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Learning to Make Sherbet


So my cold rolls into its third week and I realize I'm going to have to see my doctor. He's not a bad guy and in fact I like his quirky matter-of-fact style and poor bedside manner. But I've been in good health and haven't seen him in over five years and if I allow myself to be truthful, I can't bear the inevitable lecture about losing weight. It's been eight years so I can't use the "I just quit smoking!" excuse anymore. The cold symptoms beat out the dread.


In prepping me for the doctor, I joked with the nurse about swine flu. She asked if I was concerned. "No, but it would be fun to be a statistic. I mean, a surviving statistic." They didn't even check! No fever. the blood pressure was good and then on to the scale. "You seem surprised by the result!," she said. It was horrible! I probably haven't been on a scale since that last visit. It was a real buzz kill!

I left the doctor's office knowing the cold was at its end and I needed to buy a scale for a weekly weigh-in. I went to Target and as I passed the Housewares section, I decided what I really needed was an ice cream maker. Makes sense, doesn't it? I've always wanted to get David Lebovitz' book, Perfect Scoop and what better time to learn about ice cream and sherbets than now? So I bought the ice cream maker and a scale, with pride, I might add!


While waiting for David's book to arrive, I used Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich. This has been a favorite book ever since I met Alice last autumn at a block party in Oakland. I like to say I don't have much of a sweet tooth but it's not true; it's chocolate that doesn't rock my world. I like it but I hardly crave it. Even though Alice is most famous for chocolate, she knows a lot about other desserts and this book is inspired, useful and delicious. I first made banana ice cream using her recipe and then inspiration hit I decided to make a sherbet using some reduced prickly pear sauce I had.

The final mixture was:
1 1/2 cups of reduced prickly pear (tunas) puree
3 spoonfuls of sugar
juice from 2 limes
water (enough to make a total of 2 cups of liquid for the entire batch)


It was really delicious and I think pretty healthy. The reduced tunas (prickly pears) were intense and the sherbet was somewhat tart but it was great and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, maybe with a little less fruit and more water.

Have you made ice cream or sherbet? It's a gas. If anything really interesting comes up, I'll post it here. And the scale? I'm sure it's going to be handy once I unpack it.

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