Valentine’s Day is treacherous business, don’t believe what the big card, chocolate and jewelry companies tell you on TV. Well, not totally at least. If you are single, or worse yet, WISHING you had a Valentine, it’s a day of skipping through a mine field of emotional triggers. It feels like everyone knows YOU don’t have a Valentine. A day you were last pick for the team. A day you wish would scurry on by leaving you unidentified and unscathed.
Years ago in a date-less year for me, a girlfriend gave me this oversized cup and saucer created by an artist in California. It’s called ‘Histoire D’Amour’ (History of Love ‘en Francais’). The border of the saucer depicts the classic story of love and its dramas in Paleolithic stick form. You’ll recognize the journey. It’s always the same. The initial gasp of realization, the ‘we aren’t on the same page’, heartbreak, reunion and riding blissfully together into the sunset.
As charming as I found the cup it was the intent of the gift that was the best. Girlfriends have each other’s backs. We know in the wrong year Valentine’s Day can feel like a spinning bottle slowing to a stop and pointing right at you; you’ll take the bullet this year. We don’t leave each other hanging out there. If someone’s single, we are their Valentine. If someone’s forlorn, they jump to the top of our Valentines shopping list even before the boyfriend or husband though we’d never tell. And though my gift came in a year that I do not remember as particularly painful or tragic, I’ve never forgot the gesture.
This year my cup runneth over thanks to David Lebovitz and the Perfect Scoop. What could be more Valentiney than Toasted Almond and Cherry Ice Cream? It has been in the single digit temps here and the taste of a cherry is like ‘hope’ to me right now.
I did tamper with Mr. Lebovitz’s perfection, I’ll admit. The recipe in the Perfect Scoop called for one of two options both using cherries purchased in a jar (understandably, who has tart pie cherries lying around? Well, me in this case). I have some hand-picked (by moi) pie (tart) cherries from early last summer that I lovingly froze for the right moment. I’ve made some lovely jam with some but kept a quart pitted and intact. When you toil over the picking yourself, you really want to commit the fruits of your labors to something fantastic. This seemed the ticket.
I used about a cup of the cherries, macerated them with organic sugar, let the juices come up and then chopped and added them to the recipe are directed. The creamy custard base has a true taste of roasted almonds. It called for some of the roasted almonds to be steeped in the base creating almond milk really and the rest are finely ground and included. I went one step farther and drizzled some of the Perfect Scoop’s Lean Chocolate Sauce (‘lean’ I suspect due to its consistency; it is not dietetic in the least) into the mix at the end of the churning. And who can resist these larger than life chocolate X’s and O’s? Found at a charming small market near me, not to be passed up (http://www.morgenchocolate.com/).
I bought this darling simple hand stamped vintage silver spoon from BeachHouseLiving on Etsy.