Lemon Sorbet Bubbly and The Mennonite Writer's Conference

Oh hey, Katie here! 

As you know, within this project, there is the work of the whisk and the work of the pen - The cooking and writing portions of a cookbook that is. Let us not get too focused on the pie (as I tend to do) and forget that the literary muscle needs its own honing and affection and body building. Which is why tomorrow I board a plane for the east coast and last night I had Lemon Sorbet Bubbly Dessert otherwise known as Sgroppinos. 

So first... on the Writing Front…

This photo is purely foreshadowing for the whisk work later in this post.

Tomorrow - First to Charleston, South Carolina to meet up with sister Sarah, then off to Harrisonburg, Virginia for the Mennonite Writer’s Conference, a weekend-long love affair with all things of literary and Mennonite nature. The body building will be in full force!

Most of my time will be spent listening, absorbing, and learning. And then Friday morning I’ll be taking a deep inhale and giving a reading of my own! During the “Visual and Popular Culture” session I get the chance to talk on one of my favorite subjects – Keturah. A version of The Gift of Keturah’s Collection to be exact. Those humble, tender little words will be frolicking out of the valley of the web and into the laps of those lavishly kind folks who attend. I’m thinking passing out something lemony seems appropriate for a fully sensual literary experience. I am thrilled for it all –especially the part where I get to emerge from behind this screen and really truly connect with all these folks of literary and Mennonite nature.

Following the reading on Keturah and Lemons there will hopefully be a rousing discussion of about food writing in the Mennonite literary context. (Hence my recent survey question on the Shoofly’s Facebook page.)

I know my thoughts on the subject, and I’ll get to hear from the folks in the room, but what about you?
- Whose are the voices you hear when you think of “Mennonite food writing”?
- What are the genres you think of?


Do tell! A comment, an email, a FB shout... whatever method is calling you!

Now…  on to the whisk (and bubbly) front…

-       Seeing as how the following things are currently in alignment: 
     - Spring has arrived! For some of you – intensely so.
-        Keturah and Lemons are on my mind.
-       Celebration is due! (In part for the whole conference gig, but also-my friend MaryClair is about to have a baby! And my sister Jenny is getting married!)  
-       It’s Meyer lemon season.
-       I love bubbles.

The only thing that makes sense with that combination is a Sgroppino! Clearly. If you’re wondering what the yank that means… a Sgroppino is the best thing that landed since some genius put cookie dough in ice cream. A Sgroppino is an Italian dessert (Venetian to get specific) made with lemon sorbet and Prosecco. A dash of nutmeg seals the deal. I told you… genius. The lemon and nutmeg combo remind of Keturah's sugar cookies. Which makes this even more appropriate. 
Super simple
Crazy delicious
You won’t look back.

Eric so excited he's taking photos of me taking photos of the Sgroppino

Adapted from a cookbook I don’t know the name of because someone gave me the recipe on a piece of paper and I didn’t write down the reference. I'll do some hunting. I changed it by adding a lemon (I wanted it stronger) and going with whole milk mostly instead of half-and-half totally. (The half-and-half was just too heavy for me if you can believe it.)

Serves 4 to 6

3 lemons
2/3 cup sugar
About 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or to taste)
1 ¼ cup whole milk
¼ cup half-and-half
1 ¼ cups Prosecco (or any sparkling white wine)

1.     Grate the zest of all 3 lemons into a bowl. Squeeze the juice of the lemons through a strainer and into the bowl with the zest.
2.     Add the sugar and freshly grated nutmeg and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
3.     Now add the milk and stir to combine.
4.     If you are using an ice-cream machine, transfer the mixture into the machine and spin according to the manufacturer’s instructions for a sorbet. Return to freezer till you're ready to serve.
5.     If you are NOT using a machine, pour the mixture into a shallow dish, like a casserole dish, and place in the freezer for about 2 to 3 hours or until is half frozen. If it gets too frozen you can mix it with an electric mixer or blender. Return it to the freezer until you’re ready to serve it.
6.     When you are ready to serve, chop it up a bit with a spoon, transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk in the Prosecco. It will be foamy and creamy and excited to see you.
7.     Pour into flutes if you’re feeling fancy and enjoy!