People, I know they’re calling this “the winter that wasn’t.” However, that doesn’t make me feel any less thankful that the sun has turned up its dial, the daffodils are popping up, and I am back on the bike path churning my pedals and donning a tank top. The birds are chirping excitedly, and my pale skin is drinking up every last drop of the sun’s rays. The cats are basking in the light, enjoying the three-season porch, and looking like furry ballerinas as they stretch and preen while they clean themselves in the warmth. If there’s one blessing to cold days and few hours of sunlight, it’s that magical time when the world takes the proverbial shades off of the windows and it’s light until 6, then 7, then 8, then 9…
The time is now to take the cover off of the grill, say goodbye to soups and stews and hello to asparagus, artichokes and ice cream. But not all at the same time. Why don’t we start with ice cream?
Frozen bananas are the David Copperfield of the produce world. They are master illusionists. Just don’t ask them to make the Statue of Liberty disappear. (How do you make the Statue of Liberty disappear? With a tall ladder and a boatload of Lyme-a-way.) Of course, bananas are no strangers to cold desserts. They play the leading role in a banana split, but why stop there?
Peeled and frozen in chunks until they’re hard, with a turn in the blender or food processor bananas become creamy ice cream in their own right. I remember commercials in the eighties that involved kids reading confusing chemical-laden ingredient lists from conventional ice creams. They boasted that their signature ice cream only involved a handful of ingredients, but how about three? (If you want to go a step further, some people make banana ice cream in a food processor with frozen bananas and nothing else.) I used my newest favorite homemade milk, cashew milk, to take this dish to melty perfection, but vanilla soy milk is also a tasty choice.
After the freezing is done, this quick dessert comes together in less than a minute. The only addition this cool and creamy ice cream needs is perhaps a melted drizzle of semi-sweet chocolate chips or a Maraschino cherry or two. (Most maraschino cherries are made with high fructose corn syrup and red dyes, and so I opt for the cherries from Tillen Farms.)