When I was a kid, some nights my mom would allow us to have ice cream for dinner. I remember often using that opportunity to take an evening walk to Baskin-Robbins in D.C. to get either the Butter Pecan or Bubble Gum flavors. Or both. Sometimes we'd choose Carvel. (For a time, we lived near the very first Carvel, and I once played in the Marching Band outside the shop -- and by "Marching Band" I mean, me, one of my best friends, and I think one other person, because yes, I was one of the hardy few willing to wear a green and white polyester track suit while playing an instrument outside of a popular high school hangout. We did get free "Flying Saucers" afterward, so there's that.) Other times, the "Jim Dandy" at Friendly's was my choice -- a super banana split with five scoops of ice cream. I went with chocolate and caramel sauce, and whipped cream. The nuts and cherry were merely distractions in my book. And then sometimes we'd just go with at-home, at-the-kitchen-table bowls of whatever flavours my sister and I could agree on buying.
These were some of the best dinners, and "dessert" was usually a book, read aloud, or silently side-by-side. Harriet the Spy was one dessert read that I remember vividly, as well as multiple volumes of The Chronicles of Narnia. There is something about the sheer magic of children's books and ice cream that goes hand-in-hand.
Now, my favorite ice cream journey is a walk to the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for some vanilla with extra butterscotch. In a pinch, a nearby spot offers a wonderfully salty-sweet flavour called "Salted Crack Caramel". Now, I bring my own daughter, and try to pretend that I don't relish these trips as much as she does (weak attempt at perpetuating my "responsible mom" mystique.) And sometimes it's ice-cream-for-dinner. Or lunch. Or a sweet celebration. Or just today. And we love "dessert" just as much.