Isn't ice cream wonderful?
Doesn't it just make you happy and bring back memories of your childhood?
Well, there's a special reason for these banana splits, with homemade hot fudge sauce, and his name is...
He is a 21 month old who was born with Down Syndrome and a heart defect.
Two weeks ago, doctors told Ryan's parents that there was nothing more they could do for him. He has had four heart surgeries and quite a few setbacks.
Instead of being bombarded with flowers, stuffed animals, and gifts for Ryan his mother, Diane, asked that her family and friends serve their children a dinner they would not soon forget - a dinner of banana splits.
The next day, one of Diane's friends created an event page on Facebook, Ryan's Banana Split Party.
And now, because of this story on the Today Show, people all over the world are having banana splits for dinner. And people that cannot eat them due to certain health restriction ie., diabetes, lactose intolerance, etc. are having other treats or something that they can eat, but celebrating Ryan at the same time.
I was incredibly moved by this story.
When our middle child, our second daughter, was just 3 1/2 years old, she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and needed to go through the first of 6 surgeries to reconstruct her hip. It was, without question, one of the most difficult times for our family.
Seeing the other children with health challenges far more challenging than our daughter's made a lasting impression - leaving me with a heavy heart and yet feeling very blessed.
This is why I share this story with you, as a reminder that you need to hug those you love a little tighter, and do something for them that they're sure to remember for a long time to come.
Who knows, maybe one day when the kids are older with children of their own and you're sitting around the table at Thanksgiving, one of them will say, "Remember the night we had banana splits for dinner? That was so awesome and I still can't believe you let us do that!"
Isn't that what life is all about anyway, making memories?
Once we die, we aren't leaving this earth with all of the material things we've accumulated, the cars, the house, the furniture, or the toys.
What we will be taking with us is the love in our hearts, the memories we've made and the experiences we've shared.
Isn't it time to make another memory?
Have banana splits for dinner.
And then go post a picture on Ryan's Facebook Page.
I adapted this Hot Fudge recipe from Joan at Chocolate, Chocolate, and More Chocolate.
Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce - makes 3 1/2 cups
1 12 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine chocolate chips, sugar, and evaporated milk.
Stir constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat.
Add cream, butter, and vanilla. Stir until butter is melted. Allow to cool for several minutes before serving.
Sauce can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
I rate everything I make on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the best and this Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce earned 3 rolling pins.
It was yummy. Can you tell?
The sauce was delicious and chocolaty.
I just would have liked it a little thicker.
It may not have been true banana split with the long dish and the pineapple, strawberry AND hot fudge sauce, but it was the closest I could get.
I couldn't fit all that into this dish.
But, you can see that I didn't have any problem eating it.
Will you be serving banana splits for dinner?
The party began on June 7th, but will continue until the end of December of this year.
Celebrate Ryan and the ones you love, won't you?
I give you BIG baking hugs and muffins!!