The holiday's are coming to an end and that means two things. 1. You have a lot of leftover candy canes, which happen to be perfect for this recipe. 2. You are starting to think about resolutions that will turn you into the new you in 2017. But this year, instead of looking ahead, I decided to reflect back on the last (really awful) year. I apologize in advance for the length of this post...but apparently I had a lot of feelings today.
Dear Lindsay (one year ago today),
Hi. It's me...Lindsay. I know you are feeling pretty terrible right now and all you want to do is get this year over with. 2015 has definitely been the worst year of your life and you would like it to end as soon as possible. I wish was here to tell you that the next year will be all rainbows and butterflies, but unfortunately, 2016 is worse. You will soon learn that as hard as it was to lose your mom, trying to navigate a life without her is much much harder.
In a few days you will spend NYE sobbing in the back room of a party while your brother and Natalia awkwardly try to comfort you. As you can probably guess...Natalia has much more success than Zach. While everyone else is dancing and taking shots to the face, all you can think is that 2016 will be the first year of your life that does not have your mom in it - and that's pretty terrifying.
It kinda goes down hill from there.
Over the next year you will slip into the worst depression of your life. You will spend an inappropriate amount of time in your bed and will cry more tears than you ever thought possible. You will constantly worry about your dad and brother and feel defeated when you can't find a way to help them deal with their pain. You will become so numb that you will forget what it's like to feel any sort of joy or excitement. You will fight with your best friend, you will avoid most social situations, and you will have an absolutely miserable time at a music festival (but that's probably just because music festivals are the worst. I suggest this being the last one you EVER go to).
In 2016, you will wake up almost every single day feeling frustrated and confused as you try to figure out who you are and how that person fits into this new world without your mom.
But I am here to tell you that despite all of this, you survive. Slowly, you start to live your life again. In the next year, you will make some new friends, you travel to amazing places, and even go on a few terrible dates. Just a heads up...one boy will literally run away from you when you try to hang out with him and it's super awkward - but, you survive.
The shattered pieces of your life start to piece themselves back together. Not all at once, and not in the same way they were before - but somehow, they manage to find a way to make it work. In one year from today you won't be 100% happy with where you are in life, but you will finally feel like you are headed in the right direction.
So as the new year approaches, prepare yourself for some really bad days. Stock up on tissues and sweatpants because you will be using both a lot this year. And know, that no matter how hard it gets or how much pain you feel, you make it through.
Peppermint Oreo Ice Cream
- 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 1 cup Oreo, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup candy canes, crushed
- Pink food coloring
- 1 Loaf Pan (This is my favorite)
- On a cutting board, roughly chop cookies. Set aside.
- In a plastic bag, crush candy canes. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix condensed milk, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract.
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream on a high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Add a few drops of food coloring. Mix until the entire mixture is pink.
- Fold whipped cream into condensed milk mixture.
- Once the whipped cream is fully incorporated, stir in cookies and candy canes.
- Line a 4 1/2 x 8/12 inch loaf pan with parchment.
- Pour mixture into pan. (You can crush a few more cookies and candy canes on top)
- Place loaf pan into the freezer overnight, or until firm.