I know it’s an odd time to post an ice cream recipe with it being winter and all… but I have been sitting on this one for a while. I perfected this amazingly delicious Blackberry Lavender Ice Cream this summer, but I could never bring myself to post it (and you will understand more on why in a minute). But as I have spent the last week reflecting on how terrible this year was for me, I figured it was as good a time as any to share this recipe with you guys.
Seriously…this year sucked. Starting in the spring, a lot of very unfortunate things happened one after another and after that, I was just never able to turn it around.
The hardest part was, my year started off so strong. The first week in January, I went on a first date with a frat boy who wore a bright orange polo, a vest, torn up jeans and boat shoes. I didn’t think much of it because let’s be real…frat boys are not really my style. But he made me laugh and his mom owned a lavender farm (which is the coolest thing ever)…so I thought, what the heck?
And somehow, over the next few months, this frat boy made me feel, for the first time in my life, that I was enough exactly the way I was. Since I was little, I have always felt I was deficient in some way – never quite as good as I wanted to be. This led me on a constant quest to be skinnier or prettier or smarter – the list goes on and on.
But then this kid comes along and makes me think….maybe this whole time I’ve been wrong. Maybe I am okay just the way I am.
He not only saw the good sides of me (one of those being the Boyfriend Chocolate Chip Cookies), but he still seemed to like me even when the not so good sides came out. Things like the awkwardness over emotions, the anxiety, the depression and a whole bunch of other things I usually don’t show people.
The whole thing sounds pretty great, right?
It was…until he left. Until I had gone and allowed myself to be completely open and vulnerable with someone for the first time EVER, and he decided he didn’t want to try long distance once he moved.
Cool. Cool. Cool.
I will just go ahead and add that onto the raging abandonment complex I developed after my mom passed away.
And worst of all, all those things he made me feel about being enough were now gone with him. To me, this proved what I had always feared – me, just they way I am, isn’t enough at all. Not even close.
It was awful. But of course, I had to pretend like everything was okay. That this wasn’t THAT big of a deal. He was fine – so I had to be fine too. So I kept forcing myself to go out on dates.
There was a 28 minute date, a date where someone confessed their love to me and I cried (and not in a good way), a date that never happened because I got stood up, and a few more of the un-noteworthy type. And then of course, there was the hiking date from hell where I actually THREW UP. Yeah…that really happened. TO ME. IN REAL LIFE.
It was one awful thing after another. But as I am trying to go into this new year with a more positive outlook, I decided I should share the few things I did learn from this miserable year of dating.
You might as well benefit from my suffering, right?
Here is goes….
- Hiking is the WORST. Avoid it at all costs.
- The Japanese Dollar Store Daiso is amazing.
- Pizzicotto has the best gnocchi in Brentwood. (Ask for it Sorrento-style)
- Boys who stand you up and then later come back with a crazy story for why they stood you up are complete LIARS.
- Make sure you know the difference between someone who is honest and someone who is just telling you what you want to hear.
- Lavender is the closest thing I have ever seen to true magic. It can help soothe aching muscles, reduce stress, promote better sleep and a bunch of other super amazing things. It also happens to taste amazing in baked goods – examples Lavender Honey Cheesecake or Lemon Lavender Macarons.
- A boy who wants to move in together after meeting one time is insane and should be avoided at all costs.
- Some boys may be sweet talkers (especially the Latin variety), but that does not make them sweet people. You have to make sure they are BOTH.
- Beware of boys in boat shoes.
- If you are talked into a hike, make sure you bring extra water so you don’t get dehydrated and vomit.
So there you have it. My lessons for the year. I would say this is pretty useful stuff.
But I guess if I am being totally honest, the most important lesson I learned this year is that I still have the capacity to love. After my mom died three years ago, I didn’t think that was possible. And even though things with this boy didn’t work out the way I wanted them to, I will be the first to admit that he did show me that my cold dead heart could feel something again. And once I realize that I don’t need a frat boy to show me that I am enough exactly the way I am, I think that lesson might come in handy some day.
Anyway, I will stop talking now. Here’s to hoping the next year will be filled with lots of cookies and ice cream, friends and family, and laughter and love.
Oh, and about the Blackberry Lavender Ice Cream…it’s fabulous. The freshness of the blackberries paired with the slight hint of lavender really make this something special. And, the best part is – there is no ice cream churner required! Enjoy!
BLACKBERRY LAVENDER ICE CREAM
BLACKBERRY LAVENDER ICE CREAM
- 2 pints of blackberries
- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lavender flavoring or extract
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream (chilled)
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and lavender extract. Set aside.
- In a food processor, blend blackberries until pureed. Add 1 tablespoon of water and blend a little bit more.
- Add the puree to the condensed milk mixture and mix until combined.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat heavy cream on medium/high until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the whipped cream into the blackberry/milk mixture and mix until combined (1 -2 minutes).
- Line a bread pan with parchment paper and pour blackberry mixture into pan. Freeze over night.
- If you want, once the ice cream is frozen, you can drizzle purple melting chocolate over the top.