There was no dinner at the country house. It was a rehearsal night for me, and the group I was working with threw themselves a little first-night-of-the-season party. I ate a couple bites of cheese and crackers. She met a friend to chat after work and grabbed a bagel for the train ride home. But that was her lunch, apparently, as her all-day meeting had not taken a break long enough for her to fetch the lunch that was in the office fridge. When I found her–having walked home from the train since I was late with the rehearsal stragglers–she was unhappily poring over her laptop, processing the all-day meeting notes into her tasks for the next several weeks.
I left her working and returned from the kitchen with two little ramekins, each containing a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a smear of peanut butter, a drizzle of chocolate syrup, a dab of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of granola: a little salty, a little bittersweet, a little creamy, a little crunchy, cold on the tongue on a warm summer night. And, of course, some carbs and protein.
I won’t pretend this was a balanced meal. (What was I going to do, top the sundaes with strips of grilled chicken, carrot, and green pepper?) But it was comforting, and not too indulgent. And nobody was cranky afterward.