Ana’s Strawberry Indulgence (Milk -Shake)

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Photo source: Wikipedia

When my late daughter was ill she had an incredible craving for “the perfect milkshake.”  It became a dad and daughter activity for us to search a three county area for this illusive confection.  We found some very nice ones at some Norfolk coast ice cream parlours, and some others which nearly made the standard at various themed diners in Cambridge and Suffolk.  But none assuaged her craving.

In the end, I began to attempt through trial and error to make her what she desired, myself.  I started with various ingredients, and over time tweaked, and re-tweaked until the following recipe came about.

Ingredients:

  • Madagascar Vanilla Ice Cream 3 scoops
  • Cornish Clotted Cream Ice Cream 3 scoops
  • Double Cream 200 ml
  • Full Cream Milk 100 ml
  • Eggs 2
  • Vanilla Essence splash
  • Strawberries 5
  • Strawberry Preserves 2 Tbs (good quality)

Method:

Separate the eggs and whip the whites until beginning to stiffen. Put cream and vanilla into a blender and blitz for a few seconds, add the ice cream and blitz again until semi-smooth.  Add the milk, berries, preserves, and egg whites and blend until smooth.

I have added the yolks some of the time to make a richer drink, when this was done it was added at the cream and vanilla stage.

Serve in a large glass.

Padre

[This recipe is posted in tribute to Ana who passed peacefully in her sleep on 17 April 2014.]

A Speech to Stir Emotion

In 1877, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce attempted to lead 750 – 800 of his people to Canada rather than be confined to a reservation. The U.S. Army pursued him, and after a trek of over 1100 miles, and culminating in a five day long battle, he formally surrendered his remaining 431 people to the authorities. His formal surrender speech to General Nelson Appleton Miles on October 5, 1877 is powerful in its sincerity, simplicity, and brevity:

“I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohulhulsote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led the young men is dead.

It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are–perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead.

Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

One hundred thirty two words which potently tug at the heart. They are a masterpiece of the spoken art.

Padre

 

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Remembering the Little Ones

I have written on several previous occasions about the loss of a child, and the trauma and mourning it brings.  Ariana Grande’s tribute concert will be in Manchester this evening to remember the terrible atrocity there on the 22nd of May.  Such a tribute is right and good.  It is a positive reaction to aid grieving families (emotionally and financially) and for the survivors to have an opportunity to begin overcome their fears.

Such ephemeral tributes as concerts have an impact.  But their are other longer term, emotionally enduring tributes to lost children as well.  I have visited several of these over time, and have found two of the most evocative to be the children’s memorials at the Vught Concentration Camp in The Netherlands, and at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

The eight simple columns of the Vught memorial topped with Stars of David in itself is of affect as most Holocaust tributes do.  It is the names of the children, and their ages sometimes recorded in days or months rather than years that is the most unsettling.  Add to this the sculpted toys and left tributes that make it truly emotional.

Image result for vught concentration camp childrens

Yad Vashem’s memorial is even more emotive. From the sun-drenched white and cream of the surrounding stone, one enters into a dark tunnel.  Here you are confronted with emotional vocal music which is a strange mix of the sublime (snippets of heaven) and of lament (truly a feeling of loss).  As you pass photos of “lost children” you see a sea of pin point lights (representing the lost).  These are produced by only a handful of candles, but the refraction of multiple mirrors gives a cosmic field of light against the all pervading darkness.  When at the centre of the monument the names, nationalities and ages of children are solemnly recited on a seemingly endless recording.  One then returns to the dazzling brightness of the Jerusalem sun.

Image result for yad vashem children's memorial jerusalem

The power of such memorials is intense.  Hopefully the effect will be equally memorable with Ms Grande’s tribute tonight. Some may balk at my linking of the Manchester attack and the Holocaust.  To this I can but paraphrase Yehuda Bauer, that we cannot compare people’s suffering or loss.  The pain is uniquely their own.  In the end, all attempts of memorisation pale to the loss of such innocents.  May God be with their friends and families, and grant them peace.

Padre