Save the Turtles; Lose the Lactose

08/29/2010

Urgency Day 355

500 Things Item 142: Mega Ball Ice Cream Maker

  • History: Gift from Central Virginia
  • Value: Potential unrealized
  • Parting pain: It’s going to a very worthy home
  • Un-possessing: Re-gifting to Northern Virginia

The often drawn out process of recognizing that you need to give up dairy is similar to the familiar 5 Stages of Grief—shock, anger, denial, bargaining and acceptance—with a special, um, action-packed lingering on the denial into bargaining phase:

Okay, if I only have a little whipped cream on my strawberry sundae, that won’t hurt. Right?

And then nature adds a wallop of “regret” to the whole process. Or processing.

A long, long time ago, a very special person made an observation to me that changed my life:

“Maybe you’re such a bitch, because you don’t know you’re lactose intolerant.”

(cue rim shot) And she was right.

I often compare the dramatic improvement in mood and well-being I felt after eliminating dairy from my diet to the abrupt snapping open of a window shade. The sunlight flooded in and everything was so much clearer to me. Oh, how I wish I could have gone through the horrors of high school not strung out on dairy. It still would have been horrible, but I could have handled it so much better.

And I wouldn’t have contributed to The Horror. As much.

My friend Elizabeth is very knowledgeable about the dairy issue. Her lactose-intolerant boys will not be inflicting the same random acts of dairy-terrorism that I perpetrated. Nor do they suffer tasty-frozen-treat deprivation: Their mom makes The Best peach soy ice cream In The World. On our recent trip to Virginia, Elizabeth contributed this amazing confection to dinner one night. I managed to serve the tiniest portions I could reasonably get away with to preserve more for my later enjoyment.

See, I really was wired very badly long ago.

Elizabeth and my friend Sydney are two of my very truest and dearest. They share being the moms of collectively five of Sam’s little brothers; possess keen eyes for spotting imperiled turtles in the middle of roads; and can turn a batch of homemade cupcakes into a party—or a wedding!—with boys and turtles all safely tended.

They are also the yin and the yang of dairy consumption.

I am fairly confident that Sydney would believe that her life had ceased to be worth living, if she were told she could no longer enjoy milk.

And think of the poor turtles.

Several years ago, Syd and her family gave my family a fun gift: A Mega Ball ice cream maker. Unlike those fancy electric ice cream makers that you plug in and they do all the cranking for you, The Mega Ball requires some effort. But it makes a clever game of it by having the churning result from rolling this device around on the ground. The churning becomes entertainment. As the box exclaims, it’s even “Fun for campers!”

Hey! We like fun. We like camping (theoretically, anyway). We like rolling stuff around as much as the next family. Just one small problem: I don’t Got Milk.

I wish I had been clever and thought to try The Mega Ball with soy milk or rice milk. It just never occurred to me. Instead, The Mega Ball has sat neglected in my garage. Nothing says I can’t dust it off now and start having fun making alt-milk frozen treats. But, hopefully with Sydney’s understanding, and– since it’s for her fellow boy-mama-ing/turtle rescuing friend Elizabeth– maybe even her blessing, I’m downsizing The Mega Ball back to Virginia.

Here’s hoping that two boys plus one great soy ice cream recipe plus one Mega Ball is a formula for some good times and a whole lot more awesome lactose-free treats.

And no lactose-laden regrets.


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3 Responses to “Save the Turtles; Lose the Lactose”

  1. Elizabeth Says:

    Oh, that’s funny. The next time Sydney comes up to NoVa for a visit with you I’ll roll out (ha!) the ice cream ball and maker her some, too.
    xoxo
    Elizabeth

  2. Donna Says:

    God bless those people who will make their own ice cream. But in my world it’s only one step above Martha Stewart making her own marshmallows. I know there’s nothing like the joy of do-it-yourself frozen delight with just the right fruit(s) included. A job well done. Family time. Connection with our Founding Fathers (which is a popular theme right, now, but I don’t want to go there). We experienced this “joy” I think twice when our kids were little. But I look on it like my friend Marty G. looked on canning (and marriage, for that matter): “If you’ve done it once, there’s no need to do it again.” Glad to see the Mega Ball maker going to a well-deserved and appreciative home. God bless you, S, E, M, and D.

  3. Sydney Says:

    It’s destined for the best home ever, because the mega-ball is definitely a device for small boys. The thought of Suzanne and Paul and Sam rolling the ice cream ball to each other in order to enjoy a frozen soy treat is pretty funny. I’m somewhat skeptical that they “like rolling stuff around as much as the next family”, especially when the next family is the Huangs!


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