cantaloupe sorbet

As I walked up the stairs from the basement today, I decided to do something I haven’t done the last three summers. I piled beach towels on the bed, found our raincoats in the attic, and began gathering my kitchen essentials to start packing for our Cape trip. We leave in three days. This was my routine for many a summer. I would start preparing for our annual trip to North Truro a week in advance. We waited all year for those two coveted weeks to escape from it all. Back when we first started going, cellphones were just coming into popularity, and we didn’t yet feel the need for them. A few summers later, when we finally had them, reception was very intermittent all the way out there. It was easy to unplug. As time went on, it became more challenging, but we were determined to preserve that old Cape magic.

The first summer we went without the Mr. was just two weeks after he died. Looking back, I don’t know how I even managed it. I just remember knowing that he would be there waiting for me; that is what made me so certain that we had to go.

The years that followed, 2012 and 2013, we went because I couldn’t imagine not going. It was hard being there, but the idea of not going seemed harder. Much as I tried to move forward, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. And so, packing for those trips was always done hastily, usually the night before. My motto became “so long as I have my girls, I can buy whatever I forgot”.

This time it’s different, though, and I can’t quite put it into words. Could it be that three is a magic number? A portal, perhaps, in which my heart and mind are now truly willing to listen to the words etched on my arms?

dream big.

be amazing.


In years past, we needed that trip to seek refuge from a place we no longer felt comfortable living in. New York City had become akin to a favorite shirt, you know the one you can’t bare to part with, regardless of the too-tight fit, faded color, and maybe even a few holes in it. New York had become our golden boy, gentrification fraying the edges of our beloved city.

This year, though, it is not refuge or escape I’m seeking. I’ve found that in our new home. I sit on my front porch at night, serenaded by cicadas as I read. When I kiss our girls on the top of their heads, as they tumble inside, the scent of dirt and fresh air tickles my nose. This summer we are not running away from something, perhaps therein lies the difference.

Photo Jul 25, 13 06 46

Cantaloupe Sorbet

Music Pairing: Let’s Go Away for Awhile by The Beach Boys

makes one pint

I haven’t seen honeydew at my local farmstand, but if you do, I’d totally try swapping that in place of the cantaloupe, too. You can also use flavored simple syrups for a layer of flavors. Just infuse fresh herbs of your choice when making the syrup (rosemary, mint, and lemon thyme would be nice pairings with the cantaloupe). One last idea—what about making an adult “float” with this sorbet? Imagine a scoop bobbing in a bit of prosecco.

PLEASE READ BEFORE SHARING MY RECIPES: I really appreciate that you like my recipe enough to want to share it with your readers. I work hard at developing them, and the only way to way to truly show your thanks is to LINK to the recipe. If you feel the absolute need to reprint the recipe, then you must rewrite the directions in your own words, and give credit as “recipe by In Jennie’s Kitchen” with a link back to this page. If you make sufficient changes to the recipe, then you may list it as “adapted from In Jennie’s Kitchen”, again with a link back to this page. Thank you!

1 small cantaloupe (750 grams), rind removed & cut up into chunks

1/3 cup (95 grams) simple syrup (get the recipe here)

Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime

Place the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer at least 24 hours before you plan to make the sorbet.

Add all of the ingredients to a blender. Pulse a few times to break up the cantaloupe, then blend until it becomes a smooth puree. Pour the mixture into the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker. Churn for 15 minutes, or until it is firm enough to scoop. You can serve the sorbet immediately, or store in a covered container in the freezer for up to one week.


  • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)

    “This summer we are not running away from something”
    Jennie this is a beautiful post and this sentence really hit home for me. Watching you and your girls over the past little while settle into your new house has been a joy. It’s so obvious that you are at peace there and it it wonderful to see. Enjoy your vacation XO

  • Meg | bread + barrow

    I am so happy for you that not only are you going because you need to – because of the many good memories – but also because you are excited to! That is a big deal, and I am so glad that you and your girls are as strong as you are. Have so much fun on the Cape (it is where I grew up!) and I can’t wait to make this sorbet. Also- that glass…totally awesome.

  • Tina

    I started reading your blog for recipes and love your cookbook. Now I read it because I am cheering for you. Being a Mom is challenging, Go with your gut, forgive yourself when you are not perfect and mostly enjoy the small moments. I’m a mom of 4 and summer on the Cape. It has restorative properties and brings us back to a slower, simpler life. Enjoy yourself, and keep writing, you are very talented. PS I also live in upstate NY,a Boston transplant and the fall there is so beautiful!

  • dd

    Yes, maybe three years is a charm. I too am three years past losing my husband. This summer has been one of unclenching: both feeling more (ouch) fully but also getting back to myself, apart from being a widow. It’s hard and wonderful, a kind of reclaiming. Like everyone else here, I am so grateful for your sharing of your life and your food. Bon courage!

  • Mallory @forkvsspoon

    That final sentence…it just hits home. Strikes right to the point. May you have a wonderful time with your girls.
    You wrote a post after that first trip back to Truro and not 3 weeks later I found myself driving to Cape Cod with my mom, aunt, and grandmother and the entire drive, you and your family were drifting through my mind. I spotted a sign for Truro and before I knew what I was doing…I was searching for the beach and coast line that you spoke of. To this day, it is a place that my family and I speak of with total wonder and awe and longing. Again, may you have a wonderful time.

  • anthea

    How lovely for you to feel & see the shift, the move from NYC may prove to be the best thing you ever did for all 3 of you. I do hope The Cape engulfs you in warm welcomes & a wonderful stay. Can’t wait to hear

  • Jennifer Perillo


    Thank you for sharing that memory. It really is such a special place, and the few friends that I’ve brought there “get it” as soon as they arrive.


  • Jennifer Perillo


    “Apart from being a widow”—I understand exactly what you mean. It’s a fine line, trying to find yourself again. Here’s the a better year four for both of us, filled with strength and finding a new meaning in life.


  • Jennifer Perillo

    Thanks Mardi. It means the world to have had your love and encouragement these past years. Hopefully we’ll make it up your way again soon, or you can take a U.S. holiday to visit us. xo

  • Kenda

    It’s so cool to follow your transformation over the years. Your journey has given hope to many of us who are wadding through similar situations. And the recipes and food ideas are a nice bonus. Thank you.

  • robin

    The sentence that got to me was when I kiss OUR girls. Im sure those girls appreciate that, you know Daddy is still theirs and they are his. I most likely am not making myself clear. I just thought the sentence was beautiful you could’ve said mine and yet you didn’t.

  • Jean |

    Jennie, I can’t begin to comment on the non-food part of this post. Will just say for now that it was very moving. Your sorbet looks sooo pretty. Even if I didn’t like the taste of cantaloupe, I’d make this just for its looks! It’s a real looker!

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