The Good Things in Life (knitting, moms, ponies, sunshine & coconut milk ice cream)

Wow, has it been a few weeks since I posted?! I have a huge backlog of gluten free recipes that I want to post… unfortunately they are all stored in my mind or scrawled on scraps of paper, instead of on my computer!

The past few weeks have been pretty busy… My mom came over to the UK, and we headed up to the Shetland Islands for a week to tour the most northern part of Great Britain with a group of women on a knitting trip. It was wonderful to meet such a talented and passionate group of hand-knitters (though I was by far the youngest member of the crowd – by a good 30 years!) We toured a couple local wool mills and took some knitting classes, where we learned traditional Fair Isle and lace knitting techniques (Fair Isle sweaters get their name from one of the Shetland Islands). We also had time to explore a few of the beautiful islands, eat some amazing fresh seafood, and see lots of lambs and Shetland ponies (and a few puffins too!); the only downside was that it was unseasonable cold and rainy, so my wool coat was still getting some good use even though it was halfway through May!

Fair Isle Knitting

my Fair Isle knitting project – fingerless gloves!

It was great to finally visit the Shetlands, which I’ve wanted to for years (when I was a kid, my family used to breed Shetland ponies for Personal Ponies, an organization that provides ponies as companions to children with special needs). It was so nice to spend some time with my mom (I love living in the UK, but the downside is that I don’t get to see my family as often as I’d like), and we had such a great time hanging out for the week and sharing our love of knitting. If you want to see more pictures of the trip, one of the women in the knitting group created a blog about it.

Shetland ponies

On a more personal level though, the trip was a big achievement for me in terms of my health. This was the first holiday in over a year where I had enough energy to get through a full day (and week!) of activities, and didn’t feel completely shattered by the end of the day. It may have not been the most action-packed trip (knitting, drinking tea, touring the country side on a bus, a few gentle walks…), but even 6 months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to get through a whole day of activities and travel, never mind a whole week of it! Before the holiday, I was anxious that I wouldn’t have enough energy on the trip and would end up feel crappy; however, I was able to plan ahead and pace myself. Getting through a busy week and feeling “normal” was a big milestone on my road to recovering from CFS/ME.

Shetland Islands

Since I’ve been back in London, summer has FINALLY arrived – so instead of writing up recipes, I decided to go read in the park and do some gardening! Excuses, excuses… but in England you’ve got to make the most of the sunny days since you don’t know how long they’ll last (but they really are amazing when we do get them!).

Anyways, here’s a dairy free ice cream recipe that I’ve been meaning to share for a while now: Double Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Swirl from the blog Against All Grain. I’ve been drooling over this recipe for a few weeks now; part of the reason I want to try the recipe is that it is made with coconut milk. This past year I’ve really cut back on the amount of dairy that I eat, and recently I’ve been stumbling across a lot of information about how healthy coconut oil is. I won’t go into it here, but Gabby at the Veggie Nook just wrote a great informative post about the benefits of coconut oil and the importance of eating healthy fats.

Double Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Swirl

Now, I don’t actually have an ice cream maker, (so this recipe will just have to taunt me for the time being) but I was excited to read that there is an attachment for Kitchen Aid mixers that magically transforms them into ice cream makers. Another piece of kitchen gadgetry to add to my wish list… So, for the time being, this recipe will just have to continue to taunt me until I’m able to get hold of some sort of ice cream making equipment or I can muster up the arm-muscles to make it without a machine

Happy Summer (and if you’re in the UK, happy Jubilee and extra-long weekend!)

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6 thoughts on “The Good Things in Life (knitting, moms, ponies, sunshine & coconut milk ice cream)

  1. Looks like you’ve been having some splendid adventures! Mmm…that ice cream looks divine. I wonder how it would work with one of those little ice-cream making balls that the kids can kick around in the yard!

  2. So glad to hear about the success of your trip. Congrats on all your progress! May you continue to get healthier and healthier 🙂

    Thanks for the link back! You are wonderful. And that ice cream looks too good for words. I don’t have an ice cream maker either so I’ll join you in drooling at my computer screen.

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