You learn a lot in life from the job you do. I'm a flight attendant, and have discovered tons about myself, other people and the world since I started working as one. Number one in importance would be that good manners, consideration and respect for others will take you everywhere in life that you need to go; number two, that so long as your bag always contains something to write with, a toothbrush, and a tub of Nivea Crème, all will be well.
But I haven't always been a flight attendant. In one of my previous guises, I was greengrocer. Well, a junior greengrocer; my family used to own several fruit and vegetable shops, and I worked in them through most of school. (I've been a teacher, too - but we'll save that for another time!)
So what did I learn as a greengrocer? Well, a great deal actually. First of all, that as a 15-year old, my hands held exactly one ounce of monkey nuts (useful to know when preparing one pound bags!), and secondly that Americans call coriander cilantro, and courgettes zucchini.
I'm being silly. But actually, I did learn a lot of useful facts about fruit, such as how to tell when things are ripe, and when they come into season. And one of the most useful things I have always remembered is that most of the natural sugar deposits in a melon are in the mass of pulp containing the seeds. So if you throw that pulp away, you're basically putting the melon's flavour and sweet, floral fragrance in the bin.
This melon sorbet has only one ingredient in it, and that is the melon with which you make it, so it is essential that you press and squeeze as much juice out of the seed pulp as you can. Use a sieve and the back of a spoon, and press hard!
Today, I used a rock melon. My preference is for Galia or even watermelon, but I couldn't find any, and the honeydew I did see looked bland and unripe. Use whichever variety of melon is available.
Cover a scoop with Cointreau for a Melon-Orange version of 'Le Colonel', the vodka-drenched lemon sorbet you always see on dessert menus in French bistros.
If you find that your melon purée is not very sweet, add a spoonful or two of caster sugar, but hopefully, you won't need it. The markets are full of beautiful ripe melons at the moment, so with any luck, they will be as sweet as sugar cane anyway.
If this doesn't get you using that ice-cream maker more than once, nothing will.
You will need:
1 ripe melon
caster sugar to taste (optional)
- Scoop the melon flesh into the goblet of a blender. Sieve the seed pulp to extract the juice and sugars; add this to the blender as well.
- Purée the fruit.
- Taste. It should be very sweet and fragrant. If in doubt, add a little sugar, and if you plan on keeping the sorbet for a while in the freezer, you should definitely do so - it will improve the texture.
- Churn in an ice-cream maker until set. Serve in scoops for dessert, or even between courses (if full-on dinner parties are your bag).