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Sweet Celebrations of Spring

Ice cream can make Easter gatherings even happier

Photo by Shannon Bennett Campbell Two of the ‘smallest-sized’ soft-serve ice cream cones catch one’s attention at Buckhannon’s Brake’s Dairy King.

Many residents can be found today preparing for weekend events that will reflect Easter themes of reawakening, reappearing, or reunion. With some churches continuing closure vigilance, the gathering of families in home settings may be more prevalent, especially with older family members now having more protection from virus threats.

A rite of spring could be a focus during this weekend of visiting, as carloads of relatives look for a place to allow for enjoyment of their first spring ice cream treat. As I have been able to do some early sampling of this year’s offerings, I can share some top selections based on price, size and taste that should leave one satisfied with this important annual eating activity.

While some may have to drive a few extra miles, I think it will be worth the effort. And, with limitations as they are, our creative resources must be utilized to attain sweet enjoyment.

In the southern reaches of Randolph County, Mill Creek’s Bob’s Mini-Mart gets a thumb’s-up for the very flavorful velvet ice cream selection from Amish country in Utica, Ohio that has perfected quality items since 1914.

At least 12 wonderful types of hand-dipped ice cream can be had, including blackberry cobbler, butter pecan and cashew, lemon cheesecake and sea salt caramel toffee, among others.

Photo by Shannon Bennett Campbell Bob’s Mini-Mart in Mill Creek displays a festive atmosphere for hand-dipped cone varieties.

Soft-serve vanilla and raspberry flavors are also available, and if one likes a blizzard-type ice cream cup, they should order the “Freeze,” which will allow for spooning snickers, Oreo, Reese cub, M&M’s and Heath Bar bites, among other choices.

In addition are popular milkshake flavors, if one is unable to find a cone or a cup of something they like.

My guess will be that everyone in your party will discover something satisfying at Bob’s.

While owners plan to be closed Easter day, should one live closer to Barbour County, aim the vehicle today for Rt. 250 North and look for the Philippi Dairy King about a mile before the town’s residential area is spotted. Owned and operated by the Jenkins family for 22 years, the full-service soft-serve ice cream treats are plentiful and delicious, and a sandwich selection is also offered.

From their milkshakes to Snowflakes (Blizzard-type varieties) to banana splits and sundaes, generous servings are to be expected. And, an especially good cone of ice cream is created when they mix vanilla with raspberry.

Currently, it is a drive-thru operation, but owners are hoping to open their dining room by May or June for sit-down service.

And, not to worry, Buckhannon can count its lucky stars by also having a Dairy King named Brake’s on Rt. 119 South at the edge of town and next to the Corridor H entrance ramp. It, too, is open today, but will not operate on Easter Sunday.

I need to let you know that the smallest “Kitty” cone would out-do most medium sizes. Their complete line of soft-serve items is varied, but includes milkshakes in several flavors, the “Razzle” (similar to a Blizzard), wonderful raspberry, chocolate and vanilla cones, and they even have large to-go ice cream cakes for celebrations or large events. The small size cone I got was so tall I could hardly see over the steering wheel to drive home.

It will be hard to express all the fun that will be had visiting any of these sweet shops. Having friends or family along will elevate the experience another notch.

So, try if you can, between taking in worship services or hunting Easter eggs, enjoying a couple dips of ice cream to make your weekend complete. Sharing memorable times with those you care for most is a splendid expression of the Lord’s legacy of life for us all. And these moments of peace remind us that this life we live is not without its beautiful or sweet celebrations.

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