Happy Mother's Day to all my favorite mamas out there, and especially to my own mom!
There are no Hallmark Cards or tear-jerking commercials to remind the Balinese that this is a day to celebrate mothers - I can only imagine how completely strange they would find this entire holiday. In Bali there are daily rituals and countless elaborate ceremonies to honor ancestors, nature, and spirits, but no Mother's Day. I am not complaining. In so many ways, the past eight months of travel have felt like one long Mother's Day for me; all this family time has been a dream, and every day I am grateful to be Otis and Lilah's mom. Okay, now I'm getting all sappy on you!
Let's get to a recipe that is easy enough for kids to make for/or with their moms....
Granitas make me happy - I love recipes that leave room for improvisation while still being reliable in their deliciousness. P, the kids, and I are devotees of this always-refreshing and easy-to-make dessert.
Since we hit the road last August and haven't always had the best equipped kitchens, granitas have become our favorite after dinner treat: we made ruby red grapefruit in Northern Australia; pineapple in Fiji; elderflower in New Zealand; and now, lemongrass granita here in Bali. Always curious to see food at its source, P and I took a shady walk along the rice fields just north of Ubud to visit Mr. Nomad's organic veggie farm. There was plenty of lemongrass sprouting and P remarked that maybe we could try growing this fragrant herb at home in Berkeley this fall.
Continuing our granita making tradition, I wonder what flavor we will make next month in Corfu when celebrate Abby's birthday. What delights will a Greek Island farmer's market have in June? I cannot wait to find out.
Note: Be sure to make your granita at least a few hours before you want to serve it. The freezing process takes a while.
- 6-8 stalks fresh lemongrass
- 2-3 inch hunk of fresh ginger root
- 3 cups water
- 3/4 cup raw organic sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice (lemon or lime juice work as well)
Peel outer leaves and rough ends off lemongrass and discard. Rough chop remaining tender inner stalks, making about 1/3 cup lemongrass pieces. Peel ginger and rough chop until you have 2 tablespoons of ginger bits. Place chopped lemongrass and ginger in a medium sauce pan. Cover with 3 cups water. Add 3/4 cup raw organic sugar and 2 tablespoons fresh citrus juice.
Bring liquid to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. After the liquid come to a boil, turn off heat, cover the pot, and let it steep for 30 minutes.
Strain liquid, and get ready to freeze your granita.
Freezing: Pour liquid into shallow baking pan, or any shallow bowl. Freeze 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from freezer and stir with a fork to break up any frozen bits. Make sure to scrape the edges of the pan, this is where the freezing begins.
Continue to freeze for 30 minute intervals. Scrape with fork. Freeze again. After two to three hours of freezing and stirring, your granita will be ready to eat.
Once you are ready to eat the granita, remove from freezer and serve immediately. It melts quickly. Try chilling cups, or bowls to help keep the granita frozen longer.