Too many of these is the reason why I couldn’t muster the attention span to blog yesterday.

For the first time since I arrived in 2009, we had people over for backyard cocktails. In fact, the first garden party wasn’t even our idea. Someone stopped by and decided half-way through her visit that we should invite all their mutual friends. It was fun, but awkward; especially when the “hostess” crapped out and left an hour into the party. We got free sausage out of it.

Due to our lingering anxiety that equated guests with losing control of the ship, we decided to keep the menu low-key and snack oriented. In addition to chips’n’guac and some cheeses, Jeff served his favorite Icarus wings; a ridiculously simple concoction of chiles, garlic, olive oil, and bay leaf. I made two ice creams. The basil and honeyed pine nut praline was right out of the award-winning Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home. The other – honeydew sake sorbet – derived its method and proportions from Jeni’s, but was ultimately our own flavor creation. Jeff tossed it out one night after reconsidering the cucumber sake sorbet incident. We agreed that our crushing hangovers from too many sake-tinis the night before had much to do with our inability to eat it the next day or the next week for that matter. We also admitted that ours lacked the texture of the pint we ordered a month later simply because we didn’t have an ice cream maker at the time. However, Jeni’s version of cucumber sake still didn’t rock us the way we expected. There had to be other sake flavor pairings that translated well as sorbet.

Apparently we hit pay dirt. Our guests were a mix of omnivorous hedonists, foodies with limitations, and a few unknown quantities. Everyone liked everything, except Ben, who doesn’t like anything other than gaming, cigarettes, Le Fin du Monde beer, and sometimes Jeff. He’s clearly a communist.

Honeydew Sake Sorbet

Get thee:

1 ripe honeydew, approximately 2 1/2 lbs
1 cup unfiltered sake (We used Momokawa Pearl sake; a happy $13.99 for a really solid quality sake.)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup (yes, it has that devil corn syrup in it)
1/4 cup water


1) Peel, seed and cut your honeydew into bite sized cubes. You should have 4 cups.
2) Put the sugar, corn syrup and water in a small pot. Heat until sugar is dissolved.
3) Blend honeydew, sake and sugar syrup mixture until smooth.
4) Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
5) After chilling, schelp it into your ice cream maker and churn according to instructions. It should have the consistency of a thick smoothie.
6) Spoon it into pint containers, if you have them, or tupperware. Gently bang the container on the counter to remove air pockets. If you choose tupperware, lay some wax paper or plastic wrap on top. Store in freezer for at least 4 hours before eating.

*Makes 2 1/2 pints.
*This is an excellent next day tonic for the host and hostess when it’s so hot by 11:00 a.m. that flies are already swarming the trash.
*Another sake enthusiast recommends grapefruit and yuzu infused sake sorbet.