Wednesday, June 15, 2005

First Day of Summer Vacation

We celebrated our first day of summer vacation yesterday by whipping up a batch of cantaloupe sorbet and swimming at the pool. Well, I use the word "celebration" very loosely, because I grumbled through the creation of the cantaloupe sorbet and only half of us went to the pool.

My twin 12-year-old boys are avid fans of the Food Network. Which is why when TwinBoyA saw a cantaloupe sitting on the sugar cannister, he said, "Oh! We can make sorbet!" This is a child who has never in his life eaten sorbet, or cantaloupe, either. This is the cantaloupe that I lovingly picked out by sniffing its brown scaly skin and waving it in the air to gauge its weight to size ratio.

Creating sorbet requires digging the food processor out of the front closet, which required shoving aside a Costco-sized package of DaycareKid's diapers (which he no longer wears), removing entirely the dead vacuum cleaner and moving the box from a Hickory Farms Christmas gift which ought to be inspected and tossed, most likely.

Then, I traipsed to the laundry room, where I was compelled to switch clothes from washer to dryer and dryer to basket and basket to couch and dirty clothes to washer. That done, I pulled the ice cream maker from my utility room cupboard where it has been sitting unused for six and a half year. Before that, my ex-sister held it ransom for quite a while in her storage unit before she attempted to sell it at a garage sale. My mother brought it to me when no one would buy it for $5.00. Five dollars! My dad paid $39.99 for that machine, full-price when one day he got a hankering for homemade ice cream that did not involve rock salt and a crank. I haven't used it since he died almost sixteen years ago. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure it was ever used more than once, after he satisfied his craving.

For all these years, I've kept the metal cylinder in my freezer, ready at a moment's notice to turn cream into ice cream. That moment came yesterday, catching me off-guard, and involved only cantaloupe and sugar, no cream at all.

While TwinBoyA eagerly watched and advised me, I scooped cantaloupe to the scale where we could measure a precise "one pound, five ounces." Then, we processed the melon until it was smooth and added a cup and a half of sugar and processed it another thirty seconds. He carefully set the timer for an hour and we chilled it the exact amount of time. When the buzzer rang, into the ice cream maker it went and he and TwinBoy B turned the handle three times every three minutes until it was done fifteen minutes later.

Then into the freezer it went.

My husband stayed home with Babygirl while I took the boys to the pool. I didn't want to take her because although school is out, no one notified Mother Nature and chilly winds blew dour clouds around the afternoon sky. Despite the warmth of the heated wading pool, I knew Babygirl would be cold.

I wore blue jeans, a cotton shirt, a jean jacket, heavy white socks, red Ked slip-on sneakers and carried Jayber Crow with me to read. A pack of mostly pre-teen boys jostled in the pool, playing basketball, mostly. YoungestBoy had the diving board to himself and perfected a little chubby swan dive, while I held my book open in my lap, but mostly chatted with DaycareKid who ambled over to me and sat on the adjacent lounge chair. He was shivering, so I covered him in a towel and we chatted as if we had not already spent ten hours together. His mother came over, apologizing for him, but I said, "No problem. It's no problem at all."

The kids swam and played for two hours while I read in fits and starts, depending on the interruptions.

The sorbet's exile to the freezer came to an end just as we walked in the door. The boys each had a scoop and I gave my husband two for good measure.

My husband advised me he prefers his cantaloupe unprocessed. The boys ate their small scoops, but no one clamored for more. Next time we use that ice cream maker we'll be using fudge, marshmallows and broken up Oreos. And we won't be waiting sixteen years, either. I predict a summer full of ice cream and many more days of wild play at the pool, clouds or not.

8 Comments:

Blogger Gina said...

May your days be completely filled with fudge, marshmallows and Oreos. Yummmmm...

I cannot believe you kept the cylinder in your freezer the entire time!

Congratulations on making it to summer!

11:22 PM  
Blogger Julana said...

My husband could not figure out why I thought it was so important to get an ice cream freezer, in the first year we were married. This is why. July 4th, sweaty days, and family reunions. Don't forget chocolate chips, green food coloring,and mint flavoring. And fresh strawberries.

4:48 AM  
Blogger WordsRock said...

What is this "summer vacation" of which you speak?

5:25 AM  
Blogger Eyes said...

I have a recipe for you. Blueberry cheesecake ice cream by Emeril. It's divine!!

9:03 AM  
Blogger Catharine said...

And maybe you could toss in a cheesecake raided from somebody's refridgerator while they're way and you're staying in their house....

I'm just sayin'....

~C~

10:11 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

Hi there! Just love your posts! Such wonderful visual writing!

My boys spent the afternoon at the pool too!

10:05 PM  
Blogger M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

Mmmmmmm, sorbet. That just smacks of summer. Although it's cold and gray in the Bay Area (Calif) today and actually rained a little. (In June!?) But it *has* to get hot soon, and then we'll start burning through the icecream. I think the first gallon will be mint chip.

Enjoy!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Ozfemme said...

I love sorbet. I love ice cream. That last one you mentioned - fudge, marshmallow etc -oh my lord that sounds brilliant!
Meanwhile it's about 12 degrees celcius outside and has been raining for a week. Enjoy your summer days over there!
I want me an icecream maker. Today.

10:53 PM  

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