I got an ice-cream maker for my birthday (an extremely generous and thoughtful gift to myself). It came early, which, as it goes, was a blessing, and I started at the beginning with vanilla coconut ice-cream. Had to be coconut, that goes without saying. It was AMAZING!!! So soft and creamy, so much fluffier than making it without the ice-cream maker, which can be delicious in a dense chocolate ice-cream, like this, but for vanilla you want some genuine softness too. And the novelty when it comes out like soft-serve ice-cream from a van, which I haven’t had since I was a child, was just beyond thrilling. Then it got to the third massive bowl and it dawned on me that I might have given myself a problem here… it’s just too good and I’m just too…
The rest of the internet’s buzzing like bees about spring, and I’m still in the clutches of winter. Oh well. This story starts with the Peaks under a thick blanket of snow, overnight the word went white (and the word was SNOW!), no, I meant world, the world went white when we were expecting spring, winter came back this March with a vengeance, and it was so beautiful…
…it started like a dream. I literally exclaimed with amazed surprise over and over like an idiot (I was saying something weird I can’t remember what annoyingly but it wasn’t normal) at 5.30am when I opened our bedroom curtains to a winter wonderland. The snow coming down thick and fast, like I can barely remember seeing. It was a complete shock!
We’ve been waiting for months and months for snow, aching for it to make the hills even more magical, and had pretty much given up hope. And then suddenly there was more snowfall in one day than I’d ever seen. I love the snow, there’s just nothing more beautiful to me than the snowy world. I love colour and live in such a colourful environment at home, but shapes and patterns excite me so much and in monochrome the world just becomes so incredible, so poignant and stylish and thrilling all at once.
The day started off well. Even glamourous (i.e. I put mascara and lippy on), which is a really good start for me, though perhaps not my most practical moment! I was so happy, so alive, so in the moment and care-free, of late there have been many troubles on my shoulders and to feel free of them even for a moment was just so wonderful. The world was fresh and real and exciting.
As we walked out the Canada geese were going wild, honking loud and circling round.
The main road was closed and snowed up, and we were reclaiming it from the machines, it felt so wild and free and fantastic! Everything looked amazing!
And then both my hips seized up miles from home out in the hills and my boots starting rubbing badly into blisters, my face also apparently went purple, a nice touch, and it literally descended into a scene from a survival film. This is the last photo of the day (my total favourite, I am in love with it), the hills completely whited out, my lens soaked, thinking, oh my dear God how am I going to get home?
I had to really grit my teeth and haul myself on like I have never done before, and there has been a lot of gritted teeth over the years believe me. I swung those legs through thick snow, in agony, and made it! And now, the next day, I literally cannot walk, I’m bent over and able only to take baby steps, and those are so painful. I’m literally like a ninety+ year old woman with severe arthritis and a hunchback, it is beyond horrifying. I can’t move my legs out of bed I have to lift them, and they’re so bloody heavy, which doesn’t improve my mood. It’s a nightmare.
My knee has gone very badly for weeks and weeks before so that I couldn’t get up stairs even, but never my hips, not like this, and to be honest I feel pretty down about it. Also it’s just before my period when I am always more emotional. And my birthday is in a few days and Dan and I have planned a trip home to spend it with my twin Anna and my parents. I don’t know how I’m going to physically make it. I can’t get up the stairs let alone steam about train stations catching connections. But I can’t let her down so I shall have to find a way. Why does life have this frequent habit of caving in on your head, just when, for once, it should be good, shouldn’t it? And all I want is to get back out there, to see the hills gleaming in the sun, it’s like nothing else in the world, but I’m STUCK IN HERE!!!
cue vanilla ice-cream sent from heaven ♥
You might think I would have had enough of the cold but OH NO I wanted that ice-cream with a scarily fierce determination and NOTHING IS GOING TO KEEP ME FROM IT!!
I served mine with crumbled walnut halves, cacao nibs, coconut flakes and a squeeze of agave or maple syrup, which was delicious. Date syrup is also amazing ♥
Dan is currently out gathering even more coconut ice-cream supplies, and also for cabbage leaves to soothe my hip joints. I can’t think of anything less glamorous than cabbage knickers, which is what I’ll be sporting for the rest of the week… thank God for ice-cream!!!
- 1 1/2 cans of coconut milk - solid is best
- 3 tbsp vanilla essence
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 4-5 heaped tbsp natural sugar syrup like agave, or coconut sugar
- OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
- cacao nibs
- crumbled walnuts
- natural syrup to drizzle, maple, date, agave
- coconut flakes
Melt the coconut oil on a low heat and take off heat as soon as melted. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix, heating for a few minutes or more. Leave to cool.
Pour into your ice-cream machine as per instructions. Take out and leave for five mins or so before scooping to serve.
Pour into your container, cool, freeze and whip it up as often as possible to pump air into the mixture.
Textured variations: If you add half of the melted coconut oil to the mixture as it churns in the machine, or as it is setting in the freezer, it will form harder buts which are really good and a lovely texture. And, if you use coconut sugar the ice-cream is like fudge it's so good.
If you have vanilla pods then use them, perhaps half half with a good vanilla essence or paste, they're a little out of my budget zone at the moment but one of these days I'm going to treat myself to some and whip up a (snow)storm.
The ice-cream is also really good less sweet, just add less syrup, and also you can use half half stevia drops with natural syrup too.
I’ve been reading… Seamus Heaney ‘Station Island’
I’ve been listening to… the Sound ‘I Can’t Escape Myself’
I’ve been watching… Trapped