Back in Texas. It feels like I can finally take in a full breath. Until I woke up the first morning back in my own boat of a bed, I didn’t even realize I’d been holding my breath for the past five years. I loved California – what’s not to love? – but it wasn’t home. Home is wide open spaces, big skies, afternoon thunderstorms.
Breathe. In. Out.
Summer in Texas is blackberry slushies, whirred up quickly in the blender and drunk slowly by the pool. Bread, proofed, kneaded, pounded, baked between runs. Grilled flank steak and knobbly new potatoes eaten languidly between stories shared with missed friends. A couple, or three, glasses of red wine. Salad, salad, and more salad. And olive oil cake after dinner, before a run, with afternoon coffee, before bed.
Summer has officially begun for me in Texas. And it is wonderful.
Back when I was a rookie prosecutor I attended my first-ever conference (doesn’t a conference full of law enforcement types sound like a barrel of fun?) on Padre Island – a beach resort in Texas. Being young, my experience with alcohol was limited to warm beer from a keg and girly tongue-numbingly sweet wine coolers (do they still make those? Hmmm…I need to check on that.). Determined to appear grown up so that I would be taken seriously, ahem, I ordered a pina colada at dinner (Hey, it was a beach resort, people! Give me a break!). Not being a complete dope, I noticed the smirks from the more seasoned members of our work force. I had clearly FAILED adult drink ordering.
But that didn’t stop me from slurping that frozen concoction down and loving every bit of it. Yes, I like pina coladas. And getting caught in the rain…
In fact, I’ve loved pina coladas ever since.
So, this morning, because I had a few pieces of dodgy looking pineapple in the fridge, I wanted to come up with something for after my run that would use it – one must NEVER throw away pineapple – and I thought of my favorite beachy cocktail. Dodgy pineapple + coconut milk + almond milk + frozen banana + a smidge of maple syrup + blender + freezer = Pina Colada Ice Cream! Top with some pistachios for protein and chocolate for fun, and you are ready to rock! But maybe don’t serve this to a cop.
Dairy free, Gluten free, Vegan
Now go run!