I’ve learned over the past few weeks that solo parenting a toddler through the sometimes seemingly endless stretch of the weekend requires planning and routine.
Don’t get me wrong: I love spending time with my little girl. But sometimes, when it’s Saturday morning and the sun is just peeking over the treetops but I’ve already been sitting, knees at ear-level, in a tiny little chair colouring pictures of Elmo and writing A-D-A (!!!) at my dear girl’s demand for three hours, and I’m contemplating a third latte to the tune of the refrigerator hum and a distinct lack of adult conversation, the promise of a planned activity that involves escaping the winter-draped house is my ticket to sanity.
For the past few months, we’ve made a routine of heading to our local Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings, when it’s a little less crowded and there are entire swaths of aisle-space for Ada to run amok in (not to mention empty vendor tables to hide under). We start by climbing the stairs to the upper level and getting “coffees” at my favourite place – whereas “coffee” means a double latte for me and some steamed soy milk for Ada. We roam around for a while, attracting smiles with our matching takeaway cups – hers held diligently between dimpled fingers, being careful not to “make a big mess!”
We pick up any produce or meat that we might need, and inevitably find ourselves at Fruition – a newly expanded vegan place tucked near the front entrance of the building to get ourselves a couple of raspberry macaroons.
Upon discovering the place, I instantly appreciated knowing that all of the products were, by definition, dairy-free, making it a completely stress-free way to allow Ada a bit of indulgence.
They’ve come to expect us there now, with Ada usually breaking free from holding my hand as soon as she sees the shop, running to point to what she wants. It wouldn’t surprise me to see her little finger prints on the glass case where the macaroons are kept. We take one raspberry macaroon in a tiny paper bag and our weight in napkins, and go perch on a window ledge somewhere to eat it.
After asking for the gist of the recipe, I tried recreating the macaroons at home. I think I did a pretty good job, but Ada didn’t seem to think they compared. More for me, I suppose. At any rate, they were tasty enough to warrant me sharing my version of them here.
- 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 cups frozen raspberries
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond milk
- In a food processor, pulse the coconut, frozen raspberries and cranberries until they form a paste. This may take a while as the cranberries will be resistant to your efforts in the beginning! Keep at it until the mixture is relatively smooth and homogenous.
- Form the mixture into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate 2-3 hours, or until firm.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, vanilla, and almond milk. Microwave on high, 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between heatings, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Dip half of each macaroon in the melted chocolate. Place back on the baking sheet and return to the refrigerator until the chocolate has hardened.