What Remains. (at Christmas)

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In these days before Christmas, grief tends to hit me more than usual, and sometimes the only reprieve for it is to hold the ones I love a little tighter. So today I look into the eyes of my most precious gifts and I place these moments deep in my heart, knowing that even these as sturdy and beautiful as they seem, they do not last. Even these will pass and grow into something different, and love is the only thing that stays. Through the birthdays and holidays and memories made…only love. Through the questions and disappointments and empty spots at the table, only love. ONLY LOVE remains.

May it beat loud and clear in our hearts this Christmas and remind us that there is greater than just what our eyes can see. May it thread its way through all our holiday celebrations and triumph all our days, the good and happy ones and yes even the sad ones when we remember those who are not with us, and that which is never quite the same. 

Peace!

The Tale of Three Persimmons + A Recipe for the Awesomest Dairy Free Ice Cream, Ever.

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Once upon a time, I found myself with three very ripe persimmons, and I knew that I needed to get them in my belly as quickly as possible. I felt that I needed to eat them immediately, but also that I wanted to savor them, and have some fun with them, so I began to look at recipes. All kinds of recipes.

Persimmon pie. Persimmon pudding. Persimmon bread.

I was looking for something that would really highlight the delicate flavor and that would capture the sweet aroma that was coming off of these round beauties. But nothing seemed quite right. Pie seemed to complex. Pudding would have been too cooked. Bread seemed too ordinary.

And that’s when I thought of it.

Why not make persimmon ICE CREAM?? Hello.

Only problem was, it was nearing 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and I had to go pick up my daughter at school in fifteen minutes. I would have to make it now, if I was going to make it. No time to look at a recipe! So I just began scooping and creating! Don’t you just love when that happens??!!

I scooped out the flesh of the persimmons and popped them in the blender. Then I added some coconut milk. And then, as fate would have it, there was some leftover pumpkin in the fridge, so I added that. Next, a little cinnamon.

At that point, I must have stuck my nose in the blender and fell into a sensory coma. The smell was intoxicating, and I knew I had hit the jackpot!

I knew I was onto something, and when I finally came to again, I added some ginger, a little salt, and some xanthan gum to hold it all together.

But that was not the end! I happened to remember my favorite essential oil, wild orange, right at that moment, and I immediately ran to get it! I knew it would take this whole thing over the top.

I splashed a drop into my “ice cream” mixture and sure enough! What happened next is the stuff that dreams are made of. I could have eaten a whole bowl of this by itself. But then I couldn’t have called it ice cream. And what good is that??

So I placed the mixture in my handy dandy ice cream freezer, hit the on button, and went to pick up my daughter.

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When we came home, there was the most luscious, dreamy ice cream waiting for us.

And I kind of fell in love.

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The end.

Print Recipe

Persimmon Ice Cream

 Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 very ripe persimmons (the softer and juicier, the better!)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 14 oz. can coconut milk (I like the Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 drop wild orange essential oil (I use doTerra brand)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients in blender, except melted coconut oil, for about 40 seconds. While blender is still running, pour coconut oil in, and blend for another couple seconds. Pour into ice cream freezer, and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Ours took about 20 minutes to set up.
  2. Sprinkle with gingersnap cookies and raw sugar. Lick your spoon and enjoy!

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Why Do You Cry, Mama?

It’s Saturday and it’s still early.

I get up and make some coffee, and lay out my still-sleeping daughter’s clothes for her Christmas program. Everything is fine, until I go online to check my e-mail, and that’s when I see the pictures. The heartbreaking pictures of yesterday’s shooting. We don’t watch the news at our house, and barely any tv, so this is the first time I see any details about the tragedy that happened in Connecticut.

I instinctively click on the stories. I want to know what happened. I probably shouldn’t have. I don’t make it past the first picture of one of the little victims, before my vision is blurred by tears. She was six years old, and her eyes were bright, just like my little girl’s are.

I can’t read anymore. Tears keep coming as I scroll through the frantic faces of parents and the eyes of the innocent, that are now frozen in the headlines of this nations worst moment.

“Twenty Children Die in Elementary School Shooting…”

“Teacher Huddles into Closet with her Fifteen Students…”

I sob through them all.

Eventually I realize what time it is and that I need to get ready for my little one’s program.

But not before she catches me, with tears. “Why are you crying, Mama?”

Normally, I would say something like, “oh, I just read a sad story” or “I just thought of something that made me a little sad.”

But today, I can’t speak.

Today I realize that what is making me sad is way too deep, to try to explain to my innocent four-year-old. So I quickly dry off the evidence of my anguish, and move on with my day, but the question remains.

“Why do you cry, Mama?”

Well, my dear.

I cry because no six-year-old should ever have to hide in a cabinet at his school while someone shoots his friends and his teacher. 

I cry because there are at least twenty parents that don’t have a child to give their gifts to, this Christmas.

I cry because of what could have possibly turned an innocent little boy into such a distressed man, that he would shoot help-less children.

I cry because he must not have known love, as I know it. He must not have known a safe place for his pain. And so he resorted to violence.

I cry because I live in a nation that so quickly turns to gun laws and legislation, for help, and yet ignores the true source of wisdom and love: God. 

I cry because the earth is missing twenty little angels, whose calling and purpose was snuffed out by another human being.

I cry because there is so much love in my heart for the world, and yet it seems like that is not enough. It is not enough to heal the wound. To fill the void that is left in the face of this evil.

And so, I do the only thing I know to do.

I reach down and pick up my daughter. I kiss her matted morning hair and pray, pray that she never has to know the real reasons why I cry, today.