Ingredients: One package plain Devil’s Food cake mix* 1/3 cup water 4 tablespoons melted butter 1 large egg 1 bag (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (optional) Preheat oven to 350°F 1. Lightly grease 2…
This place has a ton of character to it. Although I complain about the construction and zero parking and bipolar weather most of the time, it really is a great place to live and explore. There are so many startup companies around here that you can’t ever truly be bored (unless you’re hungry at 11:30 pm on a Friday or Saturday—then you’re in trouble because nothing is open).
There are some real gems in our backyard, and I think it’s important that we give each of them a shoutout. The one that I’m going to focus on today is The Soap Factory!
This place is so much fun. I went on a date here back in 2015 and when I tried to go back later, it was closed! Have no fear, the company only moved to a bigger location, and it’s now on Center Street.
It can be a little tricky to find because it’s on the second floor; it is not a shop that you walk past on a sunny day, but it’s a rare find if you ask me. It’s a pretty cheap date for a really great time. It’s $5 per person (studio fee) and then 5 cents per gram for whatever products you make. (A bar of soap is usually less than $5.) There are literally over 400 shapes, 150+ essential oils, plus colors and paints to create your own healthy, all-natural soap, scrubs, lotion, lip balm, and tons more. This place is full of creativity. You choose the scents/oils you want in your product, the mold/shape of it, and then you paint it to your liking.
I personally think that this a great place for all ages and relationships. A girls’ night, birthday party, couples date, you name it. The first time I went here was on a blind date and *luckily* the date was a smooth one. You can easily strike up a conversation while creating your art, but it also allows you to have silence if 1.You really want to concentrate on your work and 2.The date is struggling.
I highly recommend checking this place out and don’t forget to make a reservation. Just try it—I promise you’ll thank me later.
BY: CARLY CALLISTER
Ingredients Graham cracker crust: 1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs 1/2 C sugar 6 T melted butter 1 tsp cinnamon Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon together. Add in melted butter and mix until mixture is sticky enough to put into a pie plate.…
A child tugs on her mom’s pant leg. “MomomomMOMOM!” she yells, begging for attention. “Just hang on, I’m on the phone!” the mother pleads, attempting to finish her conversation. How often have we seen this scene play out in various ways? I remember being that…
Ice cream is a beloved treat all across the world. Nowadays, it seems that most ice cream shops are in a buffet set up, either where you make it yourself or the store puts it together for you. I absolutely love these places because I choose exactly what ice cream and toppings I want. But what about the old-fashioned ice cream parlors? We don’t see many of those around anymore, but they are still here and absolutely delicious! There are pros and cons to both types of ice creams shops. I mean, how can you go wrong with ice cream!
I will refer to modern ice cream shops as ice cream bars. At ice cream bars, you are allowed to select the flavor of ice cream or ice creams you want. From there, you can choose the toppings that you want. Depending on where you go, you may have to pay for each topping separately, or the final price may be calculated from the weight of the final product. If you are paying by weight, the fruity toppings will make your final purchase cheaper. Unfortunately for me, I am a complete chocoholic, so mine are always more expensive—but they are always worth it! Basically, with modern ice cream shops, the main pro is that you are in charge of your order. You get to pick exactly what you want—no questions asked. The main con is that sometimes these shops lack in quality because of their vastness of ice cream and topping selections.
I have only been to a few vintage ice cream shops, but from what I have seen, you get an experience along with amazing ice cream. The waiters are dressed up like they’re from the 50s and the whole shop is decked out like you just walked into a scene from Grease. Generally, you have to pick an ice cream creation that the shop already has on the menu, but they do not skimp on ice cream and toppings! Generally, vintage ice cream shops serve their creations in old-fashioned milkshake glasses or vintage glass bowls. It comes with mounds of ice cream and with the syrup pouring over the top and dripping down the side to make a pool of deliciousness on the plate below. A lot of vintage ice cream creations will also come with a baked good—cookies, brownies, cakes, etc. If the shop makes their baked goods in-house, then you usually have a winner. The main pro to vintage ice cream shops is that the quality goes up a notch from modern ice cream shops in the ice cream and presentation. The main con is that the ice cream generally comes in large portions that are pretty expensive, so you end up paying more money to oftentimes not even finish eating the delicious treat.
Granted, this opinion piece does come from my own experience, so go out there and try them both for yourself! Sometimes different moods call for different shops. If I just want a lot of cookie dough, sprinkles, marshmallows, syrup, and more on my ice cream, I’ll just go to an ice cream bar. But if I am in the mood for a whopping amount of ice cream and a baked good that is simpler in its contents, then vintage ice cream it is!
Treat yourself to some ice cream today—you know you deserve it!
BY: ELIZABETH HANSEN
The difficulties of parenting surprise even the best of moms and dads. We begin our parenting life staring into the eyes of our little one, believing that we know the journey that lies ahead. We will teach them all that matters to us, and they will, in turn, grow up into the wonderful adult that we had imagined. Sadly, and surprisingly, time ticks away and the next thing we know, most of what we had hoped for didn’t happen after all.
Disappointment does not escape anyone. The question is, what do we do with this knowledge of reality? I will tell you what I did. When my dad was seventy-five years old and I was forty-one years old, I had had just enough parenting experience to realize something; at this stage of my dad’s life, he did not need to hear anything he did wrong as a parent. He needed to know all the good he did, and he needed to know that I felt only gratitude for him.
With this revelation, I created what I believe is a gift that every parent deserves. I began thinking about how much food was involved in the good memories of life. I began to gather stories of times spent with my dad and the food that helped create those good memories. I wanted to do just a little bit more than simply tell the story of our times together; I decided to add to these stories the lessons I had learned from my dad when we were together. From my gratitude grew a box of memories, associated with food but inspired by the lessons learned from a father.
Because my dad did not live in the same state as I did, my gift would need to be mailed. I drove around gathering up all the food I needed to mail, and then I wrote the stories. I began my gift with a letter of explanation, part of which said, “My gift to you this day is a special way of saying ‘Thanks for the memories.’ In this box is a sampling of foods that I associate with you and the good memory that lingers with them still. Love to you, Amos.”
One of my stories began “All of my memories, at any stage of my life, of going to the movies with you, are wonderful. One important lesson in life stands out thoughhonesty. I remember when I reached the age of twelve and the price of a movie ticket for me went up. Needless to say, I certainly did not look twelve years old, nor did anyone at the movie theatre think so. Every time we’d go to buy my ticket, they would guess me as a “child.” You would always correct them and tell them how old I really was. Your simple and direct honesty set a very strong example of integrity and I desired to be just like you.”
Another story reads “We usually think of a ‘security blanket’ as some kind of tangible object. For me, one of my most treasured ‘security blankets’ was the twelve years that I spent on the ice, looking through the Plexiglass and seeing you in the coffee shop, eating toast and jelly, exactly at the same time every morning. I doubt you knew the value of what you were giving me nor the magnitude of the positive effect it would have on my life. As a mother today, my most important daily goal is to simply be there––always––at the same time––each day––just as my dad was, in the coffee shop.”
If you are fortunate enough to have one or both of your parents still around, I hope you will take the time to share your food memories and maybe a lesson or two that you learned while spending time together. Let them know that they did something right––that their hard work paid off and that you not only appreciate all they did for you, but that you learned from them as well. If your parents are no longer with you, write down the stories anyway for future generations to learn from.
After receiving my gift in the mail and reading all the stories, my dad called to tell me that “this is the best gift I have ever received in my whole life.” At that moment, I realized that my gift to him turned out to be equally as valuable to me; I had made my dad feel like a successful parent, and in turn, I felt like a successful daughter.