It doesn’t take much to impress with a summer dessert if you add a little story, plus something fresh off the vine or branch, and include enough elements so every mouthful has a different flavor. One more thing, somewhere in the mix include the all-American favorite, ice cream. I did this the other night.

It all started with spotting some prepackaged wafers in the grocery… a thin layer of caramel sandwiched tight between thin waffles. The disks were about 2 inches round and only an eighth-inch thick. I thought maybe this would make a good ice cream sandwich scenario. I made space in our freezer (the hardest part of this recipe) and arranged a dozen disks flat on a plate. With a small scooper I put a ball of vanilla ice cream on each wafer. I had already grated some crystallized ginger and sprinkled that on each ice cream ball. Then I squished a cookie wafer lid on each and put them back into the freezer.


Out in the front of my house we have a small serviceberry tree. The other day a friend reminded me how good the berries were; how he sweetens his yogurt with them. So I shook that tree (sorry birds, you will have to share) and enough berries sprung off for the “story” part of the dessert. I took the hardened sandwiches on their dishes out of the freezer . Ibarra_chocolateNow I shaved sweetened Mexican hot chocolate (Ibarra) onto each plate, off-center of course, arranged 2 sandwiches per plate, studded the sides with a few serviceberries here and there (nothing too formal; they were the natural element). Finally, a pair of leaves of pineapple mint found their way onto each plate.

It was a hot night. Company was delighted and it felt whimsically creative for me. People underrate creativity and where it comes into play. I don’t see many functioning people escaping it, they do it all the time… they just don’t notice how beautiful the things they do almost every day can be. But they’re doing it.