Do you remember your first ice cream cone?
Here’s how it went, maybe, if you were one year old at the time: chubby fist, gleeful grin, strawberry ice cream everywhere, little fingers clutching the stump of a soggy cone as a rueful grown-up finally wrestled it away. That was my youngest daughter today.Or maybe like my middle daughter’s, when she was two: perfectly tidy, body tense with focus, studiously licking until every chocolate drop was gone, and not one morsel spilled.
Or maybe like my oldest daughter’s first ice cream cone when she was three: enthusiastically selected (strawberry, again), indifferently nudged around, then rejected: “too cold.”
I find, upon reflection, that there is an inverse relationship in our family between birth order and the age at which the children consume their first ice cream cones. (In my defense, my little one’s cone today contained a spoonful, not a scoop, of ice cream; but that was plenty to make a good mess.)
A frozen scoop is a treat at any age. Children shouldn’t turn their noses up at this sorbet, but we won’t blame you if you reserve it for grown-up enjoyment. What a sweet way to eat your vegetables.Cucumber Mint Sorbet (adapted from Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream): First, find a friend with a juicer and juice enough cucumbers to make two cups of juice. I used two very large cucumbers; peel them before juicing if the peel is at all bitter. Take a moment to admire the color and scent of the juice (but don’t drink it unless you have more than 2 c.). Cover and refrigerate cucumber juice.
Mix 1 c. water with 1 3/4 c. white sugar in a pot (I almost always use Wholesome Sweeteners’ organic sugar, but here it’s too dark; you want plain white sugar to preserve that cucumber-green color). Bring just to a boil over medium heat, whisking until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer syrup to a bowl and refrigerate.
When the syrup is completely chilled (1-2 hours), mix with cucumber juice and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice. Process according to your ice cream maker’s directions. At the very end of the processing time, add 1/4 c. finely chopped spearmint leaves and process for one more minute. Transfer to a glass container and freeze at least four hours, until ready to serve.