When sweltering here in too-hot-Texas, I look up for heavenly help to flourish amidst demanding conditions. What might I spy, eyes toward the skies? The fanciful crown of the date palm tree, fronds soaring atop a straight, tall trunk.
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree
Psalm 92:12 NIV
Most palms are found in tropical climates, but the date palm thrives in the desert, connecting to unseen water springs underground. Always upright, evergreen, untroubled by barren terrain, the date palm displays a distinct stature, a horticultural metaphor for our righteous Savior.
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.”
Jeremiah 23:5-6 NIV
The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
John 12:12-13 NIV
Most of us have too much water, humidity, and mild temperatures to grow date palms in our gardens, yet we can enjoy their sweet fruits widely available in supermarkets. With their honeyed and spicy-pleasing taste, dates belong in desserts, a subtle play on words with their desert upbringing.
The inspiration for today’s refreshment in the date palm comes from my husband Topher’s fond memories of date shakes, an ice cream delight he enjoyed as a boy visiting his grandmother’s winter retreat in Palm Desert, California. While working on date palm for the Plant Guide, I welcomed our boys home from a hot day at school (yes, we started school in August’s blazing furnace!) with date shakes. Boys, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Date Palm Delights
a date shake Recipe
Soak dates in water in a small bowl for about 30 minutes or longer. Once softened, pour water and dates into Cuisinart or blender and puree. Add honey and blend thoroughly.
date paste, see above
1/3 C. milk
10+ scoops vanilla bean ice cream
Add all ingredients to blender and mix until smooth. Taste and tweak ingredients, adding more ice cream, honey, or milk until desired sweetness and consistency is reached.
Serve with straw, preferably under a fan!
Makes approximately 4 8 oz. servings
Learn more about Date Palm in the Plant Guide
©2015 Shelley S. Cramm Date shakes, a treasured treat from the Palm Desert, Calfiornia, area, are a great way to stand up to summer’s heat
©2015 Shelley S. Cramm Date paste in our Cuisinart bowl, made from soaked dates in water. I look forward to using this mixture as a natural sweetener in other baked goods
©2007 Luigi Strano|Flickr Creative Commons Phoenix dactylifera, photographed in Catania, Sicily, Italy overlaid with a Word from the LORD, Psalm 92:12