Recipe: lemon sorbet
The lovely and wonderful Meeta and Jeanne have coordinated and are hosting Meeta’s Monthly Mingle: A Taste of Yellow in honor of our friend, Barbara, who passed away at the end of June. Barbara used to host A Taste of Yellow to raise cancer awareness, and that is how I first met her on the internet. I had decided to contribute a post to her event in 2008. I was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer at the time.
the end of the day
I never had the pleasure – the honor – of meeting Barbara in person. But despite being on opposite ends of this planet, we grew close and became good friends. We compared notes on our experiences with cancer: the treatments, the way people react to you (both good and bad), wonderful oncologists, supportive partners, hopes, fears, the pain, regaining the strength to walk, lingering side effects, being able to taste food again. More than that, we tapped out emails to one another on photography, food, travel, friends, family, blogging, bloggers, life. Life was the big one… making the most of it and being grateful for each day. We had both arrived at this directive independently. It cemented our friendship.
We occasionally talked of travel plans – for her to come to the States or more realistically, for me to visit Australia. The thing is, Barbara was always making plans and looking ahead. She didn’t let chemotherapy or radiation stop her. Sure, they slowed her down, but she was not one to wallow in self-pity. Barbara once wrote to me that she didn’t want anyone’s pity. Cancer was not a label she accepted. She was so much more than that. Barbara was a special, classy lady with a fierce fight in her. She ranks up there with my grandma in my Book of Ladies Who Kick Ass. Her words carried the heft of wisdom and experience, wrapped in kindness and love, sprinkled with her great humor and wit.
My favorite comment she left on my blog was from this past New Year’s Eve:
“Happy New Year Jen. I appreciate your friendship. Oh god I do sound formal don’t I. Love ya sweet cheeks. xoxo”
For all of the people who knew her and loved her – love her still – this post is dedicated to my dearest Barbara and A Taste of Yellow. The recipe I chose for my submission is lemon sorbet. It is a perfect treat for summer, the season that most reminds me of Barbara.
get some organic lemons
and a cup of sugar and a cup of water
Whoever came up with that saying “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” probably wasn’t much of a cook, because I think lemons are terrific. Lemons are bright, tart, almost floral. Pair that with sugar to bring out some of the complexity of the fruit. Instead of making lemonade, we’re going to make lemon sorbet. It’s nearly as easy and it is definitely a welcome relief from the heat.
make the simple syrup
zest a lemon
ready to juice
I basically follow similar steps to making lemonade: simple syrup and lemon juice. The difference is that I don’t dilute it with water, I freeze it. When you taste the lemon juice-simple syrup mixture, it will be wildly sweet and tart. That’s how it should be, because freezing diminishes the intensity. By the way, my simple syrup is brown because I use organic evaporated cane juice.
simple syrup, zest, lemon juice
mix it all together and chill
churned in the ice cream machine
I had planned to add a tablespoon of limoncello to the sorbet to keep it smooth, but it actually came out with a decent texture. Not silky smooth, but smooth enough for my liking. I served myself a scoop of the sorbet and walked out onto the deck to watch the sun drop behind the mountains. This one is for you, Barbara. Love you.
a taste of yellow
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed (about 4-8 lemons depending on size)
zest of 1 lemon
Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir over high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Let it come to a boil for a minute then remove from heat. Let the simple syrup cool. Stir the lemon juice and lemon zest into the simple syrup. Place the mixture in the refrigerator or on ice until completely chilled. Churn the mixture in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze the sorbet. Makes almost a quart.