Fewer things are sweeter than fresh midsummer fruit. Except for taking said fruit, blending it with sugar and water, and freezing it for a summer treat, best savored poolside from a drippy cone. Our family calls this ritual “sorbet summer.”
After I set (and nowhere-near achieved) my lunatic goal of making a new sorbet every week last summer, I realized sorbet making shouldn’t be some culinary bucket list challenge for us to accomplish, or yet another fun family activity.
Quite the opposite! It’s an exercise savoring summer’s bounty and slower pace. It’s utilizing the in-season ripe fruit I already have sitting on my kitchen counter or in the fridge. It’s inviting my kids into the kitchen and embracing a little mess to create an easygoing summer family ritual. It’s allowing kids to help chop, with juice trickling down to their elbows, not worrying too much about the sticky mess on my kitchen floor.
Perfection does not matter in this cooking project. Uniform pieces aren’t necessary when you’re going to throw it all in a blender anyway! Sorbet summer is all about the process of creating in the kitchen and enjoying the fruits of your labor together.
First, I ask the kids what ingredients they want to incorporate. I’ll readily admit that sometimes I’m a sneaky mom and I steer them to whatever fruit is on sale for that week. Other times, we discuss our favorite flavors at Poppy’s Ice Cream and Coffee House, the local ice cream parlor in Downtown Lee’s Summit. Both my daughter and I are obsessed with their lemon-lavender sorbet, which is perfectly tart, sweet, and floral.
Last summer, I asked the kids what flavors they wanted to make. Motivated by their vision of a cherry-lime flavored frozen treat, they spent over an hour at the table pitting cherries. I call that a mom win!
This summer, we’ve already made mango-coconut sorbet and vegan chocolate gelato in this Cusinart ice cream freezer. My daughter is requesting a repeat of the cherry-lime, with watermelon and strawberry on the menu as well.
Here are some of the flavors we plan to enjoy making together this summer, or old favorites that we’ll make time and time again. What is one of your family’s easygoing summer rituals? Which flavors sound best to you?