Monday, July 21, 2014
As with each summer previous I've been diving full into fresh, local food. I've immersed myself in veggie-filled recipes and become addicted to berry picking.
There is something relaxing and therapeutic about picking berries. And the company has been phenomenal this year :) I am continually reminded of something Michael Pollan said at an author talk about his latest book Cooked. He mentioned the power of a shared meal, where the food on everyone's plate is the same thus making the experience itself shared. I feel that tenfold when I'm gathering my own food. The meal tastes better when you've prepared it yourself and especially if you've acquired the ingredients from a local farm or favorite market.
And that is why I am okay with making so much sorbet this summer. It tastes better than store bought and with each scoop I recall the experience of making it or gathering the fruit.
So far I've used two recipes, both VERY simple. Did you catch that? VERY SIMPLE. I mean, fruit+sugar+cold=sorbet so how hard could it be?
Sorbet #1 - Cantaloupe
Strange sounding, right? Well the melon was organic, fresh, local and seemed like a fun way to kick of sorbet season. I used Mark Bittman's recipe for sorbet from How to Cook Everything, which is basically the same equation as above. I cut the sugar down since cantaloupe is already pretty sweet. I believe the first comment post taste testing was, "It tastes like cold cantaloupe." Stellar review! I mean, that's what I was going for, right? Pure, simple and refreshing on a hot day.
Sorbet #2 - Blueberry
Our neighbors have a blueberry bush and they are very generous! I took a bowl up there and promised to only take what I needed. By the time I was done, it looked like there were MORE blueberries on the bush and I passed by a lot of berries that still have a few days before they are ripe. Needless to say, this might be a repeated recipe unless I get brave and want to try something else blueberry related. For this one I used a Martha Stewart recipe which used simple syrup instead of straight sugar (basically watered down sugar). Again, I added less sugar than she called for because I'm a rebel like that. Not an exact science just to taste. Here is the recipe and I'll probably be trying it again because it made so much simple syrup even though I did a half recipe.
What's up next? Probably Raspberry since I still have 7 or 8 cups in the fridge from our most recent berry picking event. I'd also like to try something exotic sounding like mint or cucumber. Do you have any recommendations or flavor requests? I love a good food related experiment!