I totally dropped the ball on a birthday party for the kids this year. Birthday sweaters? check. Quilts? check. Wonder book with at least a week’s worth of entries for the emerging 7 year old? check. Treasure hunt obstacle course? check. Meaningful charm for Mairi’s bracelet? check. Plan crazy, exciting, right of passage adventure for 16 year old? check. Fancy cakes made to their exact specifications? check. Well thought out, carefully planned party? Nope, not so much!
Not that we always do a party. But they did specifically request one this year. To which I said yes. And then promptly forgot about it until just days before their birthday. So when a friend called to say that her son wanted to spend his birthday with us and had we done anything for our kids yet? (answer: yes! A whole, whole lot in fact, just not a party…) Between us we have 4 kids with January birthdays. The answer? A laid-back, two family, 4-in-1 birthday party,
And it was good. Just right, really. Good, nourishing food. Basket ball and ping pong tournaments. Dress up and dance play. A few simple gifts. And the comfortable feeling of being with dear old friends.
There son knit Iain a hat. That one is a boy after my own heart. The beautiful beeswax candle was their gift to Mairi. She’s enchanted. We’re both really itching to make candles now.
Since we had already done the cake thing, I decided to play around with ice cream for the “party”. We made a White Chocolate and Clementine Bombe inspired by this recipe. Our version included home-made dairy free white chocolate ice cream. Which was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself!
Dairy Free White Chocolate Ice Cream
6 egg yokes
1 1/2 cups of sugar
450 ml full fat canned coconut milk
200 grams of cocoa butter, broken into small pieces
450 ml of cashew cream (see below)
seeds from 1 1/2 vanilla pods
2 tsp vanilla extract
To make the cashew cream: place cashews in a high power blended, such as a Vitamix. Add water to the same level as the cashews and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a high power blender, try soaking the cashews for several hours first.
Mix the vanilla extract and vanilla seeds into the cashew cream.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yokes and sugar together.
Slowly heat the coconut milk in a small pot until it just about reaches the boiling point, but do not allow it to boil. Whisking continuously, pour the hot milk over the egg mixture and return to the pot. Stir the mixture constantly over low heat until it forms a film on the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa butter until melted. Allow the mix to come to room temperature. Stir in the vanilla cashew cream and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Run through an ice cream maker, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Makes approximately 2 quarts.
The “baby bombe” consisted of cashew cream, coconut milk and banana, frozen in a lined teacup. She was pretty thrilled, as you might imagine!