over the creek into the park. So we did a cross country trek, and John accidentally spilled the wagon and broke the handle to the crank for the ice cream maker.
Jet ended up piggy back on the hot, level part of it, but once we were off-road, he was interested enough to walk on his own again. The shade from the trees helped a lot, too.
Once at the park, he was fine. Some cold water in the shade, and he was off and running around after the other kids. I just sat in the shade and talked with the other Moms and it was good to sip a water, nibble some chips with pineapple salsa, and then be served a little key lime tartlet. Yum!! It was a good start to a very good dinner, as the same nice lady who did the tartlets also made huge sandwiches and had sharing the extras in mind, so both John and I got amazingly good, fat wedges of that as well. It was delicious. Happy sigh.
The kids fished, ran around, played kick ball, and then helped John make our ice cream. I'd made the custard during the day, and then let it cool in an ice bath for a while and then in the fridge. He recruited kids and did ice and salt management, and I helped with some of the cranking and defense when someone else said, "You know, they sell those things with plugs for the wall, so you don't get a hernia doing it..."
"But those things *slow down* when the ice cream starts stiffening. It's better for the ice cream if someone can speed up when it starts getting stiff so you get plenty of air in the mixture."
Plus... it seemed good to just use people power when there was just so much of it at the party. A little exercise won't kill me. *grin* It also brought back memories for some people, and gave quite a few folks an experience they wouldn't otherwise have had. One guy said that it was the best darn ice cream he'd ever eaten in his life.
It was worth the doing, all in all, as the ice cream turned out sweet enough, creamy and cool and didn't fluff up quite as much as some previous experiments. Plus, when we put it in, I figured it was more than half full (usually it seems to about double in bulk), so I pulled some of the mixture. We may have ice cream tomorrow, too. :-) Folks found that it was fun to eat it with the blueberries and sauces we'd brought. It was good with the strawberry rhubarb crisp, with the peach cobbler, with the carrot cake, and even with the salsa someone had brought. John was the one that loved that last combination. Hot and creamy all in one. *grin*
Then, when it was dark and well past Jet's bed time, some of the smaller kids had melt downs. So we packed up our wagon and headed home. Jet walked the whole way home. I was very impressed. He then proceeded to lie down on the dining room floor and protest that he was too tired to get up again. *laughter* But he had some lemonaide and then went to bed and went to sleep very, very fast.
I had a little hot milk and had to settle some thing with a KnitPicks order the cooking friend wanted to make, and ended up here. :-) It is good. I'm a little tired, but happy and my body liked the two one-mile walks on top of all that food, so I'm glad we did it, even without the bikes. *grin*