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A few days ago I went to a funeral. Someone I used to work with for over 10 years died in a senseless, stupid motorbike accident. He was a sweet guy who always wore a cheerful grin, even under extreme stress. I used to work in tourism, and M and I started out as newbies around about the same time. I still remember us trying to get a busload of tourists from the port to the airport, me shaking at the prospect of having to use the mic and make an announcement, him getting us lost while trying to join the motorway. Two not-even-twenty year olds playing at coach driver and transfer staff! Since then he had taken over his family’s business, learned to manage a fleet of coaches and found the correct route to the airport. Tourism is a tough, relentless industry, with long days, short (or non-existent) holidays and 7 day working weeks all through the summer. Watching all my former colleagues and associates at the funeral, one thought struck me more than any other. Is it really worth it? Yes, of course we have to make a living, but should we let work take over our whole life? All those years, while his friends were at the beach, M spent his summer weekends at the port, making sure cruise passengers got to their hotels, or arranging for 50 coaches to be available for an Acropolis tour, or answering my frantic 4 am phone calls and having me yell hysterically because the driver hadn’t shown up to pick up my group (not an infrequent occurrence). Yeah, I sure have some stories… he did too, until last week. We’ve all got stories “we can laugh about now”. Well, next time don’t wait “till you can laugh”. Laugh today. Do things that make you happy today. Eat whatever you feel like today. Go ride a horse today, or swim, or sing, or shop. Do something you love doing. Tomorrow you will have forgotten this and you’ll be back in your routine. So will I. But once in a while we have to take a step back and remember to live – today. Cliché? Maybe. But it really can all get snatched away so quickly.

Ideally, on that bitter day I would have liked to celebrate life with a decadent brownie, or a heavily frosted cupcake. But for a number of reasons baking was not an option. Instead I finished making the frozen yogurt I started the day before, because it was an experiment I was enjoying. Then I proceeded to eat the whole batch. All of it.

Rest in peace M.

Apple Frozen Yogurt
Serves 1 (just do it)

What you need:
2 apples, peeled, cored, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup water
300g Greek yogurt (2%)
4 Tbs sugar or sweetener (I use Canderel)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cinnamon

What you do:

  1. Put the chopped apple and ¼ cup water into a microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle with one tablespoon of sugar or sweetener and mix well. Microwave for a few minutes, with breaks in between to check softness. When the apple is mashably soft (it took mine about 3 min), remove it from microwave and let cool for a few minutes.
  2. With a hand held blender, blend the apples till smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla and cinnamon to the apples.
  4. Add the yogurt and mix well. Taste and adjust as needed (e.g. more cinnamon or sugar). Place in the fridge to cool completely.
  5. When cooled, freeze as per ice-cream maker instructions.

Note: I first made this with peaches (based on a recipe from the Bartolini kitchens). This too is absolutely gorgeous. Just substitute the apples with 2 ripe peaches and keep everything else the same.

Other lovely looking recipes for frozen yogurt:
Fat-Free Low-Sugar Strawberry Frozen Yogurt by Kalyn’s Kitchen
Sugar-free, low-fat lemon frozen Greek yogurt by The Perfect Pantry
Pistachio Nut Ice Cream from the Bartolini kitchens
A Frozen Yogurt Recipe to Rival Pinkberry’s Recipe by 101 Cookbooks
Lemon Curd Frozen Yogurt by Kitchen Confidante