Desserts - we love them, we save time (and sometimes count calories) for them, we take our time enjoying them.
But do you remember the last time you shared it with someone and it left a special memory?
And when was the last time you were asked out, in a letter?
I am including a short excerpt from NFY2.
About Suhas and Ana and their encounter with Cold-coffee with Ice-Cream, an anytime dessert-drink.
This quintessential staple from most eateries in India represents the carefree days of youth for many people, enjoyed with friends often - but even more special when consumed on a hot sultry evening, in the company of just one more person.
An excerpt from ‘NFY2: Family Narratives of Denial & Comfort Foods’
“He told her that he was coming to Bombay to ask her something, was she free to meet him?
Was she free to meet him?
Was she free to meet him!
She read his words repeatedly, taking them in slowly, permitting her eyes to caress his pen strokes, wondering what he was thinking when he chose those specific strings of words, or mustered the courage to ask her. She wondered about his impatience as he waited for that day to arrive, and her own.
In those moments, Ana’s heart soared a little and stopped, it would not be easy meeting him again given all that she knew.
How could she tell him? Should she be the one to tell him? How could she not?
The nervous pen pals met at a little beachside coffee shop watching the summer sun set over the Arabian Sea. There were hundreds of people on the beach, they looked like pieces of colourful confetti, far too many to count, and distracting. Why were there so many people on this hot evening, on this hot beach, in the hot sand? As the colloquial phrase translated, they were here to 'eat air', enjoy the air, as though air was food, but air was existence, it was life.
Like a bobbin from her mother’s sewing kit, this was life unfolding, unravelling, tangling, and untangling, and binding her in its trappings.
The clouds were still white, it would be several weeks before the rains came. The summer sun was hot and hot coffee was the least appropriate drink for the season or their meeting.
But they did not really come there for coffee, they settled on cold coffee instead with large dollops of vanilla ice cream, Suhas loved ice cream.
A tired waiter took their orders and returned with two tall glasses filled to the brim with a dark brew of a milk coffee and floating on each, two scoops of vanilla ice cream. The condensation on the glasses left rings on the old Formica table.
Suhas and Ana nervously moved the glasses around, taking extra care to add minutes to their rendezvous, wiping away the streaks of water, looking for extra napkins, wiping down their spoons several times before picking off small scoops of ice cream from the float, each reliving their first meeting over an errand, and mentally skimming their letters to each other over the years in the short time they now had with each other. They both knew very well that within a few minutes they would no longer be pen pals.
Tick, tick, tick, time was doing its thing. Ana turned her wristwatch away from herself, she wanted time to freeze.
She would have never wanted flowery words or elaborate gestures, but today, she wanted something else also. She wanted more time and a quiet place to talk to him, not a public coffee house and a timer for his return."
Cold Coffee with Ice Cream
Makes: 2 servings
Cook Time: 5 minutes plus cooling time
¼ cup water
Sugar, to taste
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
1 ¾ cups whole milk
3-4 scoops cream-based vanilla bean ice cream
2-3 tsp dark chocolate shavings or chocolate chips (optional)
In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add sugar and instant coffee powder, allowing both to dissolve completely. As this boils, add the milk, return to a boil. Once the milk boils, remove from heat and chill completely before using, at least 2 hours.
To serve, pour the chilled coffee into a tall 12 oz glass. Add two scoops of vanilla ice cream on top. Garnish with chocolate shavings, chocolate chips (or roasted coffee beans), serve immediately with a spoon and a straw.