So, Friend and I were both grad students the aforementioned summer — she in speech pathology and I in experimental open education (yup) — and my husband and I were house-sitting in an amazing suburban home with a swimming pool and a lunatic Brittany spaniel. The house's owner spent the summers as a nurse at her kids' overnight camp, and the dog's canine brother and sister also went to camp. Timmy, the dog, couldn't go to camp because he was slightly deranged. Among other things, Timmy was afraid of thunder, as many dogs are, but just before we had arrived for our house-sitting stint, Timmy, unlike most dogs, jumped through a plate glass window. This house was located on a totally private lot with gorgeous landscaping that could be easily appreciated because two sides of the sprawling house were entirely made of glass. This was of some concern to us, but Timmy did not jump through the glass on our watch. He did, however, bite the Culligan man, creating a bit of a fuss. I love dogs, and did my best to provide loving care for Timmy, but he was ... difficult.
Lots of other weird things happened while we were at the house - like an neighbor's entire wedding party showing up for an afternoon of swimming saying they had the owner's prior permission. (They didn't) "Oh didn't she tell you ...?" And, after finally getting over my 'city-girl' privacy issues, walking into the living room inappropriately dressed for public, and seeing the gardener on the other side of the glass. Not to mention the time the gas tank in our car leaked into the gravel floor of the garage and filled the house with gas fumes. We hiked to the closest pay phone (the house phones were out of order — another story) to call the fire department to ask if there was any danger, and the next thing we knew, there was a fire truck with lights and sirens racing past us on the road. "You don't suppose ...?" We raced back to the house as fast as we could and found firefighters with hoses and hatchets running around the house and yard and all the neighbors standing in the road. Fortunately, everything was okay. And about those phones. I was quite annoyed with the phone company for letting the phone be out of order for more than a week. The only way we could call them was from other locations — this was before cell phones — and they kept insisting there might be a phone off the hook. Then I discovered there was a phone we hadn't known about in the basement that the cat had apparently knocked off the hook. When the phone repairman finally did show up, unneeded, we were skinny dipping in the pool. Whew.
So, Susan and I had a lot of free time that summer. I was teaching a couple of art and music classes to young children at the Y, and I don't remember what she was doing. We spent a lot of time lounging around the pool, swimming, cooking and eating. We were always trying to find interesting new things to cook. This recipe is the only one I remember from that crazy summer. But, it's a good one.
Frozen fruit sorbet
- 2 bananas, sliced and frozen (or 1-1/2 cups mashed, unfrozen)
- 1 can (15 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice (or 1-1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- sweetener to taste (optional, and I think unnecessary)
I froze my bananas ahead of time because I knew I was going to make this, but it also works with unfrozen, mashed bananas. The quantities are kind of flexible and I wrote what I used and in the ( ) I wrote what the recipe actually says. Blend up everything in a blender or food processor until it's really smooth. (Frozen bananas probably work better in the food processor.) You can either freeze in a container until firm but not hard, and then beat with a mixer, or use an ice cream freezer. If you use the freeze/beat method, you'll have to repeat the process two or three times to achieve a smooth and creamy texture.