When you parse out words like I do all day, and when it is the week before the ultra-commercialized Valentine's Day, you cannot help but dissect love, everything about it. What it is. How it is. When it is.
Love is action. You do it. You make it happen. It is not a lingering feeling inside of you but rather a ball of fire that forms from within and expresses itself through action, the action of...loving. Love is the verb that wakes you up, the force that gets you going through the day, the perpetual act you perform when you call a close friend, when you plan a celebration, when you pick up a thoughtful gift, when you comfort the person next to you, no matter who they are. Love is the action that parallels your every pleasure, your every kind gesture, your every soft touch. It is an inner power that carries out in so many ways. You love - from the smallest things to the grandest ones. The leap you take to love is fulfilling and selfless at same time. It feels good to love. It satisfies. It expects nothing back.
No matter how hard I have tried, and I have tried very hard, no matter how non-religious my views are, I found no better way to describe how love is than this:
Grind the cardamom pods in a (very clean) spice mill or coffee grinder that you only use for spices.
Add the ground cardamom and orange zest to the heavy cream, blend, and place it in a nonreactive pan over medium-low heat until it comes to a very gentle simmer. Remove from heat. Cover and let it steep for 30 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until the yolks become a shade of yellow lighter and the sugar is dissolved.
Return the pot to the stove on medium heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon the mixture forms a custard that coats the back of the spoon, probably 3-5 minutes.
Strain through a tamis or fine mesh sieve into a bowl set on ice water. Stir until cool to touch.
Place in the ice cream maker for 25-30 minutes, depending on your type of ice cream maker.
Freeze, enjoy, love.
Photography by Jennifer Olson.