May 29, 2014
Micah made slightly more honeysuckle syrup than he knew what to do with, so I improvised a quick sorbet for our recent low country boil. A quick Googling revealed that nearby Chapel Hill restaurant Crook's Corner (home of the best shrimp & grits I've had to date) is famous for this extremely seasonal treat. But, that recipe calls for infusing the flowers in the water (instead of the sugar), so... improvisation. I started with about 1 part syrup, 1 part water... then added a little more water... and some fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste, plus that hilariously minuscule amount of cinnamon called for in the recipe (because it just seemed too quirkily specific to not humor). After churning it in the ice cream maker, I felt it was still really sweet, so I grated some lemon zest over it. And it turns out, honeysuckle and lemon are amazing bedfellows.
The honeysuckle are already gone from our yard, but we still had some syrup left, so I recently made another batch with more lemon juice in the sorbet. So refreshing and summery – we're rationing it as much we can. I loved how much simpler sorbets are to make than most ice creams. No tempering in egg yolks, not as much chilling before churning, simpler ingredient list... plus, we used wild flowers from our own yard, which is pretty rad.
I am definitely pro-foraging, especially in the safety of your own property (as in, you know if you do or hopefully don't use pesticides). I don't really see how it's any different from harvesting from your vegetable garden. I KNOW there are more wild edibles out there, and my own ignorance on that is starting to annoy me. I'd love to learn more about that. And now that we're finally on property that we own, I'm going to start tucking edible perennials and annuals outside of our garden squares: in corners of the yard, up against the house, down by the mailbox. I want a property that's overflowing with herbs and medicinal plants. But hopefully in a thoughtfully relaxed, wabi-sabi kind of way. I've already taken the first step, and planted mint in the ground (SO daring). Six weeks in, and my three plants are already kicking out runner roots in all directions. I can't wait to watch them Godzilla-battle our monkey grass. I hope I have a yard full of mint someday.
Where was I? Oh yeah. This sorbet was really good. Go make some sorbet.