When I was growing up in China, we didn’t celebrate Christmas; I never even heard of Christmas. But we did celebrate Dec. 26th — Chairman Mao’s birthday. We would cook longevity noodles in the kitchen that we shared with our neighbors. We would bow in front of a Mao portrait and wish him ten thousand years of life. I realize now that my parents probably only did the celebration for the sake of the kids and the neighbors. They would not want the neighbors to report them for not loving Chairman Mao enough to wish him a long life. And they certainly didn’t want to destroy the illusion for their children, who were brought up to worship Mao. They believed that worshipping Mao as the saint and savior would make their children safer and happier. Not worshipping Mao would be dangerous to their wellbeing.
Strange how I still wake up on December 26th every year and involuntarily think, “It’s Mao’s birthday.”
Today, the thought of Mao brought me back to those years of food scarcity and what I was willing to do for a bowl of ice cream.
I heard from other girls that you would be rewarded with a bowl of ice cream if you were lucky enough to have your tonsils removed. It was a minor surgical procedure performed without anesthesia. I convinced my mother to let me have the operation, but when I was given a bowl of ice cream to soothe my throat, swallowing hurt so badly that I gave my reward to my brother.
Nowadays ice cream is everywhere, and I have had decades to recover from my tonsillectomy so ice cream is once again a great love of mine. However, we all know how overindulgence in ice cream isn’t exactly healthy…
Guilt Free Ice Cream
I improved on my old guilt free ice cream recipe by using the evaporated milk and adding more dark chocolate. The result is a much richer and more delicious ice cream.
Ingredients for Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream:
1 12oz can 2% Evaporated Milk
2 cup non fat Greek Yogurt (I used Fage)
7 tablespoon Xylitol or other sweetener
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
3 tablespoon 100% Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 tablespoon 100% Unsweetened Chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients in a blender. Add to ice cream maker. Let it churn until ice cream congeals and hardens, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Audrey made the gingerbread cookies to go with the ice cream. And she typed the following recipe form me.
Healthier Gingerbread Cookies Ingredients:
1/2 cup apple sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar or xylitol
3 tbs. coconut oil
1/3 cup maple flavored syrup
3 cups 100% whole wheat flour
2 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Mix wet and dry ingredients together and wrap in plastic wrap. Leave the mixture in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.
Roll out and cut. Preheat oven at 350F and bake about 12 minutes or until light brown.