GF: Dessert, thanks to Burt

Sometimes the best things in life are the things we don’t often stop long enough to contemplate.

Take for example the rare sunshine (in the PNW) through my skylights in the living room. Both Max (our black lab) and I were lounging in the sunshine on Saturday for as long as it lasted. (I swear some part of me in solar-powered.)

Other examples?

  • Watching dragonflies hatch in the summer.
  • Listening to my love roll with laughter while he watches “Human Tetris” on YouTube (for which I absolutely MUST thank my student profusely for the introduction).
  • Early morning birds chirping.
  • Sun breaks in an otherwise cloudy day that spurs you on further.
  • And meeting new people.

Today I met Shauna (Gluten Free Girl) and her love, Danny. It was a lovely chance to meet another blogger face to face and chat about life. And it was refreshing to talk about the many things in life beyond what we eat. In fact, that was hardly a topic of conversation at all.

We talked about travels in Italy, blogging, wedding cakes, pregnancy and babies (adoption for us), and more. It was a lovely time and I left to enjoy the last rays of sunshine on my way home as she prepared for a cooking class they were going to be teaching.

I mention this meeting because she graciously signed a copy of her book for me to somehow (if I can figure this out) “auction off” to the highest bidder here in an attempt to help raise funds for our own bundle of joy. Adoption is an expensive option. Sadly for us, it’s the only one left. But that, that will have to wait until I figure out how to do it. (Any ideas? Feel free to drop me an email!)

So instead, in the sun, I thought back upon the reasons why children make you thrive.

I thought about the lifetime of love I have to share with my love and how maybe if we would have met earlier, things would be different? No. That’s really not it. We’re perfect as is – and I truly believe that there is always a greater plan in action. Things happen when the happen for a reason.

Uncle Burt & Aunt Betty

Take my Aunt Betty. She’s an amazing woman. At the age of 80+, she went on a canoe and camping trip through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota with her boys (in their 50s). She’s not slouch, either, let me tell you – she was carry heavy packs and all.

My Aunt’s husband, Burton, was a wise man. He knew what a wonder Betty is and his admiration and esteem for her was obvious when you saw them together. In fact, even though they had dated in high school, both Betty and Burton had married others and had kids. It was only after their spouses had passed that Betty and Burton reconnected.

At their wedding, several decades since they had been in high school, both of them had dance cards that they had saved from long, long ago with the other’s name on it. Neither of them knew that the other had saved the dance card until that day.

Things happen for a reason, don’t they?

Burton was an amazing person in his own right. I truly enjoyed all of my conversations with him and the sparkle in his eyes when he spoke and told jokes. And, Burton was an excellent cook. He made the most wonderful brisket I’d ever tasted. (No worries, I have the recipe!)

Better than the brisket though, was Burton’s ability to bring the simple flavors together for an amazing dessert. He brought muskmelon to the table and proceed to slice it up. On each plate he placed a slice of muskmelon, topped it with a small scoop of lemon sorbet and then squeezed a lime section over the top.

Oh. My.

It was all I could do to savor every bite as slowly as I could despite the melting sorbet. (It was July, after all, and even in Minnesota, for those of you who don’t believe me – it gets DANG hot!)

Oh it was wonderful.

So on Saturday, after absorbing as much sunshine as the clouds would let me have through the skylights, I ran my errands. I had to go to the store for some items for our potluck (with the Foreign Exchange kids) that evening. And of course, sun-inspired, I picked up some sorbet and melon too.

I modified Burton’s recipe mostly because I didn’t grab the right kind of sorbet (I grabbed raspberry, not lemon) and then the modifications just kept coming. Strawberries? Oh yea, those looked too good to pass up. Lime juice? Hmm… Why not try Limoncello liquor. Oh yea. That was a winner too!

A simple dessert with many, many thanks to my Uncle Burt.

Uncle Burton’s Simple Dessert
1 cantaloupe, sliced into long slices for serving on a plate topped with other ingredients or cut into pieces for serving in a glass or bowl
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 small container of lemon or raspberry sorbet
1 lime or 1 Tablespoon Limoncello (per serving)
*mint leaves for garnish *optional


  1. Cut and prepare fruits.
  2. Layer fruit (cantaloupe and then strawberries) into your serving dish.
  3. Top with one small scoop or 2-3 melon ball sized scoops of sorbet.
  4. Either squeeze fresh lime juice on top or pour 1 Tablespoon of Limoncello on top for each serving.
  5. Can be served with fresh mint leaves as garnish as well.

Ah. A little bit(e) of summer in the spring time.
Thanks, Burton.


  1. Oh that looks so good!! And the exciting thing is that I went grocery shopping and now have all the ingredients in my house! This will be great to eat while watching Idol tonight.

  2. Sweet, sweet story. Thanks for sharing. And good luck with the adoption; I wish you all the best.


  3. Kristina says:

    Wait, are you from MN? So am I. Now I like your blog even more. :)

    What a beautiful tribute to your uncle- I’m sure he would appreciate it!

  4. Meeting you was the highlight of my day (and the cooking class was fantastic, filled with lovely people). I love how this internet thing connects us. How would i have known you otherwise?

    The adoption will work, and you will be an amazing mama. Lucky kid that gets to eat this! (and the brisket. could you post the recipe?)

    Thanks, my dear.

  5. Cassandra says:

    What about Ebay? I’m not fond of the thing myself, but you might be able to do something on there. I mean, people will pay thousands of dollars for a cornflake…

  6. Good luck with your adoption. I bought Shauna’s book and loved it….I envy you for having met her. Her blog inspires me! I love sherbet, sorbet and fruit. A beautiful picture, a great idea for a refreshing dessert! I added you to my blog list and enjoy reading your posts. Take care.

  7. Was the brisket as good as my bubbie’s (grandmother’s?!) Hmmm….I’ll be the judge someday I hope. :-)

  8. I love your blog and look at it often. Today the story of you trying to adopt really hit home as I am adopted. I don’t know how, but it all works out like it is supposed to. I am almost 40 and still can’t understand it, but my parents after adopting a daughter (my sister) put in for a second adoption and again requested a daughter (me). Now who would do that? The rest of the story is that my mother became pregnant twice in later years and had 2 sons. I am so thankful that my parents went through all the trouble to adopt, keep the faith and know we are all praying for you.


  9. They should make Human Tetris into a real video game — NES original

    Oh! That would be fun! -Kate


  1. […] (skip the bulgur wheat, thank you, and use some quinoa!), etc.  Make it a balanced plate and offer some wickedly awesome sorbet and fresh fruit with a little fresh lime juice on top.  They will appreciate your efforts and if you are cooking for yourself?  Your tummy will thank […]

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