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May 13, 2013

How an Ice Cream Maker Made My Mother’s Day

This year, John was not able to be with us for Mother’s Day. He was in California, attending and celebrating his younger brother’s graduation from college (go, Joseph!). I met said brother when he was something like twelve or thirteen years old, and I am so proud of who he is as a young man, a brother, a brother-in-law, an uncle—and a student: he graduated with honors! Bummed as I was not to have John around, he had very, very good reason to be away.


The bonus was that before he left, John gave me a Mother’s Day gift. We don’t always do gifts. More often we celebrate with a meal or an outing, so this was a surprise. It probably shouldn’t have been, because I’ve been raving about the ice cream maker attachment for our stand mixer for weeks. I can’t eat dairy for Henry’s sake, and a summer without ice cream is not summer, to me. We’ve been buying “ice cream” made with coconut milk, but that stuff is expensive, especially considering how good it is and how quickly we go through it with all of us—not just Jacob—eating it. I’d been trying to justify getting the attachment for John’s birthday next month (mine is just before Labor Day), but John had a much better idea.


We’ve had it less than a week, and I’ve already made three batches of ice cream. Jacob will watch the thing go for a full twenty minutes, updating me on its progress (“It’s going awound!”). One recipe was a bust, but the other two—oh my goodness! The woman behind the blog, SpeedbumpKitchen, is a genius. Her kids have dairy, egg, and nut allergies (sound familiar?), plus she’s a pediatrician. I took her basic vanilla recipe and added in cookies to make cookies and cream, and separately, pureed strawberries to make, well, strawberry.


Thanks to her recipes and her cone recommendations, last night Jacob had his first ever ice cream cone.


Every time we find something else Jacob can eat like a “normal” kid can, we are so grateful. Living in a city, in a time with easy Internet access and so many people sharing their recipes and goods online, we are so fortunate to be able to find things like dairy-free ice cream within reach. And the stuff is darn good, too!


I grateful that Jacob could eat the ice cream cone, but I was probably more grateful for the effect it had on him. After a day of pushing the boundaries, contradicting me at almost every turn, he ate this thing without a peep, spilling maybe one drop of the whole thing. And then he fell asleep super easily. That might have been the greatest gift of all!


Scratch that. Knowing there’s most of a quart and eleven waffle cones still in the kitchen is even better!


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