If my body and my spirit could separate, they would have two different favorite seasons. In spirit, I love summer. I love the fact that we have freshly grown salad with our dinner almost every night. That our pole beans are rapidly climbing up the teepee of stakes at the end of our raised beds. That the tomatoes have blossoms that are promising me ripe, juicy tomatoes very soon. That the blackberry bush is growing wildly around the base of my deck, its small white flowers having given way to little green berries.
A troupe of actors gathers in the park on weekends to perform works of Shakespeare while teenagers serve waffles cones of chocolate chunk ice cream during intermission at the kiosk that has been there for decades. Musicians are playing at outdoor stages around the city while tipsy adults recline and picnic on blankets and lawn chairs. Vendors are slinging tacos and gourmet hot dogs from the scorching insides of their food trucks: order in, order out.
My body, in distinct contrast from my spirit, is longing for fall days. Days where I don’t need to blast the AC to photograph a bowl of ice cream that wants to melt in 2 seconds flat. Days that don’t involve sweat dripping from strands of my hair just from walking from my front door to my car. Days where straightening my hair isn’t a futile effort because the humidity level isn’t 53%. I’m a pretty Sweaty Betty every summer, but I will say that being 35 weeks pregnant in 90 degree weather is certainly not making things better.
I find myself daydreaming about taking long walks in non-maternity jeans that don’t sweatily cling to my thighs. I’ve given up on wearing anything other than my pregnancy uniform of cotton maxi skirts. All other skirts and dresses have become obscene when stretched over my swollen midsection. So I find myself browsing Pinterest for fall outfits that might be nice to wear once my body is a little bit back to normal and the days have gotten cooler. Wearing a chunky cardigan while a cool breeze rushes in through the back door sounds awfully nice.
It is at times like these that I must remind myself that blackberries almost certainly make summer worth it. Especially when they are swirled into my ice cream. Even if it does melt almost faster than I can eat it.
- 2 cups blackberries
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ⅓ cup (70 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 cups (480 mL) heavy cream
- 1 cup (240 mL) whole milk
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan, combine berries, lemon juice, and sugar. Heat over medium high heat until berries begin to soften and break down. Help things along by crushing the berries with a wooden spoon. When the berries are completely broken down, wait for the mixture to simmer, then whisk in cornstarch. Cook until sauce begins to thicken slightly (3-5 minutes), then remove from heat.
- Press berry sauce through a fine mesh strainer and into a bowl in order to remove the seeds. Cover the bowl with the de-seeded sauce and chill until cool, at least one hour.
- In a large bowl, whisk together cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Pour cream mixture into your ice cream maker* and churn according to your ice cream maker's manufacturer's instructions until a soft-serve consistency is reached.
- Spoon some berry sauce onto the bottom of a container. Working quickly, plop some vanilla ice cream in, then randomly spoon some more sauce on top of the ice cream layer. Continue layering the ice cream and sauce in this way, ending with a layer of berry sauce on top. Press a piece of parchment paper against the top of the ice cream, squishing it down to fill any gaps. Cover the container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
- Avoid the urge to actually "swirl" the berry sauce into the ice cream with a spoon. Because the ice cream is soft-serve consistency to start, stirring the berry sauce in is likely to homogenize the mixture and you'll lose the swirls.
- *This is the machine I use and love, but I do get commission if you buy it through this link!