Ice Cream and (Nearly) Icicles

Mmmmm!  Ice cream!  And really, what goes better with ice cream than a cold, rainy day and a long car ride…oh, wait, that isn’t how that goes is it…
A couple weekends ago, my family and I went to the Chicago suburbs for the weekend.  We used to live in Warrenville, and we went to visit friends.  While there, we stopped at maybe the greatest ice cream store in the world–Oberweis!  Today’s blog post is inspired by the wonderful decadence that is an Oberweis shake and the cold, rainy day on which I last enjoyed it.
Oberweis Picture
One for me and one for the hubby!
How often do we have something that is just what we wanted, but doesn’t come at the right time…a beautiful, sunny day when we have to work, a soundly sleeping baby two minutes before pulling into the driveway, an upgraded hotel room on the night you get in late and have to leave early.  So often when these things happen, we are prone to feeling disappointed or frustrated.  We think things like:
“Come on!”
“Why now?!”
“Well that just figures!”
And we miss the opportunity to really enjoy an unexpected or unasked for treat.
Teaching can often be like this.  We think how much nicer it would be if the poetry unit came at a different point in the year, instead of being excited that we are teaching our favorite unit…
Or we are disappointed that the child who makes you absolutely crazy (yes, we all have them, it’s okay to admit it) is out for a family vacation on the day that we are going to be out too, and we let it put a damper on our own personal day and forget that it means we won’t come back to angry notes from a frustrated substitute…
Or we look longingly out our classroom window at the beautiful weather and bemoan the fact we are stuck inside, but then we don’t pack up early and enjoy the late afternoon sunshine.
So next time it is rainy and the weather is chilly and the road is stretching out in front of you, find your own Oberweis (or, if you are lucky enough, the real thing), and don’t let the less than ideal circumstances damper your enthusiasm.  Life is too short to say “yeah, but…”!
Teach On!

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For the teacher:  When was the last time you lived in the moment?  Do you need to do it more often?  Is it or is it not important to do this?  Why?
For the student:  What is something in your life that you really enjoy?  Why do you enjoy it so much?
A Recipe from My Kitchen:

Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème



  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken/chopped into smallish pieces
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • zest of one orange
  • ¾ teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Mix together cream, sugar, and chocolate in saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently and making sure to get into the corners.  Heat until chocolate melts, it comes to a boil, and the mixture thickens some—about 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix egg yolk, zest, and extracts together in a bowl big enough to hold them and chocolate mixture.
  • When chocolate mixture is ready, slowly (as to not cook your egg yolks and get scrambled eggs) whisk hot chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
  • Pour into 6-8 small dishes and refrigerate until set—usually between 4-6 hours.  Cover dishes with plastic wrap once cool.  These can be stored for several days covered, in the fridge.
  • Savor alone or with coffee.  Great garnished with freshly whipped cream or candied orange peel.
  • Note:  If the tiny bits of orange zest in the recipe are not for you (i.e. you prefer a completely smooth chocolate), replace them with an extra ¼ teaspoon orange extract.


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