I decided to try my hand at making a dairy-free mango coconut ice cream today…

I’ve had an ice cream maker just sitting on a lower shelf in my pantry since 2012. My sister gave it to me in 2011 and I used it once or twice. When she gave it to be me I was going through a similar phase of wanting to live a more fulfilling life.

I had always wanted to try to make my own ice cream but buying an ice cream maker was something I could not afford. My sister was visiting and I mentioned how much I wished I had an ice cream maker that I could use to make my own ice cream. She told me she had been given one as a gift once but had never used it. And she offered it to me. I was excited when she brought it for me on her next visit. But like I said, I only used it twice.

Every year I think about using it but never do. So today I decided I would stop thinking about it and actually do it. I found a simple recipe online. I already had the mangoes. The recipe called for canned full fat coconut milk but I had a coconut in the fridge already so I figured I’d make my own coconut milk (that’s probably where I went wrong). I had my husband pick up some limes, and some honey from the grocery store and I went to work making my ice cream.

I started with a hammer and the coconut…

hammer and coconut

Using the hammer I cracked open the coconut. Maybe there’s an easier way to open it? If anyone knows of an easier way please do tell. It took me a few whacks with the hammer before the coconut cracked sufficiently to break it half. I was rather grossed out after cracking it open. A small part of it was beginning to go bad and it looked pretty ugly. But I managed to clean it off, extract the meat and cut it into pieces.

coconut in blue bowl on table

I put the pieces in my blender with some water and alternated between the blend and liquify buttons to try to make the coconut milk.

making coconut milk in blender

I separated the coconut milk from the pulp using a strainer.

separating coconut pulp and milk using strainer

After making the coconut milk I peeled and diced 2 mangoes.

diced mango in a bowl

I put the milk and the mangoes in the blender, added some lemon zest and lemon juice. Added some honey, blended it up then poured it into the bowl of the ice cream maker.

mango coconut ice cream mixture in ice cream bowl

I then sealed up the ice cream maker, turned it on, and put it in my freezer to make my ice cream.

You would probably now be expecting to see a picture of the finished mango coconut ice cream dessert. But I don’t have one.

My ice cream did not turn out well. It did not look or taste like ice cream. And this was after many hours in the freezer being churned by the blade of the Panasonic BH-941P.

But my inability to provide you with an image of the results of my effort raises an interesting question. Are we too focused on results in society? Yes we do things for a purpose. I set out today with a purpose of making ice cream. When I was finished I did not have ice cream. I had what amounted to a semi-frozen smoothie. It tasted strongly of mango. There was no detectable taste of coconut.

If I was to be judged only on my results then it would be said I failed in my effort to make a dairy free mango coconut ice cream today.

Yet the whole process of making the ice cream was successful at every step. Not only was it successful, the process was also fulfilling. The process is where the value lies. During the journey is where you get the meat and substance that feeds your body, your mind and your soul. It is not found upon the arrival at the destination. So even if the result is not what was intended or desired, you can’t have failed.

Unfortunately, in life we’re not graded on our efforts if our answers aren’t correct so to speak. I was to have made ice cream. I didn’t make ice cream, therefore I failed. That is the way we approach things in life. We judge ourselves and we judge others on the result and whether or not it is exactly right. And that is why people can have accomplished a great deal in their lives and still regard themselves a failure and feel like they don’t have a fulfilling life. Because they don’t have the evidence to show as proof that their life is a success. They don’t have the big mansion, the multi-million dollar bank account, the expensive car, or in my case the picture of a perfectly well made dairy free mango coconut ice cream.

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