Raspberry coulis is a fancy name for sweetened raspberry puree. It’s quite simple to make. You need around 4 cups of fresh mashed raspberries, a teaspoon of lemon juice and enough granulated sugar to sweeten. Mix it all together and heat over a low flame until it’s thick and sweet. Use a sieve to strain out the bitter pulp and seeds then store in a mason jar. It will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. It’s a perfect accompaniment for a variety of dishes, sweet and savoury. In my kitchen, on a humid Saturday night, it was to play duet with sweet (and sour) after a late dinner.
Praline and Cream ice cream wrapped in a soft tortilla smothered in a burnt pineapple sauce and topped with a button of white chocolate fudge lays in a dribbled circle of raspberry coulis. The heat of the day hanging in the air melts the flavours together. Plates empty on the counter beside the sieve that still holds the pulp and seeds. The prodigal son, without asking, spoons up a mouthful from the sieve. Bitter pulp and the grate of seeds twists his face. He leans over the sink to spit it out. Mouth gaping open dark red, his expression of shock and surprize takes me back 13 years.
The same face, not all planes and angles but full and sweet. No mop of wild hair but dark blond baby curls, round belly full and peach kissed. He walks at 10 months, never wanting to sit still. The water in the tub is shallow. My hands are right there as I tell him to "sit down, sit down now" and he drops forward. Only two teeth in front but, sharp, they pierce through. The same gaping mouth spits out dark blood, the colour of raspberry coulis. The same expression of shock and surprize. He doesn’t cry though and to this day, he still doesn’t. He has never cried over a physical hurt but a harsh word can crush him.
A trip to the emergency room follows and the doctor says "Mom is in worse shape than baby". No stitches, the tongue is a muscle and will heal on its own. It does after a fashion; the end just on the other side of the bite splits, leaving a Y shaped scar. Not even 2 months later it will be joined by another scar set firmly in the middle of the tongue…footsies in jammies don’t always mix with hard wood floors.
Just for a moment the sweet round mixes with the angles and planes. The eyes change from hazel to a golden green but they are still the same eyes. My stomach clenches in a despair so deep, words fail me. This love is so hard. It was so unexpected and so all encompassing. Like a leaf in a river the current carries me whether I will it or not.
He spits out the seeds and pulp, rinsing his mouth out with water. The moment has passed and in a day or so, for him, it will be like it never happened. He doesn’t know yet, maybe he never will. I hope not, but I know. I know that you can’t have the sweetness of raspberry coulis without the bitter pulp and the grit of seeds.
Oh, that you are my heart…