05 June 2008

My Very Own Series of Unfortunate Events (Part 1)

This is a lesson you'd think I would have learned - after all, I'm a mom of 7 (and for those of you who didn't see last week's Wordless Wed. post, #8 is "in the oven" as Tim likes to joke) who lives in W. Africa, where the concept of time and keeping to a schedule is most definitely a "foreign cultural devil." But I've been living in this world for several years now, so why was I surprised by my very own series of unfortunate events still remains a mystery...

1) For several weeks, I've been planning a swim competition/fun day for the elementary students of Sahel Academy. When I've done this in the past, I've always brought frozen Koolaide popsicles and a treat for afterwards. This year, I had the brilliant idea of making and bringing ice cream sandwiches as a fun treat for a hot June day in Niger.

2) We've been having problems with our freezer since March, but arranged to have the repairman come look at it and recharge it so I could follow through with my brainstorm (it helps to have a working freezer when you want to make treats that involve ice cream).

3) Our freezer still doesn't work quite right - although much improved, I must add! I've really begun to appreciate the treat of cold ice water in 110-120' heat - after not having had it for several weeks! So, we made other "freezer" arrangements and continued with my plans.

4) The gal who works for us also sells ice, ginger lemonade, yogurt treats, etc., to folks in her neighborhood - I planned on buying some ice from her to make the ice cream, only to find out she'd cut way back on how much ice she was making because people wanted sweet drinks during hot season. Now, I'm scrambling for ice, since our freezer only works at about 75%...hmmmmmm....

5) We find a few other folks who sell ice. Friends also agree to make ice in their freezer for us. So, Saturday morning, I mix up the ice cream, go pick up the ice and leave it with Tim to churn while I take care of grocery shopping for the week. When I arrive home, he tells me the churn's been going for 1.5 hours, and the ice cream just isn't really thickening.

6) As I'm scrambling for an idea, a friend suggests that we just go ahead and let it freeze as is and the ice cream sandwiches will end up more like frozen milkshake sandwiches.

7) But then, I'm running into a logistical nightmare - how do I get to the alternative freezer where the "ice cream" is freezing to make the sandwiches and get them back in the freezer - since it isn't my kitchen and I'm not wanting to be more of an inconvenience to those who've been helping than is absolutely necessary?

8) Finally, I gave up on the idea of ice cream sandwiches and decided to do brownie sundays - using the cookie part of the sandwich as the brownie and the ice cream as the ice cream! All that remained was to buy cheap plastic cups and spoons to serve them. Unfortunately the store closed early (i.e. earlier than stated business hours, wthout warning) that night... and we ended up having to run back out to get them on Sunday.

9) Fortunately, not a single one of the kids seemed to mind... in fact, several of them said they enjoyed those brownie sundays when they came to say "Thank you!" We even had enough left over to invite friends to swing by the house and join us for some rather soupy brownie sundays/milkshakes later on Monday night!

10) Unfortunately, this series of unfortunate events continues into the next week and will need to continue into another post, as I've got laundry calling my name....

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