Pink. It’s the colour of this Blackberry Sage Frozen Yogurt. It’s the colour my two girls love most. It’s also the colour of Breast Cancer Awareness. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and let me tell you, I am infinitely aware. I have partnered with some fellow bloggers to bring you healthy recipes and draw attention to this disease. Spear-headed by Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts and Cassie of Bake Your Day, we are all creating healthy PINK (mostly) recipes (you can check out other contributions below). Several of the bloggers contributed recipes all week long, but I found that my schedule precluded doing so. Regardless, I wanted to participate, as breast cancer has touched my life deeply in several ways. It’s a worthy cause and on Friday there will be a fun giveaway, so stay tuned for that.
So yes, breast cancer has touched my life deeply. I wish I could tell you that all the stories have happy endings, but they do not. My maternal grandmother died of metastasized breast cancer when I was in my early teens. She lived at quite a distance from us, and I didn’t know her very well and didn’t get to say goodbye, but my mother spent time with her at the end. And my mother has been religious about her self-breast exams ever since. My aunt, my father’s sister, has been fortunate to catch her own cancer twice at relatively early stages. The first time, she opted to have radiation and a lumpectomy. The second time, she decided to go ahead with a full mastectomy. Fortunately, she has been cancer-free since then. We hope it continues.
The toughest story of all is that of my father’s wife, my step-mother, Anne. Anne was mother to my youngest sibling, my brother Jon. In her 40’s, Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent the exhausting combined treatments of radiation and chemotherapy. 5 years later, she was cancer-free and considered fully cured. About a year or two after that, she went to the doctor for a persistent cough and was diagnosed with lung cancer. After further investigation, that lung cancer turned out to be metastasized breast cancer, and it had already permeated her lymph nodes and some other areas, including the bones of her hips. Anne and my father took every possible step to halt the spread of the disease, but I am sure I don’t need to tell you that it was too late. It eventually spread to her brain. She died in late August, 2002…she was only 53, and my brother Jon was only 16.
So. Breast cancer. Be aware, and do what you can to support the cause. Because it touches everybody. Many stories have happy endings. Some do not. Let’s fight this every way we can.
Recipe adapted from Pepper Lynn
- 10 oz frozen blackberries
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup sage leaves roughly chopped
- 2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
- ½ cup powdered sweetener sugar or erythritol or honey. I used Swerve Sweetener
- 2 tablespoon vodka
- In a medium heavy pot over medium heat, bring blackberries, water and sage leaves to a boil. Let simmer 15 minutes, then crush berries with a wooden spoon. Let sit 30 minutes to steep.
- Transfer berry mixture to a strainer over a medium bowl and let drain, pushing on solids to release as much of the juices as possible (if your mixture is very thick and syrupy, add a little water and mix it around to get more of the juices). Discard solids
- Whisk in Greek yogurt and sweetener. Refrigerate mixture until chilled, at least one hour.
- Stir in vodka.
- Pour into canister of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's directions.
- Once churned, transfer to an airtight container, press plastic wrap flush to the surface and freeze until firm but not rock hard, about 2 hours.