Monday, May 3, 2010

easy as ice cream

(because sometimes making pie is anything but easy. To be discussed in a future post. Also because this ice cream is ridonk easy.)

I know what you're thinking. I don't have an ice cream maker. This post is completely irrelevant to my life. Next! But it's okay. What if I told you that the (soft serve!) ice cream I want to tell you about needs only one ingredient, doesn't require an ice cream maker, and literally comes together like magic?

Maybe you would say that it's too good to be true. And I get that. It is all too easy nowadays to feel tied down to reality and ugly truths, to think that there is no way out of your mess, to fear that what you see is all there is and all there ever will be.

But here is something that I am learning: the thing that has always been familiar to you (a banana, a life plan, your heart/soul/mind) can transform. It can transform in ways unimaginable. And bearing witness to this transformation, in turn, changes you.

Yes, the banana is what turns into ice cream! (See how relevant this is to your life? Also, brace yourself.)

First, grab a banana or two (one if you’re still totally skeptical if this is even going to work, two if you’re hungry). The ones that are slightly speckled with brown make the best ice cream, but you can get away with most stages of ripeness. Slice up banana(s) and place on plate; stick plate in freezer for at least an hour.

Take plate out. Use fork (if necessary) to pry frozen banana slices from plate. (If you left the plate in the freezer for longer than 3ish hours, give it a few minutes to defrost on the counter.) Dump bananas in your food processor or blender. (I hear you could also use a hand mixer.) Turn it on and let it run.

Soon, your bananas will look like minced garlic. You may think “how in the name of cuisinart is this supposed to make ice cream?” Believe in your bananas. They are working for your good.

Presently, your banans will come to resemble mashed potatoes and start getting stuck. At this point, open the lid and use a spatula to kind of break up the big icy banana lump and redistribute the mixture. You may have to do this a few times. Almost there!

I can’t adequately explain what happens next. There is this moment when the mixture morphs into something quite unlike minced garlic, quite unlike mashed potatoes. Ice cream! You may scream. This is totally normal.

At this point, you can start digging in. OR you could add peanut butter. OR…remember this guy? A spoonful of dark chocolate spread makes it go down soooo easy.

Blend just briefly to combine. 

To be honest, my life feels like mashed potatoes right now. Heck, I might still be in the minced garlic stage. (There aren’t any illustrative photos for evidence, so I can’t really be sure.) I do feel a bit pureed, like a metal blade is whirring through, chopping up all the frozen pieces, frequently getting stuck. The metaphorical ice cream seems like it is lifetimes away. But I think this banana ice cream waltzed into my life for a very significant reason: to remind me to keep my chin up, to hope. Hope for the sake of presenting a cheerful face for the world doesn’t really mean anything, but hoping for ice cream and knowing that it has been promised to you is quite different. There is good, dazzlingly good ice cream to come; I can almost taste it. So I keep the food processor running…and I hope.

Here’s to your ice cream, figurative or literal: hoping you may catch a glimpse of it today…or at the very least eat it by the heaping bowlful!


  1. this recipe is easy enough for me :)

  2. steph, you're amazing.

    You've got such a way with words; loving the rhetoric.

    Also loving the idea of banana ice cream!

  3. wow steph. love the metaphor. i think i'm still in the freezer, but if you're promising me ice cream, then i will believe.


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