This weekend has been momentous in 2 ways:
- My #3 kid went camping with her friends. With minimal adults. For the first time.
- I used up the last of the frozen blackberries I picked last summer.
Both events are poignant. Associated with loss. Suffused with joy and gratitude.
Through last winter and into this spring I have been grieving for my children’s childhoods. For all the times I was too busy trying to keep us afloat to be with them.
I grieve, even as I am full of pride to be associated with the people they have become. Are becoming.
And as we creep toward the long hot days when bucketloads of blackberries will once again be ready to pick for the freezer, I’m also already anticipating summer’s decline.
Brené Brown calls the sense of loss that is intertwined with what we love and value most foreboding joy.
I have friends who are trying to become parents. I have to stop myself from saying: Don’t! From warning: Don’t you know your children will break your hearts?
Because I know (in my heart) that’s not the point. Our children break our hearts. They are meant to. Just as summer is meant to end.
So. As my 15-year-old #3 baby-child begins the process of fledging.
As the days warm and the blackberries begin to bud, I am reminding myself that joy is acceptable.
I don’t have to temper it.
In the spirit of joy (and summers beginning & summer’s end) here’s my favorite treatment for frozen blackberries. This weekend I made it one last time.
Blackberry~Vanilla Ice Cream Bites (AIP & WahlsPaleo+)
- 1 tin additive-free coconut milk, refrigerated
- 1 cup frozen blackberries
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
Scoop the coconut cream out of the cold tin of coconut milk into a medium-sized bowl with high sides. Reserve the remaining coconut water for another use.
Add the vanilla powder and whip the coconut cream until smooth.
Keep the blackberries in the freezer until this point.
In small batches, 6-8 at a time, drop the frozen blackberries into the coconut cream, and stir until each berry is covered in semi-frozen cream. Scoop each coconut-covered berry out and lay on a plate or a baking sheet.
Repeat until all the berries are covered.
Place the coconut-covered berries in the freezer. Freeze for one hour, until firm and transfer to a glass container with a lid.
Store in the freezer.
Note: If you are picking your own blackberries to freeze, the secret is to freeze them in a single layer on baking sheets first, then transfer to freezer bags or glass containers, to ensure that each berry is frozen separately.