Photos by: Kimberly Cadena & Julian Vu
Words by: Nora Oppenheim

This Ain’t Your Niece’s Ice Cream Social

A typical sundae this was anything but. Last Thursday, zine-fans and foodies alike gathered in the name of all things holy: ice cream, community gardens and the latest issue of The Runcible Spoon, Washington’s preeminent food zine. The zine’s name, for all those wondering, derives from a children’s story by Edward Lear, and a runcible spoon seems to be something like a spork. (For the vocab nerds among you, kicking yourselves for not knowing this word runcible – fear not, it’s a nonsense word!) In any case, the name seems to convey a multi-purpose culinary utensil, and the zine itself lives up to the name. Recipes, comics, reviews – anything that warms your palette can be found within the lovingly photocopied pages.

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>>>>>>>>>>>> Here is a Featured Event >>>>>>>>>>>>
Friday 03/10
Caroline Rhea from The Caroline Rhea Show and Biggest Loser LIVE at Arlington Drafthouse @ Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
$25 / $25
Caroline Rhea, stand-up comedian and actress, brings a fresh, smart and spontaneous approach to all of her work. In 1989, Caroline ventured to New York to start her career in stand-up comedy. She studied in the stand-up program at the New School of Social Research and trained at the comedy club, Catch a Rising Star. With nightly gigs at New York's venerable clubs, Caroline's status quickly grew and she became an integral part of the city's comedy scene. Her career was further boosted by numerous appearances on "MTV's Half-Hour Comedy Hour," "Comic Strip Live" and "Caroline's Comedy Hour." For the last seventeen years, Caroline has continued to perform to sold-out audiences in top comedy clubs all over the country and in Canada. Her feature credits include, "The Perfect Man," with Heather Locklear, a supporting role in "Man on the Moon," the story of the late comedian Andy Kaufman, co-starring Jim Carrey, "Christmas With the Kranks," opposite Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, and the wrestling film, "Ready to Rumble," opposite Oliver Platt, David Arquette and Scott Caan. Caroline's television career has taken off since she first starred as Aunt Hilda on The WB's sitcom "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch." She will next be seen in Lifetime's made for television movie "Fat Like Me," airing on January 8th, 2007. She was last seen in a one hour stand up special, part of Bravo's "Funny Girls," entitled "Rhea's Anatomy," which aired on Halloween 2006. Other credits include; host of "The Caroline Rhea Show," regular guest on Whoopi Goldberg's "Hollywood Squares," Drew's girlfriend on "The Drew Carey Show," the made for television movie "Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire," "Pride and Joy" on NBC, Host of NBC's "The Biggest Loser", Comedy Central's "Pulp Comic," "Comic Relief 8" and "HBO's One Night Stand 2005." She also appeared in the pilot of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," written byLarry David. A Montreal native, Caroline currently resides in New York and Los Angeles.
>>>>>>>>>>>> Ok, back to the article! >>>>>>>>>>>>

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As could be expected from a group devoted to art, writing, food, and any combination of the above, this ice cream social elevated the genre to an expert new level. The event was held at Marion Street Intergenerational Garden, a two-rowhouses-wide space where children and adults alike get their hands dirty sowing and reaping. You may recognize the garden’s name from its recent Basil Bonanza, a basil-themed potluck followed by banished? Productions’ projection of Kurosawa’s Dreamson the garden wall. This particular evening, the children of Marion St Garden could be found on the sidewalk out front, selling purple okra and cherry tomatoes (among other delicious-looking vegetables) they’d harvested in the garden. The threat of melting ice cream was kept under control by keeping it in the freezer of one of the zine editors, who lives next-door to the garden. The open yet cozy space of the narrow lot lent a distinct garden-party feel to the evening, evoking the nostalgic life-of-leisure spirit of events like Dandies and Quaintrelles.

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The event was sponsored in part by Seasonal Pantry, whose patronism took the form of donated ice cream. Seasonal Pantry is a new favorite in Shaw, a store modeled on general stores – or, at least, the feel of a general store, because no general store has this many top-notch items. Seasonal Pantry sells all manner of delicious preserves in simple but attractive jars and bottles, like lemon and tomato confits, alongside attractively displayed cans of oatmeal and tomato paste. They don’t stop at the pantry though, moving into the kitchen with butchery and, of course, ice cream, as we saw at Marion Street. Classic favorites like vanilla and chocolate were available, along with more creative ice cream flavors, ranging from fudge ribbon to basil, and some peach for good measure. One of the Runcible Spoon crew brought her own homemade ginger chocolate chip ice cream, much to the delight of anyone hovering near enough to the ice cream station to get in on it before it was all gone.

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To top it all off, guests were asked to come armed with the accoutrements. The toppings table was witness to all manner ofgarnish, a veritable panoply of items to spice up (or further sweeten) the delicious ice cream. Among the spread, one could add to their ice cream anything from the group of sprinkles (all kinds!), nuts, Hershey syrups and maraschino cherries. If traditional toppings didn’t strike your fancy, you could pick from apple-o’s, gummy worms and Swedish fish. Amid these storebought items were more gourmet homemade options like lavender whipped cream, chocolate mint sauce, balsamic reduction, toasted ice cream cone bits, and macerated peach slices. And of course what summer sundae party would be complete without a variety of fresh fruit options? Containers of raspberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries and bananas dotted the toppings table as well.

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Overall, the event was a great way to get people together. Not your average zine release party, there were people of all ages represented and Marion St Garden proved the perfect setting. One girl could be overheard remarking to her friend that they should have get-togethers with their own friends more often that don’t involve alcohol. The Runcible Spoon ice cream social was anything but sober though: there was plenty of ice cream and good cheer to go around.

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Comments:
Recent Comments:
  • Laura H says:

    Gorrrgeous photos!

  • Bradley says:

    This looks so wonderful!

  • Shannon says:

    This looks lovely, fantastic photos guys!