Life has been nothing but a steady stream of good, lately. Nothing necessarily exciting has happened (ok, nothing exciting has happened) (at all), but I wake up every morning feeling happy. Energized. Motivated to be the best person I can. Because I’ve discovered that making it a priority to be a good person – to every single human I encounter – has changed my view on life. Not to mention, it’s changed my purpose in life. It is now my perogative to be a good-doer. No matter what. No matter if I’m having the shittiest day of my week, I will do good for someone else. Because maybe they’re having a shitty day, too. And maybe a glass of ice cold lemonade will make their problems seems a little less terrible. Even if it is just a glass of ice cold lemonade.
Going with the theme of being a good person, I started doing good for a homeless man who sleeps on a bench across the street from my bedroom window. I’ve spent a countless number of nights peering out said window, looking down at the man as he tries to get comfortable on a wooden bench that is much too small for his lengthy body. I cry. Then I laugh. Because life is so funny sometimes. There’s a grown man trying to sleep on a tiny bench. Ha ha ha! THAT’S NOT FUNNY. Sob. Sob hard. Repeat cycle. I watch him as he attempts to jimmy his backpack into a pillow. As he takes off his combat boots and places them neatly under the bench. And I cry. Then I try to wipe my tears and hurry into bed before Thom comes in to tell me goodnight.The good ranges. I don’t think that what I do is important – nor do I think it’s necessary to talk about the good you do (it kind of defeats the whole purpose, right?) – but I’ve noticed that it’s a growing trend in our society to be complete assholes to one another. When someone smiles at you, you smile back. When someone holds a door for you, you say thank you. And when someone is sitting on a bench all day, in triple digit heat, you take them a glass of something cold. Because that’s what Jesus would freaking do.
In the event you need convincing of the magical powers of doing good – I ran into him on the bus one day last week. When he finally got around to realizing who I was, he came over and told me how much he appreciated me taking time out of my day to make sure he had a glass of cold lemonade. He told me how much he looked forward to me coming around with a bag of treats, and how every time he saw me out, my half-smile (you know, the one sans chompers) made his day. I started crying. A wave of feel-good emotions rushed over me and I just sat there, laughing and crying in harmony. He just stood there and looked at me like I was crazy.
I was. But up until then, I never realized the impact even the smallest act of kindness can have on a person. It didn’t take much for me to grab him a lemonade from the restaurant across the street. Or wrap up some treats on my way out. So be nice. Smile at people. And when you get the opportunity to do something good – do it. Don’t hesitate. Just do it. Because we’re all humans, and we all deserve to be treated with kindness and a little something special every once in a while. Like frozen yogurt. With roasted blueberries. Do you see where I’m going with this?
If you want to replace the soy products with coconut yogurt and coconut milk, you can do that. And if you want to replace the frozen blueberries with fresh, you can also do that. Costco has had crazy good deals on organic frozen fruit lately (blueberries! cherries! raspberries! oh my!) so I’ve been trying to include them in things other than my smoothies. I didn’t use the xanthan gum trick this time, but if you want to eliminate the formation of icicles in your frozen yogurt, add 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum to the yogurt base. If you don’t have an ice cream machine, try this method via David Lebovitz.
ROASTED BLUEBERRY FROZEN YOGURT
3 cups soy yogurt
1/4 cup soy cream
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 tsp pure almond extract
2 cups frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the yogurt, cream, sugar and almond extract. Bring to a boil and continue whisking for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a glass bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate until cooled. While the mixture is cooling, roast the blueberries at 425˚F for 20 minutes. If desired, sprinkle them with a bit of sugar prior to roasting. Once the yogurt mixture has cooled, pour it into the bowl of your ice cream machine and mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the roasted blueberries (and juice) once the mixture has been churning for 20 minutes. Eat ice cream immideately (it will be somewhat soft) or transfer to a container and freeze until ready to consume. Thaw for about 10 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6 servings