Have you made your new year’s resolutions yet? Neither have I, and the deadline is looming. Those resolutions depress me. Why would I want to bring the failures of the past year into the future? A friend suggested making a list of ‘what I did’ for the year. I thought that was brilliant, since, being a glass-half-empty sort of person, my list usually consists of ‘what I didn’t.’ But being also a procrastinating sort of person, I haven’t gotten around to making either type of list. I’ve decided, instead, to have a conversation with my life.
I’m sitting my life down in a chair across from me. It looks like a cartoon character: a big orb—like a photo of the earth from outer space—in place of a head and body, with stick arms and legs. It is looking pretty cocky sitting there with its spindly legs crossed. It is wearing Don Draper’s hat from Mad Men. I’m about to tell it how ridiculous that tiny hat looks on its big, blue head/body when I notice that, just like Don Draper, it is holding a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. It is wearing sunglasses. I’m not sure, but I think it is mocking me.
Me: You know, you haven’t been very cooperative this year.
My Life: So, what’s your point?
Me: My point is, you should have been bringing me more of the stuff I want. You know, you should have been serving up more sweetness and light.
My Life: Hey! Stupid! I’m not here for the shoulds. That’s not my job. I’m here for the ‘is'es. I’m just an unending succession of ‘is'es.
Me: Why are you being so mean and calling me stupid?
My Life: I’m just trying to get your attention, Sweetie. You have been hung up on the shoulds all year. I’m just trying to point that out.
Me: So what can I do about that, you know, in the future?
My Life: Well, for starters, you could love me a little more.
Me: But you haven’t been giving me any of the stuff I want!
My Life: Baby, haven’t you been listening to anything I’ve said? I am an unending succession of ‘is’ es. It’s time for you to appreciate that. You need to love me unconditionally.
Me: Hey, you’re not my kid! And besides, reality bites! It’s been biting me in the ass all year.
My Life: Stop whining! It hasn’t been all that bad. And besides, the stuff you don’t like has been good for you. Adversity wakes you from the deep sleep of the dead, metaphorically speaking.
Me: Hmm, I suppose you’re right. But I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit, and I just want to put that out there for the record.
My Life: Ha, ha, too bad it’s not about liking or not liking. I’ve told you…
Me: Yeah, yeah, you are ‘just an unending succession of ‘is’es.’
My Life: You know deep down you love me. Come over here and give me a hug. C’mon.
Me: Oh, all right. I’ll try to love you more. But couldn’t you please, please, give me just a little more of the stuff I want?
My Life: Honey, give it up. If you want sweetness and light, go make some frozen yogurt. I’ll take care of the rest.
Sweetness and Light Orange Frozen Yogurt for the New Year
The good news about this recipe is that it is dead easy. The bad news is that you need an ice cream maker. You could freeze it in a pan, but you will have to stir it every half hour or so until it reaches the desired consistency to keep it from freezing into a block. If Santa didn’t bring you an ice cream maker, this frozen yogurt is enough reason to go on Amazon or e-bay and buy one right away. I don’t know why on earth I waited as long as I did to get one. Don’t bother with the kind that requires ice cubes. Go directly to the canister style machine. I have this Canister Ice Cream Maker because it is big, but the smaller version is just fine and a bit cheaper. Winter is a great time to make frozen treats. Just ask any New Englander. We love our ice cream no matter what the temps are outside. After weeks of holiday feasting, this sweet and light treat makes a tangy and refreshing dessert for the end/beginning of the year. As I was making it, I thought of tossing in a few toasted pistachios at the very end, but the cupboard was bare. What do you think?
Makes about 1 quart
3 cups plain whole milk, low-fat, or Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mild tasting honey
1/3 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of one orange
1 teaspoon rose water
Mix together and freeze in ice cream maker (about 20 minutes.)
If you must have some chocolate on the side, try some of Dorie Greenspan's Chocolate Crunchies.