Birthdays. A moment in time. Does this moment have elevated importance over any other? Is this a moment of elevated anxiety compared to any other? Some have one or the other. Over the course of my birthdays (my 40th coming up in a couple of weeks), I’ve had happy moments, celebrations gone awry, solitary moments and moments of great anguish. The latter obviously involving my extended illness spanning my 28th and 29th birthdays. Spending multiple birthdays in a hospital tends to attach a diminished meaning to any one day, either positive or negative. (For a more detailed explanations of what happened to me over that period see here. )

When I meet anyone and the topic of a birthday comes up, I usually can gauge their opinion on it. Some people gush about another “trip around the sun” so to speak, while others bemoan, with great anxiety, the addition of another number to their age. This all gets into how we, as humans, tend to attach meaning to time.

Time can be thought of as a rhythmic passage of moments, but some people string these moments together into an agreed upon order. We have a calendar to pass the year, but even a calendar isn’t uniformly agreed upon. The lunar calendar in much of Asia. The solar calendar in the rest of the world. And within the solar calendar we have both Julian and Gregorian incarnations. Which is right? Whatever is important to a certain person or group in a given moment. And isn’t that what life is? What is important at any given moment.

Is a birthday important? To me, as important as others want to make it. Will I have a birthday cake? A party? If others want to share in the importance perhaps, but for the most part I live each moment with the same enthusiasm and passion as someone who attaches a celebratory air to a birthday.

Is that right or wrong? To some, it’ll be right, some it’ll be wrong, but for now, I’ll just make ice cream because there’s amazing summer berries available. Sometimes, that moment is enough…..

Blueberry Lime Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

1-1/4 cups Sunbest Fruit Orchard blueberries

1/2 cup Coal Lake Honey Farm mixed flower honey

Juice of 1 lime (about 1/4-1/3 cup of juice)

3/4 cup 2% milk

1-1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 oz mini dark chocolate chips (or rough chopped chocolate chunks)

Place the blueberries, honey, lime juice, milk and 3/4 cup cream in a blender. Purée until smooth. Whisk in the remaining cream and vanilla until smooth. Pour the mixture into a running ice cream maker, following the individual machine’s instructions for time. My little countertop model, with a canister I keep in my freezer takes about 25-30 minutes. As the ice cream starts to come together into a soft serve texture, gradually add the mini chocolate chips and allow the paddle of the ice cream maker to fold them in uniformly. This can be served immediately as a soft serve or transfer to a container with a tight fitting lid and freezer until firm (about 2-3 hours). Serve with fresh berries or with Maple-Ginger Macerated Berries

Maple-Ginger Macerated Berries

2 cups Sparrow’s Nest Organics fresh strawberries

1/2 cup Sparrow’s Nest Organics fresh raspberries

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp freshly grated ginger (about a 2″/5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated)

In a medium bowl, add the raspberries. Mash the berries with a potato masher or used your hand to hand-crush them into a coarse texture. Add the stemmed and quartered strawberries, maple syrup and fresh ginger. Mix lightly with a large spoon or with your fingers. Allow the flavours to combine for as little as 10 minutes or as long as an hour. The fresh ginger will add a piquancy the longer it macerates, but 10 minutes will give a nice punch without being overly “hot.” Serves 3-4 as an accent to ice cream.