First of all, I would like to apologize to all of you for not being able to visit your spaces regularly in past few days.The reason- I m trying to stand straight for past one week.I have watery eyes and I m sneezing almost every second..its the pollen allergies.The weather in Vegas is swinging from extremely warm one day, cloudy the second to cool & windy the third.I had put back all my wollens last weekend, only to take them out again two days back.Its like one of those week when if you dont wear a wollen, you ll shiver and if you do,you ll sweat profusely. To make matters worse,its too windy, harsh winds laden with pollen.I was never allergic to them but I guess the levels in the air are too much. However not all is bad, the flower buds have opened,the other day I got up at 5 a.m. and heard sweet chirps of the birds from the trees right across my patio coz the leaves have re appeared on the tree branches to nestle them.Everyone is in a mood to enjoy the weather as long as it lasts.Spring is here…the season of revival and happiness.
For those of you whose part of the world is still covered in white, I know that you will give me the most horrid look after reading the title of this post.. almost at the point of getting irritated with the word “spring”.But, I can qualify my part of the world as spring[y] and I m really trying to enjoy it amid the allergies.See, even some of my home grown plants have bloomed.Its no longer those mornings when I want to be in the bed for long,covered under the quilt, I want to put on my shoes and go off for a run.The freshness in the air is intoxicating.It really is ..trust me.
I waited months for this marigold plant to bloom.I was so happy when the first bud opened its shell.I bought this small sapling way back in in September.It remained almost dead for few months but I kept on watering.Spring came and waved the magic wand!
Coming to food talk now,I feel that my appetite has become better, I want to relish the spring treasures around me.A welcome break from frozen and cold storage fruits and vegetables.We are so enthusiastic to include fruits in our diet and I am baking a lot with fresh fruits these days.Its a fruitful joy I have already made a couple of easy sorbets in past two weeks.This is one of them.Nothing can beat the freshness that fruits bring to the table, in any form.So how are all you guys enjoying your spring?Do you also feel the same?
Why I make a sorbet? Me and P are a little weird.We eat ice cream in the midst of december and we sip soups in June.Its actually about ultimate fondness for few food items. I personally feel that ice cream tastes better in winters and P feels that there’s nothing better than sipping on warm soup in an air conditioned room in summers.Do you also do such keep any of such eating habits?
P ensures that our freezer never runs out of the ice cream.He is a big big fan of icecreams and sorbets.Infact, there is hardly a dinner which is not followed by a small scoop for him.And can you believe I do not have a ice cream maker as yet.I just keep on putting it off and off.I do not feel a dying need to buy one.I feel that to put it to use,I will make ice creams more often then and all that blah about calories and crap.You see sometimes out of sight, out of mind works.
When it comes to fruits, like most indians,mangoes top our favorite list.There is something unbeatable about the taste of indian mangoes.If I may say so, there’s no other food item that I miss more in US – okay may be indian street food [chaat] at times. You tell me one place where I can get good quality, juicy, fleshy and sweet[ even sour, raw, anykind ] mangoes, and trust me we are ready to drive miles to get them.If we get to know that any of the friend or relative is coming from or going to India,we ensure that they get us atleast one box.
This time we were lucky, we didnt have to drive far, we got a box of ripe mangoes at Costco. My eyes caught the fresh, vibrant yellow calling out my name from far away and I ran rushing towards the aisle.I just had to grab few boxes ..there was no other option.I wish someone could describe the glee in my eyes at that time. It was so mango(ey)
After eating to our heart’s satisfaction with cereal in breakfast,in lunch with salad and just slices as dessert after dinner, I had a few left which I turned into this easy sorbet.Fuss free and clean flavors with simple ingredients and you are done.Adding basil- okay that was the result of my hyperactive mind when working with mangoes and peeping out of the window to the patio and seeing my home grown pot…which is thankfully still alive till the temperatures dont shoot out here.. Basil took the flavor to a level that I cant describe and accentuated the freshness of the sorbet.I kept the sorbet less sweet coz thats how we like it.You can adjust the quantity.Infact, I think adding any sort of herb basil or mint will definetely add a layer of taste to the sorbet.
Ingredients [Makes 1 quart]
- 4 large, ripe mangoes [approx 2 lb ]
- 1 /2 cup simple basil syrup [recipe below] [adjust to taste, quantity depends on how sweet your mangoes are]
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp vodka [optional]
- Put the container in which you plan to freeze the sorbet in the freezer to chill.I used an air tight plastic storage container.
- Peel and chop the flesh the mango into cubes.
- Make the basil simple syrup[ recipe below].Allow it to cool.The recipe makes 1 cup of syrup but you will need only 1/2 cup for this recipe.
- Once cooled, in a blender combine all the ingredients except zest and process until smooth. You can adjust the amount of simple syrup based on your desired sweetness.
- Stir in the lemon zest into the blend.
- Pour into the chilled container and return to the freezer.Check back in an hour and stir the frozen edges back in. You will need to do this 5-6 times after every hour.
- Let freeze overnight or for atleast 6 hours until firm.The resulting sorbet will be quite soft.
Note: If you have an ice cream maker, your life is much easy.Put it to work according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Basil Simple Syrup [Makes 1 cup]
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 packed basil leaves, finely chopped
In a small sauce pan bring sugar and water to a boil.Add the basil leaves and simmer for 5 minutes.Pour into a cup and refrigerate until cold.Do not drain the basil leaves.
Sending this to Hearth n Soul #41