“Don’t be people who destroy hearts….”
I watch as Yoko Kawashima Watkins, author of So Far from the Bamboo Grove, explains to a group of 7th graders that the Japanese Kanji for “busy” is a combination of the characters for “heart” and “destroy”. At 83, her body is frail but her voice is strong as she leans in closer to the children.
“Never have I told anyone that I am ‘busy’,” she says to them. “I don’t want to destroy anyone’s heart, and neither do you, right?”
Her gaze takes in each individual child as they vigorously nod their heads. They’ve already promised to thank their “honorable” parents for all that they do to take care of them (without letting their parents know that Yoko told them to do so, of course), so what could it hurt to agree with Yoko on this, too?
Later after I drive Yoko home, I think about the Japanese Kanji for “busy” and how interesting it is to me that being busy is seen as something that destroys one’s heart. Here in the States, being busy means you’re being productive, getting things done, not slacking off. When we’re “too busy”, then maybe it is something which can destroy one’s heart, but being just plain busy?
The holidays are probably a good example of what Yoko meant, though. Often the busyness of preparing for the holidays eclipses the amount of time actually spent just being with family members. For this reason, I’ve always tried to keep food prep to a minimum in favor of more time with my family, and as we think about yet another “special” dessert for New Year’s, I thought I’d share the fastest dessert recipe I have – allergy friendly ice cream cake.
You simply buy two flavors of your favorite pint size ice creams, a package or two of your favorite cookies, and a container of a chocolate frosting – all of which can be found in allergy friendly options- and within ten minutes you can assemble a dessert which will be both pretty and delicious. Below I will post the version which is pictured above.
Ice Cream Cake
2 pint size containers of allergy friendly vanilla ice cream (I used So Delicious coconut milk version)
8 to 10 oz package of allergy friendly chocolate sandwich cookies (I used KinniToos)
2 cups of allergy friendly chocolate animal crackers (I used K-Kritters)
2 pint size containers of allergy friendly chocolate ice cream (I used Cados avocado version)
one cup chocolate frosting (I used Simple Mills)
- Take out the four pints of ice cream and let them sit on the counter while you crush the cookies.
- Crush the chocolate sandwich cookies into bit size chunks and set aside.
- Crush the chocolate animal crackers into medium-sized crumbs.
- In a large bowl, scoop out the vanilla ice cream, and using a rubber spatula or wide wooden spoon, mix the chocolate sandwich cookie chunks into the ice cream until well mixed.
- Spread the ice cream evenly into a 10 inch spring form pan, making sure to level the ice cream flat.
- Sprinkle the chocolate animal cracker crumbs evenly over the layer of ice cream.
- Scoop out the chocolate ice cream into the large bowl and mix until the ice cream is soft and spreadable.
- Drop the ice cream gently in scoops to evenly cover the animal crackers. Then carefully spread the ice cream evenly over the chocolate crumbs and level the ice cream flat.
- Put the ice cream cake into the freezer for a few minutes while you’re working on the frosting.
- In a small bowl, stir the chocolate frosting until it is soft and spreadable. Spread it evenly over the ice cream cake.
- If desired, decorate the top of the ice cream cake with sprinkles.
- Put the cake back into the freezer and freeze until ready to eat.
- To cut the cake, run a butter knife around the edge of the pan and remove the side of the spring form pan. Run a large knife under hot water and cut the cake into wedges to serve.