I've started to realize lately that there is a lot of unfinished business going on with me. For the last two plus years I've been involved to one extent or another with elder care, end of life care, along with our regular family business of work and living. Both of my parents shuffled off this mortal coil last year with a bare gap of nine months between them. Sometimes it seems as though nothing in the last two years really happened, and sometimes I feel as though it happened to someone else a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
One of the reasons that I think this is coming up right now is the fact that what Alan and I have been involved with for the last several months has been cleaning up the family house and rehabbing it for sale. We've finally started the work we need to do and fortunately, most of what needs to be done is as I like to say, "cosmetic." Alan says it's more like "heavy make-up." The place hasn't been changed in 34 years.
For the first few months I just couldn't face doing it. I couldn't look at those yards of kelly green carpets, the '80s plastic butcher block counter tops, the fact that one had to walk out the front door and completely around the house to get to the laundry room. How is there not a connecting door?! It turns out that my mom's friends asked her that all the time. But she liked it that way. Go figure. The place was a meat locker from the lack of dual paned windows, another thing that Fran blew off with regularity. Evidently she said she liked wearing a coat in the house. For me going there was painful and not just because I expected to find penguins living in the spare room. I just couldn't stand being in that empty house, seeing the last 34 years of my life just rolling by before my eyes like a bad episode of American Horror Story. It seemed way too overwhelming. I couldn't face the task of sorting through everything and making decisions.
Of course I'd talked to friends, I'd heard stories of people taking years to sort out the family home after the death of parents. Some friends told me to act fast, the old "pull the Band-aid off the scab." Other friends told me to take it easy, and we'd find our way in time. Actually the thing that I began to realize was that by letting the house go, I was closing a big chapter in my life. I'm actually surprised it took me this long to realize it, but I was going to be closing the door on all we'd all been through for the last 3 years. Even though I wasn't going to be moving, I was going to be moving on, and that would be a good thing.
So we sort of struck to the middle track, not moving too fast and not too slowly. We gradually started the process and before we knew it we found ourselves starring in our own HGTV special. Alan and I hadn't done a home rehab project since our house in LA 20 years ago. That little adventure took over 3 months and we stayed in the house while it was going on. There was so much plastic sheeting it was like living in a cross between Silence of the Lambs and Contagion. Two decades having passed since the last time we looked at counter tops. We realized we had a lot of catching up to do.
First of all we aren't in LA anymore, so the task has been finding good help on new turf. But,we did our homework and it seemed like in the blink of an eye, we had carpenters on speed dial, found ourselves watching scary movies and staring at the closet doors and hinges rather than the guy with the butcher knife hiding behind them and saying "where the hell did they get those drawer pulls!" In short we found ourselves in Rehab! Yes, yes, yes. Only we weren't having to live in this plastic sheeted mess. we just had to fix it, or find the right people to fix it. Luckily it appears we have and that is what's been consuming a great deal of our time. Of course in the middle of all this I managed to get that stinky, rotten flu that was going around, but we pushed forward and are on track today. House rehab as I'm learning is a marathon not a sprint.
One of the things I've missed most during this process has been my regular cooking. I've managed to log a day here or there, but too often lunch has been grabbed outside and dinner is a steamed artichoke. Last week however we seemed to get over the hump and I've started cooking again. I haven't given any dinner parties but I have managed to make a few things that are quick and easy and nothing can be quicker or easier than this Persimmon Ice Cream, and yes, I'm calling it ice cream even though it contains no cream and only two ingredients. It doesn't get much faster.
Persimmon Ice Cream
Here's What You Need:
2 very ripe Hachiya Persimmons (the large heart shaped ones)
1/4 cup coconut milk.
Here's What To Do:
Freeze 2 Hachiya persimmons until they are rock solid
I bought 4 super squishy soft Hachiya persimmons at our Friday Sonoma Organic Farmers Market. These little buggers were so, so soft that he actually had to put them into a box to keep them from exploding. I put the persimmons directly into the freezer the next day they were solid.
Take 2 large frozen persimmons and peel them.
When they've been peeled, chunk them up.
Add in about 1/4 cup of coconut milk. You can also add almond or rice milk if you wish. You can even add in buttermilk or cream, but then of course it wouldn't be vegan. But then again you might not require a vegan recipe, so there's that.
Turn on the food processor and swirl the persimmon coconut milk into "ice cream."
Scoop it out and serve it up.
There it is, simple and sweet and creamy, without any sugar or dairy, you have ice cream. Serve it up immediately or shove it in the freezer to keep it chilled until you're ready to enjoy it. And boy we did! Two persimmons make enough ice cream for 4 people. Coming up next, more fast recipes for a rehabby mood. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori