As you’re aware from my recipes, I’m a major proponent of unhealthy desserts, of “if you’re going to eat a dessert, eat a DESSERT.” That being said, there’s something about fresh fruit that’s sometimes just too good not to be considered a treat. As hot weather approaches, cold watermelon and juicy pineapple can sometimes entice me even more than warm cakes and cookies–occasionally, let’s not get carried away. This week, as the temperature prompted us to plug in our portable air conditioner once again, a cool, creamy, naturally sugary recipe couldn’t be more fitting. Probably my favorite thing about this particular recipe, though, is how incredibly quickly it comes together.
When I am put in charge of making dessert–and I am quite often the one put in charge of making dessert–I tend to put so much pressure on myself, on making a perfect recipe that will totally satisfy everyone. I’ll shut myself away in the kitchen, isolated until everything is completely as I’d like it and I can make a reappearance with my creation. Because I live away from my family, the main experience they have of my baking is the blog–so when I do get an opportunity to bake for them, I put quite a bit of pressure on myself to prove that my food tastes as good as it looks. More often than not, I’ll find some reason to be dissatisfied with the result; even if everyone tells me what I make is great, I convince myself that they’re just being generous.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy every second of time I spend in an apron. But I also love spending time with my family and friends–actual time, not doing my best to react to the few things I can hear from conversations in neighboring room while I scurry between the oven and cupboards. Bringing people joy through food is one of my favorite things about baking, but I sometimes have a nasty habit of getting lost in the process. And that means losing time being truly with loved ones.
As I explained in my last post, that quality time is becoming more and more precious during this part of the year. With some of my close friends moving away in a matter of weeks, the importance of slaving away at a recipe seems to be waning quickly in comparison to the moments I spend actually present with them. I made this “nice” cream in just a few minutes (the time was slightly extended after a minor food processor explosion) one night this week while we had two people over at the apartment. It was so easy, so mindless, so unlike most of my multiple-layer endeavors; I had to brush away the ridiculous thought that perhaps such a simple creation wasn’t worthy of an entire post. But, contrary to that irrational mindset, the amount of work you put into a recipe isn’t always proportional to the satisfaction you get out of it.
As much as I thrive on the feeling of accomplishment that comes with laboring for hours over a new bake, it could never compare to the feeling of sitting with a group of friends and sharing a dessert that may have only taken 5 minutes to make but sure doesn’t taste that way. I’m gaining a new appreciation for those quick and easy recipes I have in my back pocket, and I think my family and friends agree. People say that we must take the time to appreciate the simple things in life–I think desserts are no exception. So, I’m putting down my Steelers oven mitts today and spending my time with people instead of bags of flour and sugar. I personally think this recipe is delicious, but whatever we eat really doesn’t have to be the most amazing food imaginable–every dessert tastes best through smiles and belly laughs.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Mango Basil “Nice” Cream (V)(GF)
This dessert only takes a few minutes to make, and it’s a perfect sitting-on-the-porch type of summer treat!
- 3 1/2 cups diced frozen mango (I like to cut fresh mango and freeze it the day before)
- 1/2 cup chopped frozen banana
- 3 large basil leaves (more to taste)
- Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse until smooth–process in basil leaves one leaf at a time to taste.
- Eat immediately! Or store in the freezer and enjoy later.