1998 - The year that my better half separated from the military and entered civilian life. We packed up our house, our 4 and 1 year old - and the dog - and moved across the country to rural Pennsylvania.👶🏻🐶 We were in a rental house for a short time before we found our little house in Level Green. And when I say "little" - understand that I mean that this bungalow was the very definition of little.😅 A charming 50 year old Cape Cod with old plaster walls and a stone and brick exterior that was so ridiculously adorable we were able to overlook all of its flaws. 🏡
This house had outdated wiring, plumbing, wallpaper and broken septic lines but it had one major thing going for it - location. No, we didn't have the best lot in town or the most privacy - but, our little cape cod was located directly across from an ice cream shop.🍦 And for our 2 kids under the age of 4 - there is no better place to live than within walking distance to an ice cream shop. 🤣
Obviously, our family frequented this little ice cream shop that was just steps from our driveway. And fortunately for me, at the time, my kids weren't old enough to walk across the street without supervision so I had some level of control over the number of times that we indulged in the frozen treat every week. #itwasstillalot 😂 The ice cream proved to be a great motivator to get my kids to do their chores and not hit each other with baseball bats - most days.
One summer afternoon, both kids were being uncharacteristically agreeable and kind to each other - so of course I assumed it was because I was a rock star of a mom and that we all deserved an ice cream reward. So after lunch, we walked across the street and treated ourselves to a scoop of the finest ice cream in the store.
That summer, I worked a part time job in the evenings so when my better half got home from work, we ate a quick dinner, I headed out the door to teach a couple of Gymboree classes and passed the parenting baton to my hubby for the evening. The kids loved having time with daddy.
I'm not sure if all parents have this moment, but I can tell you the day that I realized that my children were both genius and shrewd. It was that fateful afternoon that I had taken them for ice cream as a reward for good behavior. Like tiny masterminds, these young children learned the type of behavior that earned them a reward and then repeated the same exemplary behavior for dad that same evening - after I had left for work. 😅 Of course, dad saw fit to reward their good behavior with ice cream - just as I had done earlier in the day.
The funniest part is that neither one of my kids muttered a word to dad about having ice cream twice in one day. 😂 My sweet, innocent 1 and 4 year olds sat in the ice cream shop - for the second time in one day - never saying a word about having been there just hours before. It wasn't until I had gotten home that evening, when both kids were tucked into their beds with bellies full of ice cream, that my husband and I realized that without knowing - we had BOTH taken them for ice cream that day. 😅 #parentsoftheyear
I'm pretty sure that I gained about 10 pounds in those few years that we lived in that little house across from the ice cream shop. It was a blessing and a curse for sure. 😅 It could have also been attributed to the fact that this was also the place where I discovered my joy for berry pies. Thanks to a local raspberry farm, I fell in love with fresh berry pies. 🥧 I was hopeless. I had access to some of the most delicious berry pies that I had ever tasted and I was living just steps away from an ice cream shop with some of the best vanilla ice cream around. 😬 Honestly, it was worth all of the extra walking that I had to do to burn those calories though. Those were some pretty delicious years.
Triple Berry Pie
2 unbaked pie crusts (homemade or store bought)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups frozen berries, thawed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon coarse sugar
Wrap pie in foil and bake 20 minutes at 375. Remove foil and bake another 20-30 minutes.
The summer berries are perfect right now - I can think of no better time to enjoy one of these amazing triple berry pies. Enjoy!
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