Memories of London and a Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Recipe

The cold and rainy days of Spring in New York remind me of my time spent in London. Just out of college and as fresh as lettuce, I acquired a six month work visa and headed across the pond. Awaiting me there were many odd jobs, an ex-boyfriend, a myriad of dirty hostels, and empty pockets. Big empty pockets. In other words, I was broke.

Odd jobs came along just enough so I could scrape some cash together for rent, a day-old sandwich, and a my favorite chocolate ice cream bar, which was a luxury for me at the time. These were my daily fixes, if I was lucky enough to eat daily. I spent the sunny days walking in the park and riding double-decker buses. Rainy days were saved for meandering about the British Museum and perusing the university’s used-book sales. It was there I discovered and simultaneously fall in love with the beautiful and damned Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Times like those were as romantic as they were fleeting. We all have some sort of memory in which food marks a timeline of the past. It becomes a significant part of the surroundings that shape you. Young and impressionable, learning what the world is all about with your own eyes and palate.

Today I look back on that experience, so happy to have had it and even happier that I do not have to sleep in a dirty, lumpy, beer-stained hostel mattress ever again (well, hopefully). Just like our travels, food molds our world. Whether that world is broke and empty or rich and abundant.

Food not only fuels our bellies, but also our experiences and memories in life.  Now I have my own kitchen, where I can create and share recipes that I never would have thought to make years ago.

For instance, I recently learned how to make coconut milk ice cream. I wonder if everyone has memories of food that particularly stand out in their lives. Mine frequently involve some sort of sugary dessert, like the one below. How has food shaped your life? What are some of your most vivid memories that involve meals of the past and how did they shape your world into what it is today?


Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

2 13.5 oz cans of coconut milk (or 2 cups of heavy cream)

1 cup of almond milk (or 1/2 & 1/2)

1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup honey

1-2 teaspoon mint extract

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

Skim the coconut fat cream off the top of the can and discard or set aside the coconut water for another use. With a mixer, blend the honey and cocoa powder. Add the cocoa mixture alternating with the almond milk to the coconut mixture and add the mint. Blend in ice cream maker until thick. Eat. Freeze. Enjoy. Makes about four servings or one if you are like me and devour the entire bowl yourself.