Do You Step Outside Your Box?

a special feature from Kay & Leslie, founders grandparentslink.com

Let’s face it- as we have aged, our brains function as a task automaton- meaning that we keep ourselves in the comfort zone of what we know best. We tend to find security and well-being in the routines we have set forth, which we manage accordingly.  In doing so, we are truly fulfilled when we experience what we sense is most comfortable or predictable. It’s not that we become boring as we age- rather experience gives us boundaries and parameters in which to operate our daily lives and relationships. There’s nothing wrong in operating in your own comfort zone; it is truly a path of least resistance.

But… along comes the grandkids, and all of a sudden, we fall to the floor and roll on our lawns. We go to playgrounds that haven’t been visited in a while or end up doing things all over again with children that indeed are really outside our daily ‘box’.  That’s why grandparenting is one role in which you must get outside your predetermined comfort zones, and let go (although you may not realize what is happening right then).  The experience outside the routine, outside your box, and well beyond your daily experiences, will definitely color and expand your world.

Can you remember the last time you let yourself get silly where you cried so hard from laughing? Why not make a family comedy night where everyone has to tell jokes or put on a short comedy skit? Your grandkids will never forget the look on your face when you can’t stop giggling together! Have a pillow fight and mess up the room. Don’t clean the dishes and go for a walk. So, when was the last time you thought outside your box or changed up the routine? Get the point?

It’s easy to get into our routines and anxieties revolving around food and diets as we get older. But somethings we just need to let go! Next time your grandkids come over and you’re looking to wow them, break out the ice cream scooper and build ice cream sundaes using all the goodies you can muster up, and eat them to start dinner off. Now, how’s that for trying something new?

Here’s an ice cream sundae recipe that will surely show those grandkids who is stepping outside the box and possibly sharing a new experience. All you have to do is enjoy!
I scream- you scream- we all scream for…ICE CREAM!!

The Ultimate Banana Split
Remember- this is utilizing the ideology that ‘bigger is better’ so don’t be afraid to get huge because this really is The Ultimate Banana Split! With three different kinds of ice cream and a big assortment of toppings, this over-the-top dessert can feed a huge crowd!

INGREDIENTS
4 cups brownie cubes, about 1 lb
7-8 bananas
3 quarts assorted ice cream flavors
Fudge sauce
Caramel sauce
Strawberry sauce
Assorted cookies
Chocolate-dipped strawberries, or other berries
Whipped cream
Sprinkles
Maraschino cherries

DIRECTIONS
Scatter brownie cubes in the bottom of a wide, shallow bowl. Slice bananas in half lengthwise, and place them on top of the brownies, fanning outward in a circle. Top the bananas with scoops of ice cream. Drizzle the ice cream with fudge, caramel, and/or strawberry sauces. Garnish with cookies, whipped cream, sprinkles, cherries, or anything else you can dream up! The ice cream will start to melt fairly quickly, so pass out the spoons and dig in.

RECIPE NOTES
If you have the freezer room, we recommend pre-scooping the ice cream because the ice cream will start to melt as soon as it is scooped. You’ll buy yourself a few extra minutes of perfect banana split appreciation if you use frozen scoops of ice cream. Line a baking sheet or two with waxed paper and soften the ice cream at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Scoop the ice cream onto the sheets and return to the freezer until you’re ready to assemble your sundaes. Once it’s go time, plop the pre-scooped ice cream on top of the bananas, finish assembling, and admire your handiwork before diving in!