October 6, 2008

Last Taste of Summer Sorbet

First thing I heard that morning was the sound of her too-tall heels shuffling their way toward the door of my apartment. It must have been, oh, 3 or 4am. Despite my desire to tear out of the sheets and throw my body in front of the door and beg and plead with her to never-ever-ever go, I didn't move a muscle. No, I didn't move. Played dead. Gonna save my pride this time, I thought.

I heard her grab her keys, heavy with the objects dangling from the chain: 2 troll dolls, a beer bottle opener, a picture of the two of us on a roller coaster in a small plastic frame, and a Schnauzer figurine. Hidden in the clink-clink of this kitschy mess was one key, the key to my apartment. Next, I heard her fumbling with the clasp of her bra. Heard the plastic click of her lipstick container. Imagined that lipstick spreading on those Angelina Jolie lips of hers. And then--then, she was gone. Door open, door close.

This is the 27th time Summer has abandoned me. Each year I hope she'll change her mind and stick around. "If you move with me to the Southern Hemisphere, baby, you can have me longer this year," she said a few weeks ago. And I've considered the move--really, I have. I mean, once you get a taste of Summer, sometimes you feel like you'd do anything to make that love stay. However, I had papers to grade...and no money saved...and a late-20s tension headache. Something about the move didn't sit well with either of us, so we didn't talk about it after that.

As the days grew less humid, I could sense that Summer was getting antsy. After knowing this woman for 27 years, I can tell when she's fixin' to leave. September comes around, and all of a sudden she throws a sweater over her tube top, starts losing her tan, and switches from Camel Lights to organic cloves. Nearing the end of the month, she's long gone. Nothing I do or say can make her stay, so I've given up trying. I guess the best I can do is remember the good times, right? That, and hope she'll show up on my doorstep next year with a pack of ice-cold Coronas in her hand, a slice of lime between her pink-pink lips. Because no matter how sour the goodbyes, I don't change the locks.

The morning she left, I concocted a sorbet using some of Summer's favorite flavors. With each bite, the memories of her flood in like a giant monsoon--takes all I've got to put the spoon down and walk away.

Last Taste of Summer Sorbet

The recipe below is not super-specific. With these ingredients, however, you can't really go wrong!

3 handfuls of Concord Grapes (or other inky grape)
2 handfuls of strawberries
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
a few lavender buds
a touch of vanilla extract
a drizzle of honey
1 drop jasmine extract (optional)

1. Bring a bit of water to a boil, and then drop in your handfuls of grapes. Let boil for 2 minutes. Once you see the skin peeling back a bit, take off the burner and let sit for a few minutes. Strain grapes through a wire sieve. Hopefully this will yield close to a cup of fresh juice. Set juice aside.

2. Bring to boil the cup of water with the 2/3 cup of sugar. Maintain boil until sugar has dissolved, and then remove from burner. At this point you can toss the loose buds right into the sugar mixture to infuse the syrup with a flowery flavor. This smells fabulous!

3. In a food processor or blender, blend the strawberries, vanilla extract, honey, and jasmine extract. Blend for close to 1 minute, making sure no pieces of strawberry remain. Add the fresh grape juice, and blend until combined.

4. Once the lavender syrup is at room temperature, strain out the buds and blend together with the fruit. Pour mixture into an 11X13'' casserole dish.

5. Every 30 minutes for 2 hours, you should remove the sorbet and whisk. This ensures that your sorbet will not crystallize.

6. Eat. Remember. Cry.


Hadley Gets Crafty said...

You are the bravest, most inspired cook ever. I made some soy milk cream of mushroom soup with leftovers today. Not nearly as awesome as sorbet.

I'm so glad you took those shoes! I loved them, but they always hurt my feet. They were somehow too big and too small at the same time. It's nice to know they have a home with an appreciative wearer!

When are you coming up to the windy city to visit friends? Hint hint...

Breedale said...


I love that metaphor. What an awesome image! Your writing blows me away. I also love the sorbet recipe. I noticed there are some flowers in there too! Very inspiring. Thanks for turning me on to your blog. I will visit often. -Bridget