“All we need is here on Earth, about every other day…”
My love of homesteading sprawls at the root of persistent creativity and spur of the moment living. I wake up to a smattering of orange on the wall, or pink tangerine sherbet, and as my eyes flutter to keep open I examine the palette in an attempt to accurately guess what time it is based on the color scrawl. I look over to see Ben’s eyes closed and hear his breath is still rested deep in a dream some place. Before we have murmured good mornings with lips meeting, before our feet have smudged the wood which will carry us, we are met with a day which already welcomes us with great opportunity. “What will I make today? How will I honor this day of life which flourishes before me?”
Homesteading is a craft of ultimate creative living. Each day my people and animals need to be fed, we all need love, and we all need to work together to keep the ship not just afloat but thriving. At the center of it all is the gift of free will and a question which begs of us, “What will you do with this time alive?” Will you let it whither by the wayside? Will you spend it contemplatively among the corn? Do you need extra rest to help fuel you later in the day, or to prepare for another project? Will you roll around in the pleasure of simply being? Will you let the lamb fall asleep nested on your thighs? How deeply will you live and love? What will you do driven by desire?
Any day I spend creating, to me, is a day well spent. That does not have to manifest itself in what others may measure as greatness. Greatness often sweeps its way of pleasure through the conduit of sweet simplicity in my life – an adoration for the common. My most treasured moments and textured elements of life are the low lying fabrics of detail typically passed over by the casual eye that is too busy roving onto the next field of sight to appreciate the veiny splendid underbelly of what lies before us in the moment.
“All of this for an ice cream recipe?” is what you may be thinking, and the answer is yes. All of this for an ice cream recipe. When I make anything, love is the greatest fuel behind it. I love the grain of the strawberries in my hand as they seed onto the board. Their tartness enlivens the juices of my mouth. As I handle the stem I recall the excitement of what it is like plucking them fresh and taste the anticipation from when I once saw them a pale green waiting on time to ripen them crimson. I get enraptured by how the fresh goat milk ice cream will make Ben feel when he comes home with muscles sore, for that moment when he gives a deep, “Mmmmmmmmm!” – and how he needn’t say more for me to truly know. I get excited that our roommate Sam will be able to pause in her day from rescuing animals and farming to come in and let the sweetness be an accent to her day. If I can make folks feel better in a day, in a moment, or cared for at all, then I figure I have done a good job as a human.
Making food, fibers, prints, scents, and so much more from the ground up (truly, from the ground) is infinitely more rewarding than a quick purchase, ready made from the store. Living my life by hand is a way I intentionally thrive in order to weave as much creativity into this time I am blessed with and I am fortunate to be living. It is a great weaving of love. The more time and love I invest into any project sustains a savor so rich it cannot be plucked from a shelf. When you taste this ice cream, I hope you feel similarly and that you are in touch with the gifts of the Earth and animals. Remember you are creating for yourself and those you love. Indulge in the pleasure and treats of the world!
Goat Lovin’ Ice Cream!*
1.5 lbs fresh, unfrozen strawberries
4 cups raw goat milk
1 cup heavy cream
1.5 cups sugar
1 (long) vanilla bean
*The ingredients I use are farm fresh, raw, organic, or locally produced. I encourage you to support your local farmers and seek similar supplies for a more natural, healthy, and high quality treat for you and your loved ones; however, if any of these resources are more difficult to find near you, you may substitute as needed.
Chop up your strawberries to a degree in which they will blend well. We have a Vitamix which blends everything quite excellently but I still chop into small pieces. After you are finished chopping the strawberries pile them up in the Vitamix or blender.
Add the raw goat milk and heavy cream in with the berries in addition to adding the sugar and eggs. Blend on a low speed until everything is mixed in well together.
Take your vanilla bean and split it lengthwise down the center. With your fingers, uncurl the sides of the vanilla bean while taking a spoon and scraping out the granulated beads of the vanilla bean. Smell your fingers. Isn’t that delicious?! Mmm…You may now add it to the blender and mix well after enjoying the smell.
Blend it all up together.
Using a thick bottomed pot (so as to avoid scalding the milk) set the heat on low and add the mixture into the pot. Gently stir the milky magic mixture to keep any ingredients from settling to the bottom of the pot. Do not let the mixture boil or burn – keep the heat low and gentle as it marinates all of the flavors together.
Let the mixture sit in the fridge until it cools.
When your mixture is cooled it’s time for the ice cream magic to ensue!
I use a Cuisinart ice cream and sorbet maker which uses a frozen canister for churning the ice cream. Use whatever machine or hand process you are most comfortable with to complete your recipe. Get the ice cream to a consistency you like the best and then it is ready for enjoyment by all!
I like to cut up extra berries to serve on the side or on top of the ice cream. Sometimes I like to chop up different varieties, simmer the fresh berries in a little bit of sugar, and then add to the side. Today’s version is clad with a sour cherry grown from my Momma’s tree and hands.
Cheers! Taste the Love.
Don’t forget to thank the goats, the ground, and your strawberries!