Jeanie, as I knew her in the first grade, had freckles and blue eyes and a sense of humor that made me happy. I looked forward to seeing her every day. We were in the same one-room school, along with 28 or 30 other students, grades 1-8. Every day she and I took our lunches over to an old Osage Orange tree that had a limb near the ground, looking for all the world like it was reaching down, just so school kids could sit there. We'd unlock our lunch boxes and talk about classes we'd had that day. Her being a year older and in the second grade, she was more knowledgeable. But since I sat behind her, my being the only one in the first grade, I got to listen in to her lessons and learn second grade material.
I decided during lilac blossom time that I was going to propose to Jeanie before someone else claimed her for a future wife. I wanted to do something special to make sure she knew how serious I was about her. We had an ancient set of Encyclopedias in the school and I read up on how to make perfume. Basically, I learned, flower essences were the collected steam of hot water vapor from flowers. Knowledge in hand, my mother allowed me to bring some water to a boil into which I added a whole lot of lilac flowers. I covered the steaming pan with a tea towel and collected the steam. I'd found a very tiny, old perfume bottle, so wrung out my lilac flower essence into the bottle. Next day, I could hardly stand it until lunch time came. Out of my lunch box I pulled the tiny vial of lilac flower essence and handed it to Jeanie. She wasn't impressed, and refused to believe I had made it. Her not believing me, no matter how much I tried to persuade her, ended our lunches together, and any future marriage plans, as well. But I never stopped liking lilacs.
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2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (or more) lilac flowers, stems removed, chopped slightly in the food processor
Pour the water into a non-aluminum saucepan, add sugar and stir to dissolve. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and add the flowers. Allow the liquid to simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. Strain.
Pour strained liquid into a small ice cream freezer or sorbet maker and freeze. Serve as soon as sorbet is fully frozen, or pack in ice or the freezer for an hour.
I use a Donvier sorbet maker, which I found at a yard sale for $5. I often see them in thrift shops and have bought a couple more that way. You can order them from the company, new, for about $60. The inner part is kept in your freezer, then when you want to make sorbet, remove the liner from the freezer, put it inside the plastic cover, pour in chilled liquid and turn the crank. In a mere 15 minutes, with turning the crank once every couple of minutes, you have perfect sorbet!
|If you like the fragrance of lilacs, or plum blossoms, then you will really enjoy the flavor, too. It's more intense, delightfully fragrant and keeps well in the freezer.|
Also, I'm proud to say, this posting has been translated into Estonian by Anna Galovich, with my permission, on her blog, 1800 Flowers. You can find her interesting blog here.