My husband has just returned from his annual camping trip with the boys. They spent almost 10 days in the arid region of northern Nevada trying to catch the very narrow window of good weather between bitter cold and scorching heat. I have joined him on this camping trip in the past (I’ve shared some images here from previous trips) and when the timing is right, the high desert hills are teeming with life–wild horses, wild donkeys and wildflowers of all colors. Exploration using ATVs and motorcycles are the main draw for my husband’s friends but for him, it’s the guaranteed solitude (no one else around for many miles), the beauty of the landscape and the hot springs that draw him each year.
When my husband returned home yesterday I was given the highlights of the trip over some wine and cheese. I’ve heard many of the stories before of rattle snake sightings or of the elusive big horn sheep and even riding alongside a herd of pronghorn antelope–he’s taken the same trip for decades, long before I became a part of his life so some events seem to carry over from one year to the next. This time, however, he regaled me with a different sort of adventure.
On their second night at camp 30 mph winds blew over the desert. My husband was preparing to retire for the night when above the howling winds he heard our friend’s curses outside. My husband stepped out to see a pile of nylon and plastic rods in shambles; our friend’s brand new tent which was guaranteed to withstand even worse conditions became a near-casualty of the force of the wind. Apparently it took some time to reassemble it into a suitable form of shelter once again.
The following night the winds paid another visit. This time my husband stepped out to make a late night pit stop only to find our other friend and his son struggling to reinforce the roof of their tent trailer. The old pop-up’s roof collapsed (no one was hurt) but it was no match for the winds either. It took several pairs of brawny hands to secure the roof that night and I’m still amused thinking of the unfortunate fate of that tent trailer by the end of the trip but that is a story for another time.
On both occasions the men ended up seeking temporary refuge from the wind in our 19-ft trailer. I call it my life-size play house for it comes equipped with a full kitchen, bathroom a bed and a dinette. It is ideal for me and my husband but with several grown men, it makes for very cramped living quarters. Hearing this story was like seeing the events unfold from the classic Three Little Pigs. First the straw house was blown down, then the one made of wood suffers the same fate. My husband’s trailer is the brick house and the huffs and puffs of the wolf in the form of strong winds were no match at all. I could almost hear my husband say, “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin will I let you in!”
Okay, maybe not.
And what did I do while husband and friends collected stories to tell around the campfire for next year’s trip? I worked, exercised, caught up with friends and I made this sorbet. This was the extent of my kitchen efforts while I was alone. Cooking for one is not as fun for me so simple salads and the occasional takeout dinner sustained me for over a week.
I had a pineapple ripening on the counter with a lone banana so I put them together in this sorbet. I added just a bit of sugar to help the already sweet fruits and I thought the latter would lend a bit of creaminess. The blender did all the work puréeing the mixture into a smooth liquid–I did not even bother to strain the mixture but I would recommend you do this. I added some Cointreau to make the sorbet more scoopable after churning it in the ice cream maker and I was very happy with the results.
This was my welcome back dessert for my husband and our friend when they returned exhausted from their camping trip. I’d say they were quite happy with it, too, and with two quarts of this sorbet in the freezer, there was plenty to go around while I heard the rest of adventures from this year’s camping trip.
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- 6 cups fresh pineapple cut in chunks (see note below)
- 1 ripe banana
- Juice of one lime
- ½ cup sugar (adjust according to the sweetness of your fruits)
- 3 - 4 tablespoons Cointreau
- Add the pineapple chunks, banana, sugar and lime juice in a blender until very smooth. You may have to do this in batches like I did. Taste for sweetness and adjust add a bit more sugar if you feel it needs it.
- Strain the mixture in a large bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours before churning in your ice cream maker.
- Before processing in your ice cream maker stir in the Cointreau. Process according to manufacturer's directions. Chill until frozen and serve. Makes two quarts of sorbet.