There are sweet, cat-stretching-in-sunshine lazy weekends, and there are grumpy, immobilized-by-too-much-to-do lazy weekends. Unfortunately, mine was the latter this time. My laziness today was deep and eternal. That’s right, I changed the course of my life this weekend and have now become a surly knob of a human that still answers to my old name.
Ever tried to cook grumpy? It’s not pretty, or tasty. Ever tried to cook in the hot summertime with nothing in your pantry but cans of pumpkin puree, stewed tomatoes, and coconut milk? You must be recovering from a kitchen remodel, too.
I was so clever, weeks ago. Strategically I used up all of the extra items in our pantry so that we’d have less to heft around back and forth during the remodel. Now my useful lazy day fallback—standing in front of the cupboard looking for a sign—has been reduced to trying to figure out how to utilize this one can of coconut milk with the stuff growing in my garden outside.
I tried to imagine my most prolific crop right now—the cucumbers—with the coconut milk, and the allure of Thai food wafted into my imagination. However, no basil, no cilantro, no peanut sauce, no fun. Thinking and complaining about my limited options used so much more brain power than my legs would have used driving to the store to get some actual food.
So, last night my cucumber inspiration led to ordering takeout Thai food. Tonight, it led to a frozen pizza.
After consuming that pizza I started thinking about this simple sauce from the book Vegetarian Nights--essentially coconut milk and honey--that I used to eat with fruit salad. Luckily, today I had been forced out into the world because of an appointment, so I did go to the farmer’s market and had bought blueberries and plums. Neither of these go with those cucumbers lurking in my front yard, but they could certainly agree to sharing the same bowl with a little coconut sauce. Last time I ate the sauce, though, it tasted boring to me. So tonight I spiced it up—literally—with cinnamon and allspice. I read recently that cinnamon really brings out the blueberry-ness in blueberries. Allspice kept the thing zapped up a bit. Also, I brightened the flavor with lemon juice to meet the acidity of the fruit. Lime could have been great, too. In the end, I thought the sauce was good enough to drink, though I’m proud to report that I didn’t.
Its sweet simplicity is nice; it has possibilities, too. This coconut sauce would be spectacular with blueberries and plums along with a nice pound cake. The ingredients are surely around here somewhere. I’ll get to it later.
Coconut Sauce for Fruit Salad or Pound Cake
- 1 ¼ cups coconut milk
- 1/3 cup honey
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1 or 2 tsp lemon juice (add to taste, or not at all)
- In a small pot in slightly warmer than medium heat, pour in the coconut milk and honey. Stir together and bring to a low boil.
- Begin to stir constantly, and whisk in the salt and spices. Cook and stir sauce for 10 minutes at the low boil until it is reduced and a slightly golden color.
- Remove from heat, cool slightly, and whisk in the lemon juice. Chill thoroughly.
- To serve: pour a small amount onto a plate or shallow bowl, and arrange fruit over the sauce. Garnish with mint or lemon balm.