You know when you have a really shitty morning (because you’re tired) (and because sometimes you feel like all you do is cook and clean, cook and clean) (and because it feels like the rest of your family just reaps the benefit of you cooking and cleaning and they just play all the time) (which is the truth for 50% of them, because they are children) (and your husband does work, a lot, so it’s a bit unfair of you to be so indignant over the dishes, laundry, etc), and then you complain, and it doesn’t make you feel better? And then you think, “wow, I just burdened someone I love with my complaints and my bitterness and my personal issues, issues that are not theirs to solve, and that sucks. I love that person and I don’t want to do that to them anymore, but I keep doing it. I really need an attitude adjustment.” So you suck it up and go out with the children and have a great time because there’s not a whole lot you love more than being with those two little people even when you have to really parent and you soon feel better and then when you come home things are lots better, because you gained a bit of perspective or blew off steam or whatever. And because your husband did the laundry and dishes and you made a delicious meatballs/red sauce/cheese-baked-bread sandwich thing and there was a bottle of good red wine.
And also this:
Sometimes, people are just nice and do good things for no reason, out of the blue. A lovely lady, friend of my brother whom I’ve never met, sent me an ice cream maker the other day. I was so touched, I teared up.
And then I went home and made ice cream.
I don’t really love ice cream, but when I want it, nothing else will do. And I have been a bit obsessed with making my own ice cream since we went to France and Soizic served us some delicious rhubarb ice cream that was half-sorbet recipe/half-ice cream. I guess it’s the flexibility that really attracts me. How else can you control how much sugar is in the ice cream? Or any other ingredient, really.
But I didn’t buy myself an ice cream maker. Not the whole summer, when fresh ice cream would have been heavenly in the 95-degree weather. Why? Why not invest in something that will bring me and my family joy (well, bring me joy. Bring my family ice cream)? Because I have a real problem spending money on myself, on things that are superfluous. I am frugal to a fault, no doubt about it.
But enough about that! I have ice cream! Homemade ice cream! Here’s what I did for the first batch: I made something up.
Does anyone else cook like this? I read lots of recipes, have a bunch of recipe books, and more often than not, I take elements of several recipes, add things that I love, subtract things I don’t like, and make up something entirely different. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t, but it does make me happy to cook this way.
My dad really hates it, by the way. He used to complain to my mom (who also cooks by the seat of her pants) that she should write down everything she does every time so that when she gets it perfect, she can replicate it. If you are the person in the house who cooks, you recognize that this idea is utter nonsense. Like we’re going to add one more step to the whole get-dinner-on-the-table thing.
So I decided to make coconut/lime/strawberry ice cream, mostly because of the ingredients readily available to me. I knew that you could make ice cream using coconut milk as a base, and I had some fresh (frozen this summer) strawberries that I had thawed out, so I mixed up two cans of coconut milk, about a cup of strawberries, about a half cup of agave nectar (I added until I thought it was sweet enough), about a half teaspoon of vanilla, and a bunch of lime juice (quarter cup?). The result: delicious. It reminds me of key lime pie, except for when I bit into a strawberry, and then I start thinking of ways to combine it with rum (what’s to combine? I’ll just pour rum over it) because the strawberries in it make me think of daiquiris!
I think I’ll do something chocolate next.
Am scary… in love with my ice cream! Mwah-ha-ha-ha!
To sum up: people are awesome, most of the time. Thank you, Jennifer, from the bottom of my heart, for making my week a good one, for thinking of me, for reading what I write, and for being amazing. I’m so touched that you thought of me and did something so nice for me! I sure hope we can hook up in Portland next time I’m in town.