Hello, I am back. Yes, I know I had promised to keep this space updated for the two weeks that I have been absent. Honestly, I fully intended to. I even bought the airline wifi package for just that purpose. But, alas, I was lured by the wiles of the California coast and found myself whittling my time in sheer bliss. The laptop ended up being dead weight and here I am not even apologizing for the step-motherly treatment. The thing is, I am not really sorry, after all. This was my vacation for the year and I was having a jolly good time. Surely, you will not begrudge me for it?
Having said that, I have to confess that when I boarded the flight in NYC, I was still not ready to go away. The days before the departure are a blur to me. So many things to get done, a magazine to design, put together and publish, posts that were due for other platforms, recipes to be tested and shot. I didn't think I had time to stop. I was running and I fleeting even thought that the vacation had come at the wrong time. I mean really. I was fatigued, stretched, sore and in general not in a mood to go have fun. My mind was stressed and wired and filled with dire thoughts of incomplete projects and jumbled feelings.
In an effort to distract, I signed up for the on board wifi and feverishly plodded away on my to-do list. Because, not doing so, meant spending time with some unfathomable feelings that were stirring within me. I should have known better. My inner self is not the kind that can be coddled away with distraction. Eventually, as I took the CalTrain into Mountain View from the SF airport, I gave in. Once I set foot in the expansive West and breathable California air where I could walk without being jostled, I succumbed in spirit and soul to simply being present. My mind quieted and being back for just a couple of days now, I have to say, I needed that vacation. I needed to step away and not be so connected all the time. I need the breathing space to hear myself and enjoy.
All it took was a relaxed dinner with friends to put me into that space of consciousness. A walk to the peaceful and oh-so-quiet Shoreline Bay the next afternoon only helped. It was quiet there people! There was city behind me but here all I could hear were the sea birds and lapping water. Remember the photos from the last post? That was from there. Not miles away from civilization with nothing around but a mere stone's throw away from a golf course and a public park. The tone of the next few days was set for me. I literally felt stress draining away from inside. I chilled. I sat at the golf course restaurant, drank a beer and read a totally chick-flicky novel and loved it.
After that came San Francisco, a marathon that I did not run after all, several coffees and more wines in Sonoma. But, that is all for another post. Today, I am back at my desk in a brief stopover at home before flying again. My stresses are also back but I am learning to keep them at bay and just be present. It isn't easy but I am trying to go easy on me. That is perhaps, the most ironic thing ever. I'll learn I think. Very slowly. I have time, it is all mine. So we'll see how it goes.
This Summer I have had cravings for ice cream. It does help that I live very close to an Italian gelato shop for quick fix. Yet, there is something about hand churning ice cream that is so satisfying and deeply satiating. I made this coconut milk ice cream before I left for the vacation. This was another of my psyllium experiments that I have to say was more successful than I had expected it to be. The thing I have found with vegan ice cream recipes is that they tend to be icy as the fat content from the cream is missing. Often you'll find starches bring used to thicken and correct the texture of the thinner nut milks. Psyllium does a similar thickening trick and cutting through some of the icy-ness that may result when frozen.
I also used coconut milk that has a higher fat content than nut milks. Also, it helps to use only the cream part of the coconut milk, that part that floats onto the top inside the can, and discard the watery bits. I am usually a bit skeptical about using coconut products as I grew up with the notion of its distinctly clingy flavor. Unless you like the strong taste of coconut, unrefined coconut products can very easily over power the subtler notes in a dish, especially, those with delicate fruits. Surprisingly, I found that the coconut cream was much more of a manageable and refined note in this ice cream. I had already cut into the coconut-ness by infusing it with thyme. Roasting the peaches made them a touch more bolder and able to stand up to the other flavors.
This is not a blended ice cream and it tastes as such. You get to taste every flavor with integrity. I used only 2 teaspoons of ground (by hand) psyllium husk in this recipe and the ice cream but creamier than without but still a little icy. I would recommend doubling the amount of husk and reflect that suggestion in the recipe.
For the recipe, please
, carries a full feature on the history of ice cream along with some delicious seasonal frozen dessert recipes.