Lemon Buttermilk Sherbert

August 20, 2011

If you told me 5 years ago that I would someday go to a gamer store and ask advice from someone who talked just like Comic Book Guy, I would have called you a liar. Good thing I never bet on that one!

It all started with the Settlers of Catan. I was having dinner with some Math friends when they decided to break out this game. I mocked the game for having rules that took over half an hour to explain. “This is way too complicated to ever be fun,” I whispered to my friend, Angela.

At the end of the game, I was yelling things like “Well I’ll barter my sheep for your grain!”

I came home that night and ran over to Will who was working at his desk. “Will! I just played the best game EVER! It’s called the Settlers of Catan.” Will had a very skeptical look on his face. I asked him why. He said, “No, I’d… I’d love to play with you but… it’s just… I’m a little surprised you liked that game. I mean, I like that game a lot but…” But what? I asked him. “Well, it’s really nerdy.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked. “That, that’s not a nerdy game. That’s a normal people game. Like Scrabble. Or checkers.”

Will consulted Wikipedia. He read aloud, “The Settlers of Catan is used as the icebreaker game at the Silicon Valley Engineering Conference.” Suddenly, it all started making sense. It had a hexagonal board! You barter for grain! You can’t play it in less than two hours!

Since that time, Will and I have purchased several board games like it: Pandemic, Dominion, Gloom. But Thursday night, our nerd-dom reached a new level. Because we bought an RPG game. RPG means Role Playing Game. And to find this game, we didn’t just go to a normal game store, like we had for all the other games. We went to a game-r store.

We had some trouble finding the store, until we saw windows covered in paintings of dungeons and elves. On the bulletin board next to the door was a flyer that said, “Larpers* wanted!” with little paper tabs that had a phone number you can tear off. (*Larpers are people dress up and act out Dungeons and Dragons. No I will never reach that level, and if I do I give you permission to stop reading my blog.) Another wall was filled entirely with glitter for larping costumes.

We knew that the game we bought (Arkham Horror, if you are wondering) would take a long time to figure out so we decided to spend a night in, make a feast, and get down to evil demon fighting biz-nass. We grilled some burgers, broiled some sweet potato fries, popped open some beers and started beating back “the uncaring forces of the universe.”

While Will tackled the Encyclopedia-like rule book, I made dessert. To balance the heaviness of the burger and beer feast, I was looking for a dessert that was  light, tart, and refreshing. Earlier in the day, I saw a recipe for Lemon Buttermilk Ice Pops on Epicurious and was intrigued. I turned it into a sherbet (which apparently has only one “R” instead of two), and it fulfilled my every dream. Tart, tangy, sweet, cold, refreshing. Perfect summer dessert!

And if you’re wondering, yes the game is nerdishly awesome. In that special, gamer way.

LEMON BUTTERMILK SHERBET (adapted from Bon Appétit  July 2002)

Makes about 3 cups

Keep the buttermilk in the fridge until the last minute so it stays cold. This will help get the overall mixture cold and prevent formation of ice crystals.


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 2/3 cups buttermilk (chilled)

Whisk sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, and salt in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Whisk chilled buttermilk into mixture. Prepare in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.


3 Responses to “Lemon Buttermilk Sherbert”

  1. angela Says:

    Just reading about that game is giving me a headache. And are you sure it only took 1/2 an hour to explain the Catan rules? Because I remember it more like an hour. At least.

    Sherbet looks delish!

  2. gallowshillbilly Says:

    You have inspired my wife, my son and me to purchase a game and play together in between dark and collapse time. Son recommends something called Space Munchkin, and since we live in the hinterlands we have to plan an expedition to get the game. From your pictue, it looks like we will need a bigger table if we want to get serious.
    There is an old book about a group of students who used to play D and D in the utility tunnels under the campus of Michigan State, sometime in the 70’s. Of course,it turned out bad after they went past larping and did some live action stuff. Wish I remembered the name of the book. Thanks for all the great ideas and recipes.

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