Tag Archives: Fathers Day dinner

A Year Of No Sugar: Post 64

“But wait!” I hear you asking, “What was the dessert was for June?” See- I knew you were paying attention. Life got busy and I never did write about what our one dessert for the month of June was.

Just for fun, here is the list thus-far of what I call our “Desert Island Desserts”:

  • January: Ilsa’s-Turning-Six Chocolate Cupcakes
  • February: Not-Quite-For-Valentine’s Chocolate Mousse
  • March: Oh-My-God-Sour Cherry Pie
  • April: Greta’s-Great-Grandma’s Famous Chocolate Cake
  • May: Eve’s-Childhood Rhubarb Pie
  • June: ???
  • July: Well-We’re-Going-To-Say-Peach Gelato

So what about June? Well, for the first time, and by special request, we had our first non-homemade dessert of the year. To celebrate Father’s Day we went- as we have for the last few years- to A&W.

Lake George A&W

My husband Steve adores A&W. A few years ago when he discovered that there was an A&W in Lake George- a scant 45 minutes away from our house- and that it was a nifty car park one with window trays and everything- well we had to go eat there! Right away!! Consequently A&W is the only “fast food” restaurant our kids are familiar with. They don’t even have indoor seating- if you’re like us and choose not to eat in your car they have picnic tables. Consequently, they are only open for the oh-so-fleeting and ever-so-touristy Lake George summer.

Just as well. You can’t eat food like that very often- retro or not- without feeling like a parade float. But we usually manage to amble over there a few times per summer; obviously, this year would be different. But I almost balked when Steve suggested it for our monthly treat… oddly enough, I think in the back of my mind I just assumed I would make all the monthly desserts this year. However, as of June, Steve was the only one of our family who had yet to pick a dessert. And it was Father’s Day. How could we refuse?

I am happy to report that our one and only fast food meal of the year was a success: there were burgers with “special sauce,” onion rings and french fries, even a chicken nugget or two. The girls had games on their colorful meal bags to entertain them which was entirely unnecessary since: a.)the waiting time for our meal seemed to be about three minutes, b.)the food comes in the “meal bag” (should I eat? Or play?) and, c.)they were far too busy marveling at the novelty of having exotic delicacies like ketchup and juice for the first time in six months to require further entertainment.

The piece d’ resistance at any A&W of course, is the root beer floats: Ta DA! Our official June dessert. All of us got one but Ilsa, who was pining away for an ice cream cone instead. Now, after six months drinking nothing but water and milk, you can imagine what a sensory shock root beer in a frosty glass with drippy, swirly vanilla ice cream pumped into it would be… pretty much the gastronomical equivalent of taking an Amish Family to a Las Vegas burlesque show.

Root Beer Float

Wow, it was good. Wow, it was s-w-e-e-t.

As we enjoyed our treat, we tried not to dwell on the fact that most of the other clientele showed evidence of eating this type of food all too often. Even the young, multi-pierced waitresses were sporting a fair bit of what Dr. Robert Lustig calls a “soda belly.”

Later, when at last Ilsa got to choose her small soft serve ice cream cone- her first ice cream cone of the year, mind you, what flavor do you think she chose? Bubblegum. Bubblegum! She promptly pronounced it “delicious,” and offered me a lick so I could silently pronounce it “abominable.” So sickly, fakey sweet with that most artificial of aftertastes… oy! Talk about going from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Still, the kids were beside themselves, and after months of being the big meanie it felt good to give them one meal of unmitigated freedom. At one point Ilsa commented, “Mom, Father’s Day is turning out really fun.”

And Steve? He was one happy dad. Who knew root beer could do all that?

Visiting the Great Root Bear

oneinathousandlogoby E.O. Schaub


I’m not sure what it says about me that I asked for- and got- a rotating black plastic composter for Mother’s Day (Woo-hoo! Party at our house!) but it only seemed fair that when Father’s Day rolled around, my husband should get what he wanted: a family trip to the A&W.


This is just a little more complicated than it might at first sound, because the nearest, and frankly, the only A&W we know of is located in the summer tourist town of Lake George, a good forty-five minute drive away from our home in Vermont. As it happened, this was good, as it gave us the opportunity to have a lengthy conversation with our four-year-old as to whether a root beer float constituted a dessert or a beverage, what in fact root beer was, and whether she could have a lemonade too (no). This was followed by a conversation with our nine year old as to why it was okay to eat this fast food.


“I thought fast food was bad,” she said with that wonderful knack kids have for distilling everything you’ve ever told them in all it’s infinite subtleties down to a single blunt point.


“Well yes… it is…” I said, wondering for the four millionth time what I was going to say and whether my anticipated explanation would really make logical sense, or simply be fodder for the “my-parents-were-big-fat-hypocrites” therapy sessions some decades from now. “Well. The thing about fast food is that it is not good for you. And so we shouldn’t eat it all the time. But this is a special restaurant that is Daddy’s favorite. So this is a treat.”


And how. For a family that defines McDonald’s as “Convenient Public Restroom,” this was big stuff. Continue reading Visiting the Great Root Bear