I am always running into Waco transplants. At running club, at the restaurant, in line at the grocery store — I’ll be five minutes into a pleasant conversation with a bright, friendly woman when we both realize we’re from out of town.
I can’t figure out if we’re attracting each other with this magnetic pull that says, “Help me! I’m not sure if I fit in yet! You don’t seem to either!” Or are there just TONS of women in the 26-34 age bracket moving to Waco? Probably, it’s both.
I’ve been here for over seven months (!), and I still gasp and say, “Me too!” whenever someone tells me they just moved to Waco. I wonder how long I’ll feel like a newcomer. Every day, I’m like a pendulum or one of those old metronomes, alternating between feeling great about this cute old town and its burgeoning “art scene,” and feeling so frustrated that I can’t just apply for these jobs sent from the heavens at America’s Test Kitchen in Brookline, Mass. Lord if I could just be one of their test cooks or web content gurus, I think, I could spend my days surrounded by people like me AND end this neverending story that is my quest for a career that involves all the things I’m passionate about. But then I remember that I love our restaurant, and I love our house, and I am becoming a Wacoan, after all.
In the spirit of making lemonade out of lemons, and making happiness out of confusion, here’s some sherbet. I made it when I saw the beautiful color of these blood oranges — their deep red turned a cheerful Valentine’s pink when transformed into creamy, refreshing sherbet. I must say, winter citrus makes these 20 degree days worth it.
Blood Orange Sherbet
Makes about 5 cups
1 ½ cups sugar
1 packet unflavored gelatin powder
3 ¾ cups fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, strained
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon lemon extract
1. Whisk together sugar and gelatin.
2. In medium saucepot, pour in blood orange juice and slowly whisk in the sugar and gelatine mixture. Heat juice mixture over medium heat until gelatin and sugar are fully dissolved.
3. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a heatproof bowl. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream, then the milk and lemon extract. Cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate until completely cool.
4. Turn in ice cream machine* for 10-15 minutes, until thickened. Transfer churned sherbet to an airtight container and freeze for at least 1 hour, until firm. Serve in bowls or cones.
*No ice cream machine? That’s okay. Just pour the liquid mixture into a shallow container, cover, and freeze. Every half hour, remove the sherbet from the fridge and stir thoroughly, breaking up any icy blocks. Continue for at least four hours.
If you don’t eat this within 48 hours, I recommend letting it melt in the fridge and re-churning it. It will get too rock-hard in the freezer if you leave it for weeks.