Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Unexpected Pleasures

"I learned this, at least, by my experiment;that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." from the "Conclusion" to Walden Henry David Thoreau

Living in Savannah for nine months brought about a plethora of opportunities to meet interesting people in unexpected places. One rainy spring day as I was out on my daily walk around Savannah I met in interesting character in front of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist on East Harris St. http://savannahcathedral.org//index.php/about
Poised among the usual tourists who gather at the trolley stop in front of the church I met middle aged man who had red hair and a beard. Ivan was making roses using palm fonds he had picked from the top of the native palmetto trees earlier in the day. Many street vendors in Savannah quickly fold the palm fonds into rose forms which they sell to tourists for a few dollar donations. This rainy morning business must have been slow as the man was willing to share with me both a bit about his life and the technique to make the roses for myself.

Ivan was a proud to tell me he was Viking, that he hailed from the Ukraine and that he had come to America ten years ago. He settled in Savannah because the winters were warmer when he had to live on the streets. I was fascinated to meet Ivan that day as I had been researching about Udmurt people of the Volga were "the most red-headed men in the world"). The Greek historian Herodotus described the "Budini", probably Udmurts and Permyak Finns located on the Volga in what is modern-day Russia, as being predominantly redheaded.

I gave Ivan a few dollars for his roses and for sharing his knowledge to make more roses for myself. He laughed when I suggested we could work together making and selling these roses on the street. Then an odd thing happened when I shook his hand to say goodbye.
He tilted my hand slightly, then said, " Nice diamond."

Today's recipe is in honor of Ivan the Viking and Strawberry Blonde's

Chocolate ganache cake, fresh strawberries, homemade Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

3 cups strained good-quality whole-milk yogurt

To make 3 cups of strained yogurt, line a mesh strainer with a few layers of cheese cloth, scoop 6 cups of plain whole-milk yogurt into the cheesecloth. Gather the ends and fold them over the yogurt, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

1/4 to 1/2 cup raw sugar (I like tart yogurt so I use less sugar)

1 teaspoon or more pure vanilla extract (I like to scrape in some real vanilla bean)

Mix together the yogurt, sugar, and vanilla.

Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Makes about 1 quart.Vanilla Frozen Yogurt Recipe

1 comment:

  1. The cake and frozen yogurt tasted even better than it looks!


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