Yesterday, I ran errands in Manhattan. I highly recommend visiting Manhattan during the final long weekend of summer. It’s empty, and you get the full attention of anyone unfourtunate enough to be working at the few businesses that remain open. As pleasant as it was to run my errands without having to contend with the usual throng of humanity, my little trip to Manhattan really made me appreciate my particular corner of Brooklyn.
From my subway station, my home is a fifteen minute walk. My neighborhood is as packed as Manhattan was empty. No one goes to the Hamptons for the long weekend. They are gearing up for the huge West Indies Labour Day Parade that ends here in Flatbush. People were out on their stoops, on the corner and in their yards. There was loud music music playing. I mean really loud music. People were playing music from their car sound systems, from their home stereo systems aimed out their windows toward the yard, from huge stacks of speakers rented for the entire weekend by buildings where everyone chipped in for the cost. Just as I would get out of earshot from the slow jams blasting from one party, the dancehall mix from another would take it’s place…and then the hip hop…. and then the reggae. It was awesome.
Also, It is finally hot in NYC and I am much more receptive to the heat and humidity at the very tail end of an unusually pleasant summer. I find myself really enjoying the heat that I would normally find unbearable. It helps that I am currently not on any deadlines. This perfumed coconut date shake also helps.
This recipe was adapted from Gather Journal (Caravan, The Dessert Issue), which I purchased and read for the first time recently. Gather has beautiful art direction and almost no adds. The photos in this issue have the aesthetic of super saturated postcards from a road trip covering deserts all over the globe. The recipes were inspiring…Tostone with Mojo , Avocado and Watermelon Radish anyone? My favourite offerings though, are the short personal narratives written by a wonderfully diverse group of people. “Old Spice” by Alia Akkam is this perfect, tiny window into how food, memory and identity come together over late night snacks. In short, Gather is my cup of tea.
I started to crave this shake as soon as I read the recipe, but then the weather was so cool this summer that the need for a frozen liquid meal did not present itself until just now. It is delicious! I made the shake less sweet and added orange blossom water, cardamom and cinnamon to give a bit of perfume.
PERFUMED COCONUT DATE SHAKE
adapted from Gather Journal
- 2 cups ice
- 1 or 2 ripe bananas (depending on how sweet you like your shake)
- 3/4 cup pittted Medjool dates
- 1 cup stirred, canned coconut milk
- 1 cup unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (I crush cardamom seeds. You may want to add more if you are using the powdered stuff as it will have lost some of it’s perfume.)
- 1 Tablespoon orange blossom water
- a cinnamon stick for garnish (optional)
Put two glasses in the freezer. If you have a good old fashioned blender, you can toss all of this stuff in and blend it until smooth. I have an immersion blender which can be attached to a small chamber. If you are in the same boat as me, I recommend blending the bananas and dates until the mixture is smooth. Add the ice and process until it is crushed. Finally add the milks and the aromatics and blend it until it is smooth. Serve it chilled in the glasses from the freezer.
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