Sure, if I lived in New York, I’d get along fine. I would bid farewell to my food processor and electric kettle and stacks of casserole dishes. I would learn to entertain without a cabinet full of water pitchers and wine carafes; I would whittle down my tools to the most essential, soaring on the initial euphoria of minimalism. But then summer would arrive—and I would long for my ice cream maker.

Life comes with so many little negotiations, many of them bittersweet. Trade big city energy for suburban sprawl but find room to breathe. Or, give up your comfortable, convenient space and gain the globe. Here, there. Now or later or never. Every choice has its cost, one you don’t fully realize until you’re paying up with the hours of your “one wild and precious life,” as Mary Oliver reminds us.

As for me, I pay in true pangs of longing every time I zip around a big city, imagining a life I could have. Even so, the emotional arithmetic lands me in the “here” column every time I tally things up. And I never feel more assured of my choice than in early summer, when friends overflow onto our sprawling back deck for dinners that linger long after dark. I like to serve simple strawberry lemon sorbet on occasions like these: the shocking punch of its flavor, a sweet tart for grown-ups, wipes the palate clean after smoky summer foods straight off the grill. There is room here for my ice cream maker, a big charcoal grill, a vast swath of stars overhead. Cheers to where we all choose to settle, to every spoonful of life, the bitter and the sweet.

Strawberry Lemon Sorbet
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts


3 lemons
2 lbs. strawberries, hulled
2 cups sugar


1. Seed and roughly chop one lemon. Place it into a food processor or blender (yes, peel and all!) and pulse until the lemon breaks down. Add sugar and blend until combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

2. Add strawberries to blender and purée. Pour the purée into the bowl and stir in the juice from one lemon. Taste, and then add more juice from another lemon if needed. The lemon flavor should be clear and strong, but should not overwhelm the strawberries.

3. Chill sorbet mixture in refrigerator for about 20 minutes and then churn in an ice cream maker until frozen. Transfer sorbet to a clean container and freeze until set, about 4 hours or overnight.