Well, in case you haven’t already heard, it snowed here in Chicagoland last weekend. The snow itself wasn’t a big deal, just a light dusting on all the trees and cars and buildings, but the fact that it came, right after a week of warmth and sunshine and 60-degree evenings where I rode my bike like I was 12 years old again, was a grim reminder that no matter how late the sun stays out, no matter how many times I don’t need a jacket, no matter what the calendar says, it’s still not exactly spring yet. It still can snow.
Now, fellow Chicagoans, I know, I know what you’re going to say: Hello? This happens every year! It’s only March! Last year, it snowed in April! I know.
But listen, it’s still kind of a bummer. It’s like when you apply for that job you really want, the one close to home and with great benefits, and just when you’ve had your third interview and thought you’d gone and aced it, you get a rejection letter. Or when you’re ten years old, watching the snow outside, thinking for sure you’ll get a snow day, and you don’t. Or when you bake bread for the eighth or ninth time, all hopeful and expectant, and you end up with weird ribbons inside the loaves that you’d thought were perfection. Dashed dreams make the heart sick.
Of course some people would say there’s an easy solution to this problem, one that’s pretty simple: lower your expectations. Wish for less, and you won’t be hurt as often. There’s truth in that. And I guess it makes sense.
Monday, just as quickly as the snow came, it melted, revealing again the green (!) grass and blue skies that hint winter is ending, and despite myself, despite the snow, despite knowing this all can change in a moment, despite possible heartache to come, I found hope.
And, to celebrate what I believe to be winter’s maybe-not-today-but-sometime-soon end, I combined POM Wonderful and Simply Orange juices to make homemade ice cream! And homemade popsicles! Just like the ones my grandma used to make us when we’d been playing outside all day! Because as long as we’re waiting, we might as well have tastes of spring—or better, summer!—to eat. I mean, hello? There’s nothing heartbreaking about that.
POM-Orange Ice Cream/Sorbet
Adapted from Cafe Liz
A few notes on this recipe:
1) Coconut: To add a coconut flavor, I whizzed coconut flakes in the food processor for a few minutes—good flavor, but makes for slightly chewy bits throughout, so next time I’d try coconut extract, as you’ll see in the ingredients below.
2) Ice Cream or Sorbet? I don’t really know which is the right term here, and I’m sure one of you out there will, but the issue is: this frozen dessert has milk in it, but not as much as the juice, and it turns out like a creamy sorbet. Maybe that’s what I should call it? Creamy sorbet? Yes. That’s good.
3) The juices! Thanks again to POM Wonderful for the juice and also to Simply Orange for giving me some of theirs. I hadn’t thought about it before, but I always used Simply Orange juice when I made my favorite orange sherbet. It’s 100% juice, the only kind to drink, especially when you look at juice labels. High-fructose corn syrup should be eliminated.
1 1/4 cup Simply Orange juice
1 cup Pom Wonderful juice
1/2 cup milk
1/8 cup sugar
2 teaspoons coconut extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Mix everything together in a bowl, and stick it in the fridge to chill. Then run it through your ice cream maker until it forms a soft sorbet. Freeze to harden, and let thaw a bit before serving.
Bonus! Pom-Orange Popsicles
If you have those cool popsicle makers, they’d be great here. If you don’t, there are plenty of ways to improvise. I used dixie cups and lollipop sticks (which I’d bought a long time ago to make cake pops?).
POM Wonderful Juice
Simply Orange Juice
Fill cups 2/3 full with one type of juice, freeze for about an hour and add the other juice. You can add the sticks halfway through or when you add the second juice; you just want to get them in there before it’s all frozen, so they’ll stick.