Friday, December 22, 2006

Best lemon sorbet


It used to be easier, simpler, to write recipes if less interesting. A mushroom was a mushroom, an onion an onion and specifying olive oil as extra virgin was already a nicety. Lemons were lemons and now there are Meyer lemons and other kinds as well as Key (Florida) limes grown in Mexico. It matters becaused the flavors are different and the amounts of juice and even zest changes with the variety.

I made by far the best lemon sorbet I've ever done a few nights ago for lean leaning guests. As I grow Meyer lemons in the room where I work in Garrison, I had a few ripe ones, four to be exact. I grated off the zests of and then juiced them. I combined the juice--about a half of a cup--with the grated zest and three and a half cups of one-to-one simple syrup put it all in a sorbet machine; divine and enough with berries for nine guests because of the intense flavor. I keep simple syrup in the refrigerator. It is nothing but equal parts of sugar and water brought to a boil and cooked for five minutes. I then chill it and keep it cold. The sorbet would not have been as good or aromatic with another kind of lemon. I confide; but don't know what to do.

The pleasure and complexity increased with more choice. What do I call that mushroom today? It is not a button mushroom which referred to size. It is not a cultivated or domestic mushroom as so many different kinds--many that used to be considered wild--are now farmed. It is a farmed sort of Agaricus campestris calling it which is hardly going to make things simpler for the home cook or any other one for that matter.

I need suggestions on naming. Help.

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