After the chill of morning wears off, I take our baby outside to inspect the progress of all our trees and plants, and he wants to touch everything he can reach. The blooms on the lilac bushes are getting ready to open, and the rhubarb, sage and parsley are poking through the dirt in the small corner garden...
Pink flowers have appeared on our little peach tree, which we just planted last year and had a wonderful first crop of twenty perfect peaches in August. I can't wait to make jam and pie with our own peaches again. After walking around the yard, we sit in the shade under the apple tree, and he curiously inspects the grass with his fingers.
We planted four trees last year on one side of our house, two small maples and two flowering hawthorn trees, and I check them anxiously to see if they've grown in their first year. I have a vision for that side of our house, when we have the money and time to fix it up; there will be a path from the gate, under the shady row of trees, to a patio where we'll hang bistro lights overhead an outdoor dining area for casual summer dinners. Potted flowers everywhere. Separating the patio from the backyard will be an arbor, maybe with grape vines or climbing roses, then boxed garden beds for tomatoes and herbs.
Through the arbor and into our backyard, we'll build a little playhouse under the big maple tree for our little boy. Over the existing patio next to the back door, we'll build a pergola for some shade, but keep an open area for the fire pit. Trellis walls around the pergola for more flowers and a little privacy, and built-in storage benches for firewood, marshmallow toasting skewers and outdoor cushions. Another fruit tree to replace a dead one that needs to be cut down. Lavender blooming in the corner of the yard, next to the lilacs. Potted flowers that don't mind the shade of the pergola. It's all going to be wonderful, but it feels so far away.
With the days getting warmer, I've made a few batches of homemade ice cream already, and we've been opening all the windows to let in the cool spring breeze. These popsicles are an easy, healthier alternative to ice cream, though, with just a few ingredients blended up and frozen into a naturally sweetened cold treat. Phoenix is too little for popsicles this year, but next year, I think he'll love these.
Banana Coconut Cream Popsicles
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- 2 large frozen bananas, cut into chunks
- 1 14-oz can unsweetened coconut cream (or full-fat coconut milk, if you can't find the cream)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
In a blender, puree the frozen bananas, coconut cream, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth and thick. Pour into the molds. Tap the molds firmly against the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and to let the banana mixture settle around the chocolate chips.
Insert popsicle sticks and freeze until solid, about 8 hours, or overnight. Run the molds under warm water to remove the popsicles, and store them in the freezer in an air-tight container.
Yields 10 popsicles
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen