I’m really grateful for tonight’s post.
I’m grateful because, as we speak, I’m diving into a bowl of the most wonderful, delicious raw and vegan blueberry ginger ice cream, which I made today without an ice cream maker, in about 10 minutes flat. I’m grateful because, with a final looming, I’m still able to savor something sweet, and be reminded that life is sweet, too—even when school is anything but. And I’m grateful that I get to share this super simple recipe with all of you.
In a much bigger sense, I’m grateful tonight for all of the abundance that I take for granted in my life. This morning, my recitation ended early, and I was all excited that I’d have a whole extra thirty minutes in which to grocery shop (I’d been wondering when I’d do it this week). When I came home an hour later, dragging a giant haul of produce, I came home to a dark and silent house. My power, which has been on and off since DC’s terrible storm on Friday, was out again, and I had no idea when it would go back on.
I can survive a few days without lights or internet; after all, I pretty much live in the library as it is. But what would become of the food I’d so carefully budgeted for this week? There was too much of it to transport quickly to a friend’s house (though a few of my most wonderful friends offered that to me—thank you, ye who know who you are), but even if I could, I don’t have a car. And what if the power was out for more than a day or two?
Faced with these questions, and the financial stress that would come from losing a week of food, I did what any good blogger would do: I tweeted. I tweeted and I Facebooked. A bunch of you suggested a cooler with ice, which was a great idea! Ultimately, I transferred some of my produce to the freezer, knowing it would stay pretty cold for at least a few hours, went to the library, and kept working, because I didn’t have the energy to make a decision about my groceries at that moment. And like magic, when I got home at 8, the lights were on and the fridge was humming: apparently, it came on right before I arrived.
The thing I realized between the time I left my powerless apartment and the time I returned was this: the prospect of my organic kale wilting, while frustrating, was pretty insignificant compared to other casualties of the weekend storm. A friend told me this morning that a state of emergency had been declared in parts of Maryland when the death toll rose to 22. Trees are down everywhere, folks have been crashing into cars on the highway or getting electrocuted by live wires, and elderly people who are dependent on oxygen are in serious danger if the power continues to be unreliable. In short, the state of my fridge does not qualify as “urgent.”
Now, I’m not saying it’s a terrible thing to bemoan the prospect of a fridge full of needlessly rotting food. Practical problems are practical problems. But I am saying that perspective was in order this afternoon. I take my access to food—high quality food—for granted. In some ways, blogging makes this worse; I’d be a lousy food blogger if I didn’t see my plate as a canvas, and food as art, but on the other hand, I sometimes forget that food is also a precious, precious necessity. I am so lucky to be well fed, and even luckier that my steady access to food grants me the space in which to get creative and playful with my food choices. I’m lucky that I can and do prioritize my ethics through the things I eat. I’m lucky that my meals are delicious and healthful. In pretty much every way, I’m lucky.
Tonight, I’d encourage all of you to take a moment to be grateful for the food you have. Be grateful not only for its taste and nourishment, but also for the simple fact that it’s there. And if you want to celebrate your good fortune with something sweet, I highly recommend this ice cream.
Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream (raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)
2 frozen bananas
1 heaping cup frozen blueberries
1/2 inch fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp ginger powder if you’re using a food processor)
1/4 cup cashews
2 tsp lemon juice
2-4 tbsp almond or hemp milk
If you’re using a high speed blender: Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender. Start with 2 tbsp of almond milk and use the tamp to try to get the mixture going without adding too much liquid: you want an ice cream, not a smoothie! If you need the extra two tablespoons, use them, but be patient and keep blending with the tamp till a thick consistency is achieved.
If you’re using a food processor: Soak cashews for at least 4 hours before prep. Place bananas in a food processor and let the motor run till they’ve turned into soft serve. Be patient. It takes a minute or two, and the processor sounds like it’s going to break. It won’t. Keep going. When you have soft serve, add the blueberries, powdered ginger, cashes, and lemon, and blend till totally smooth. Add the almond milk only if you need a thinner consistency; you may not.
You can store the mixture in your freezer and give it a whirl in the processor or the blender before serving; if you don’t, it’ll be a little "frosty," but if you do, it will seem as though you just prepared it! Trust me; my ice cream waited for me all day, until I re-blended it and served it anew.
This ice cream is shockingly delicious, given that no ice cream maker is involved and it’s also totally dairy free. The slight hint of ginger pairs beautifully with the blueberries, and the color is phenomenal. As you can see, I served mine with fresh blueberries.
It may actually be my new favorite dessert. Except that’s a dangerous claim, given that I’m posting a stellar 4th of July-themed dessert tomorrow or on Wednesday. We’ll just have to see which sweet treat prevails!
And with that, my bowl of ice cream is done, and so is this post. Night, all.