A single scoop from Thrifty was just over a dollar. The ice cream scoop was kind of a rounded cylinder shape, and it made a “click clack” noise when the attendant would release your chosen flavor into the sugar cone or cup. It was more like a scoop and a half, really. I consistently chose apricot-mango (why, young Sara?) and my sister, rainbow sherbet. It was located inside a Rite-Aid that was both across from the city library and in the same center where we went to a weekly math tutoring program, so we were frequent visitors. It may have been dinner some nights? My mom has never liked cooking and we lived to tell the tale so no sense in fretting too much about that. My mom would also get a scoop every now and then, likely something better and chocolatey because she was older and wiser. I have a snapshot memory of the three of us sitting outside the automatic doors, against the taupe-y stucco walls, eating our treats, me complaining I didn’t like my flavor and preferred the one my mom chose. She took one more big spoonful and swapped with me. She took my bullshit apricot-mango and gave me her chocolately one and while I hope I at least said thank you in that fleeting moment, I’ve gone back to that memory a number of times when I par down what this whole motherhood thing looks like. Yes, I hear all the self-care, don’t-lose-yourself conversations and I agree, but there is also a huge part of it that is just surrendering. You surrender to the mess and the cost and the exhaustion and work and the worry. You surrender your superior ice cream flavor. You never know how actions and words are perceived on the other side – sometimes lost or forgotten, or perhaps they stick with someone forever.
I gave this loaf recipe a test run for our Mothers day brunch plans. The Sweet Laurel cookbook is full of grain and refined sugar free baking recipes – nearly all with almond or coconut flours and maple sweetened. The original calls for six eggs, so I risked scaling that back because we don’t like when baked goods taste so, well, eggy. This makes for a looser crumb and a wetter texture and I’ll take that over eggy. I added nubs of a quick roasted rhubarb for tiny pockets of tart jam throughout. You could eliminate this completely if you’d like, or maybe use lemon instead of orange and swap in blueberries.
If you have a mother or are one or want to be one or are struggling with the one you have or can even think of someone else who has been that figure for you, a happy Mother’s Day weekend to you.