I have had a fantastic week. My friend Vanessa found out hardly two months ago that she needed to move to Glasgow, where she will be attending Glasgow University this autumn. She’d never been to Scotland before – never even been North before – and didn’t know anyone but me here. Moving to the other end of the country is daunting enough, but having to do in less than two months is an ordeal.
A month ago she was viewing flats, this week she actually moved in. Yesterday was what my mother would call ‘une épopée‘ – an epic adventure. Cramming Nessie’s every possession into our backpacks, one small and two giant suitcases, we took a bus, then a train, then a taxi and finally made it to her flat. Her quaint, chic, grown-up flat in the West End. Creaky wooden floorboards, high ceilings, cheerful yellow bedding – for someone who hates moving, I felt quite excited by the possibilities that moving offers. A fresh start, the feeling of adventure and expansion. It’s how I felt when I crammed with the cat into my mum’s overloaded car and followed the motorway signs to ‘THE NORTH.’
But before she moved into to her new flat Nessie called my home hers for a week while she was ‘in limbo’. My neighbour jokes that my flat is becoming a halfway house for stray students waiting for their flats! I’ve had two different temporary flatmates over the past couple of months, and it’s been great to live with my girlfriends. Nessie’s diet and mine are polar opposites: she eats Kraft mac ‘n cheese any time of day while I make my salads and green smoothies, which is hilarious, and we still get along great. We spent a week watching countless Disney films, stealing some rare Scottish sunshine, talking about boys and eating ice cream. While she dug into a pint tub of Häagen-Dazs, I devoured peanut butter cup ice cream for lunch.
Thanks for a great week, my loch Ness monster. Welcome to Scotland, and see you soon!
Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream: sugar-free, with option to make raw
Note: Make the peanut butter cups first because they will need to set in the freezer. While they’re setting you can make the ice cream. BUT remember you need to freeze the bananas overnight for the ice cream, so a little advance preparation is necessary.
For the peanut butter cups:
125ml (1/2 cup) coconut oil
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
about 2 heaped tbsp natural, smooth peanut butter (preferably palm oil-free; use raw to make raw PB cups)
1 tsp stevia
Melt the coconut oil in a small bowl suspended over a pot of boiling water (the bottom of the bowl must not touch the water).
Remove from the heat and whisk in the cacao and stevia until no lumps remain. Set aside for a few minutes to cool.
Coat the bottom and sides of 5 silicone cupcake moulds. Freeze for about 5-10 minutes until set.
Pour about a teaspoon of peanut butter into the cupcake moulds. This is the peanut butter centre of your peanut butter cups. Freeze for another 5-10 minutes until set.
Finish the peanut butter cups by covering the peanut butter centre with the remainder of the raw cacao sauce. Freeze again, until needed this time.
(And lick the bowl if there’s any chocolate left.)
For the peanut butter ice cream:
4 very ripe bananas
250ml (1 cup) coconut milk
3 tbsp natural, smooth peanut butter (preferably palm oil-free; use raw to make raw ice cream)
Peel the bananas and chop them into small slices. Place in a freezer bag and freeze overnight.
Blend the coconut milk and frozen banana slices (a little at a time) in a food processor. After about 3-5 minutes the bananas and coconut milk ought to look creamy, like soft serve ice cream.
Pour the ice cream into an ice cream container. Swirl the peanut butter through it. Break the frozen peanut butter cups into small pieces and scatter them across the ice cream, incorporating them with a spoon.
Freeze for an hour before serving, or until needed. If you are leaving the ice cream until later, you will need to defrost it for half an hour; using an ice cream scoop dipped in hot water also helps to form nice round scoops.
When was the last time you felt that soaring feeling of new possibilities?