Concord Grape & Mint Sorbet

Happyolks | Concord Grape & Mint Sorbet

I’ve had a word document open on my desktop for the past month. The ticker at the footer reads 6,201 words. Oy. Everyday for the past week I’ve tried to sit down, stand up, walk around with the laptop getting things sorted out. Music, no music. Pants, no pants. Wine, more wine. You know when you throw out your back and you find yourself inventing new yoga poses to get that darn thing to pop back into place? Yeah, that’s how I feel about writing right now. Just. Can’t. Quite. Get. There. The stuff sorta hurts to get out and then ends up looking like a mess on the page. 

Then I sat down with a friend. She’s a writer. She gets it. She also has a 13 month old daughter and pumps out about twice the content I can in a week and I think to myself: Jesus, Kels, SHE HAS TO TAKE CARE OF ANOTHER LIVING CREATURE AND YOU CAN’T GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER. Anyway, we had this great chat about vulnerability, where it fits with the business of writing (and sharing that writing online) and how the word and concept makes us recoil a bit when we hear it tossed around so casually over coffee and cocktails. She said this, which I love: some secrets are worth keeping. Sometimes none of the words and thoughts and feelings we wrestle with need to see the light, and that’s okay. It takes guts to get vulnerable, i.e. share parts of ourselves that we fear will result in rejection. But guts for the sake of guts feels totally… disingenuous? It shows security, confidence to pump the brakes a bit, and decide, on our own terms, how and when and for whom we’ll strip down for. 

I worry, sometimes, that my generation falsely associates vulnerability with sharing every moment tasted, every hurt suffered, every little nugget of wisdom that comes to us while washing our hair or taking out the trash. I feel like we relinquish a bit of our agency in doing so. We give up sacredness for the rush of affirmation –– I divulge, therefore I exist. We don’t get a chance to ever really feel something in a totally pure state without those feelings being tampered by the onlookers we willingly, or unwillingly, called to table. There is enough of that look-at-me-see-me-feel-my-heart-beat-but-don’t-actually-judge-me-or-tell-me-something-I-don’t-want-to-hear sorta thing on the internet and in the “real” world that we have to deal with. 

So instead of trying to contort the ever-living crap of that diabolical mess of thoughts, I’m going to bank on what I know for sure: loosening the grip reveals new truths, and that space and distance do help us heal and sort through the things that weigh heavy on our hearts. It’s okay to let some things just be our own to ponder and wrestle.

Instead! Life update:

We’re moving. To the mountains. It feels right. We’ve grappled quietly with getting out of dodge leaving Denver since late spring, and upon our return from Bali it felt like all lights were flashing GREEN GREEN GREEN to manifest on that tug for migration. Seattle and Portland, Maine made the shortlist, but we’re not quite ready to say sayonara to these Rocky Mountains yet. We’re under contract on a little place west of Boulder that backs up onto a bit of woods –– we’ll sign and get the keys on Shaun’s 26th birthday. Wish us luck. 

Happyolks | Concord Grape & Mint SorbetHappyolks | Concord Grape & Mint SorbetHappyolks | Concord Grape & Mint SorbetHappyolks | Concord Grape & Mint Sorbet

Concord Grape & Mint Sorbet

I finagled a few shortcuts to this killer recipe from Kimberley Hasselbrink’s recent release, Vibrant Food. After watching the food blog community reproduce the summer chapter online when the book first came out, I felt like I should wait to share this number when the leaves started changing and remind you that the fall, winter, and spring chapters of this book are equally impressive. I had the huge honor of recipe testing for Kimberley as Vibrant Food came together and I’m telling you, she, and these recipes, are total keepers. Oh, and, the recipe for harissa, on page 97, needs to be bottled and sold around the world. It’s the best I’ve ever had.

You’ll need:

  • 2 lbs fresh Concord grapes, stems removed
  • 12 mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ––

Remove stems from grapes. Rinse. In the basin of a blender or food processor, combine grapes, mint leaves, sugar, and the juice of 1 lime. Puree the the mixture until all but a few specks of grape skin remain visible. Kimberly suggests straining the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or strainer, but I’m into the pulp. It’s up to you.

Churn the blended grapes in an ice cream maker for 25-30 minutes, until slightly frozen. The sorbet will still be soft. Pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze for three more hours to solidify.

Happyolks | Concord Grape & Mint SorbetHappyolks | Concord Grape & Mint SorbetHappyolks | Concord Grape & Mint SorbetHappyolks | Concord Grape & Mint SorbetHappyolks | Concord Grape & Mint Sorbet

  1. molly yeh

    you’re moving!!!!! that is so exciting!!!! i am envisioning the cutest ever little cabin in the mountains… oh i am so happy for you two!!! best of luck with everything.

    this grape sorbet looks fantastic!


  2. Analiese

    How exciting! I absolutely love living in Boulder, and there are some great areas just west of town. If you have questions or would like recommendations, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Best of luck!


  3. Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table

    Your move sounds amazingly exciting, as well as brave. Best of luck – I am confident it will inspire many hours of beautiful writing. Also, the colour of that sorbet is incredible.


  4. Daisy @ Simplicity Relished

    So excited for you guys– and I love the narrative you tell along with photographs of the recipe. Beautiful!


  5. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Beautifully written post. And what a fantastically colored sorbet. Congrats on the move!


  6. myriam

    I agree with Molly: the cabin in the woods sounds cozy and romantic. Good luck with the move, with writing, and wherever you need it!


  7. katrina

    this sorbet sounds so good! love that unique flavour. Also, best of luck moving!


  8. Amy

    What happens to the grape seeds? Are they still crunchy or did they get blended up?


  9. celeste wilson

    how unique and deliciously simple is this recipe! I am so excited to make it at home, thank you Kelsey!


  10. Haley Peterson

    This rings so true to me. Fighting my generation’s desire to be accepted by being liked/followed/etc. on social media is tough. When something as simple as sharing a picture of your meal turns into a popularity contest, something seems to be a little off.

    Congrats on the move! And agreed on Kimberley’s book. It’s my new go-to. Everything is stunning and delicious.


  11. Tricia

    I literally had a 2 hour conversation about this with a good friend last night and you put it so well. I think it’s so tricky to balance being an open book and getting to a point where you require feedback or validation. It messes with your gut when you have so many opinions and I think it makes me resentful of people who aren’t so forthcoming.

    Your words always hit a chord with me and I look forward to your posts. Good luck with your move! As a fellow Denver citizen I know how the itch to run away to the mountains can spring on you!


  12. lucent imagery

    Totally agree and have indeed learned myself that keeping the most profound/meaningful/vulnerable to ourselves is sometimes called for. And that our own validation of those thoughts is all that is needed. Congratulations on your upcoming move! Our lives have changed for a while – we have packed up our home, rented it out and are travelling for 7 months in Europe & UK. Currently in Italy and loving it! Best wishes for your nesting in the red cabin.


  13. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    Love this post, how exciting! I feel like going on a trip always provides clarity, so happy you found that!


  14. Heather

    “We give up sacredness for the rush of affirmation” <—– THIS! Thank you for always gracefully putting into words that which I cannot. I find that life is like good music…it is the ability to surrender to silence even when trying to produce a beautiful compilation of sound. It makes the reintroduction of a particular note or instrument that much more powerful and graceful. Congratulations on your move. When the mountains call, you should always abide.


  15. Danielle

    Good luck with the move! Vulnerability is a tricky thing, especially when it comes to sharing and connecting over it. I admire your ability to recognize when to display it with compassion and when to address it privately.


  16. Trista

    This post…was everything that needed to be said, unsaid. picking up, what I’m putting down? hehe
    You’re so right about our generation. It’s from one extreme to the next. Some things are better left unsaid, however, say the truth and go further, as you are most genuine.
    I look forward to your posts, for a sense of calmness through words, being brought back to a center, and so much more!~
    My husband and I have been contemplating on moving out west for a good while. Your little piece of serenity sounds so comfy, cozy, perfect!
    I need a sign for me to head out that way! Until then.. I hope you share little bits and bobs of your surroundings! nature, and mountains are thee best!
    Best wishes


  17. Kate

    The “just cant quite get there” aspect of writing can be so real and so very discouraging. But at the same time, it is so encouraging to be reminded that all writers struggle with this at one point or another, and we are not alone in this. I appreciate your thoughts on that and on vulnerability. Best of luck as you move!


  18. Briar

    I’ve been thinking about this so much lately (sharing/not sharing), and it’s sweet relief to know I’m not the only one.


  19. Kara

    Oh my goodness, could not agree more with the need to process something fully before understanding what needs to be shared from an event. To me, this is where wisdom comes from: the passage of time.

    Congrats on everything! The wedding, the cabin, looking into your heart for the wide deep pulse.


  20. Sara

    Congratulations! That’s so exciting. A little cabin in the mountains…ideal.


  21. Mary @ Fit and Fed

    Ooh, Boulder! One of my favorite places! I hope you two will be very happy there. I’ve been enjoying the Concord grapes lately, packed along a big bunch for a car snack on a recent road trip. The sorbet is a great way to dress them up a bit so they can really be appreciated.


  22. Kate King

    Yes. I fully agree about your words on vulnerability. There’s sharing, then there’s oversharing – which in my experience has always turned people away. I didn’t really realize the full meaning of this huge word until I read Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly” novel. Many great thoughts here.

    I wish you well on the move! I gotta say… I’m very jealous and hope that by the time I retire, a little cabin in the woods will be finally attainable.


  23. Terry Covington

    I DO wish you luck and a wonderful experience in the cabin. And, as someone in her 50s, I very much appreciate what you have to say about the current climate of sharing every tiny detail on social media or wherever. I worry about what this will do to the generation coming after yours, the 8-year-olds of today, whom I see riding their bikes and walking home from school attached to their smart phones. Where is the room, as you say, for private contemplation, for just observing the world for a while? Why is boredom, silence, or writer’s block a bad thing? My mom used to say, when we complained of being bored, that it was GOOD to be bored once in a while — it can lead to creativity. Writer’s block is very uncomfortable, mostly because one doesn’t know when it will end; but you will find renewed creativity at the end of it. It sounds like you already are. Thank you for this post.


  24. thefolia

    What a refreshing looking glass. Unfortunately no one but myself is into grapes, maybe they will like them after this transformation.


  25. Rebecca

    Kelsey, of all the blogs out there in this big, wide world, yours is the one I always come back to for completely real, honest, beautiful words.

    My own writing goes through fits and starts and lately, I’ve come to realize that the really truly meaningful pieces don’t come easily. They don’t come just by waiting. The other day, I started comparing myself and wondering why it wasn’t easier, why I can’t just begin and have magic happen. I even started thinking about all the posts you’ve written that moved mountains for me, and thought, Kelsey must labor often over words that to her are rough and uninspiring before all her amazing ones come to light.

    So what I’m saying is, thank you. Thank you for sharing what you can. For being so real–but never sharing more than is necessary for the occasion. Keep it up. The right words will come.


  26. Aman Chandi

    kelsey please move to Vancouver! we have the mountains here too!
    And girl dat sorbet is making my mouth turn into niagara falls.


  27. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    Congratulations on the move!! I can’t wait to see what you two come up with in the new space. PS. I could totally see you living in Portland. And this sorbet looks awesome. Concord grapes are the best.


  28. Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures

    Congrats on moving and doing what feels right! I often times try to force words that aren’t there and have to be reminded that some things take time…I feel like our generation really struggles with realizing that (myself included).


  29. Ileana

    Good luck with the move! Sounds lovely. My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon and (because of his new job) recently decided to switch it from Spain to somewhere in the states. Looking at a possible cozy February honeymoon in Aspen or Boulder. :)


  30. kristie -birchandwild

    The mountains have a special pull for me. I just can’t leave them. The early morning shadow on the peak behind my house is my meditation.
    This sorbet looks delicious. I just had concord grapes for the first time and loved them, so this is on my list of things to make with them.


  31. Shannon

    I completely agree with you in regards to our generation feeling the need to share every tidbit that happens day to day. Uploading every picture, tweeting out every thought. It’s nice to be reminded that it’s alright to keep some things private. And we don’t need share in order to feel validated.

    This recipe looks beautiful!


  32. Robert

    Good Luck with the move! Sounds lovely.


  33. katie

    amen to all that! i think you hit the nail on the head. i read something the other day that reminds me of this… “in a world where everyone is overexposed sometimes the coolest thing you can do is maintain a little mystery.” thanks as always for sharing whichever pieces of your thoughts you are willing to give. :) and good luck with the move!


  34. Renee H.

    Hi Kelsey,

    Wonderful post! I’ve recently found your blog and I love the realism you incorporate into your posts. This post, particularly, really resonates with me. Some things are better left secrets indeed!

    Oh! I was born and raised outside Boulder; went to CU too. Currently, I’m visiting family in Longmont before a big move of our own. It is always nice to see other dedicated bloggers in my area. Best of luck to you and Shaun on your move! Everyone loves Boulder and I’m sure Boulder will love you. :)


  35. Elenore

    You, my ealing friend and incredible lady. You stir my soul.


  36. Jenny

    Well shoot, I wish you would’ve chosen Seattle! But only selfishly. Boulder is one of my favorite places on earth, too. Congratulations!


  37. Jess

    You’re move sounds amazing. I would love to live amongst the mounts and the trees, to retreat into the woods. We’ll see!


  38. mari van doornick

    I just discovered your blog and I wanna tell you how much I’m enjoying it. I love your humor and your incredible recipes and photos (and your gorgeous wood table!). I just wanted to say Hi, and to wish you best of luck with your move. I’ll be coming by every day for my dose of fun and amazing food. Inspirational.


  39. Kiran @

    Mmmm…delicious!! And congrats on the move. Its always nice to explore exciting adventures wherever it may be :)


  40. elizabeth

    Whenever you’re finished savoring Colorado, I vote for Portland, Maine. Maine is absolutely breathtaking. Enjoy your move along with the exploring!


  41. Rachel

    “It’s okay to let some things just be our own ponder and wrestle.” Spot on, thanks.


  42. Batya

    As always, you write beautifully. Sorry we didn’t get to have you and Shaun over to see the garden and drink some wine. Another time, then. Have a wonderful adventure in the mountains. Wishing you all the best….


  43. julie

    i just loved this. I’m glad that some people (you) feel this way about over-sharing. I wish more people would realize the preciousness of the inner self. Good luck in your new place. Keep writing!


  44. nadia

    meow! congrats on the move. I like the discussion about relinquishing your agency, and “guts for guts sake.” envious of your ability to articulate, in a kind and interesting way, your philosophy. You’re a pro. keep it up and let me know when you’re back gracing denver with your presence. xo.


  45. Aimee Giese | Greeblehaus

    This looks amazing. And best of luck leaving Denver (I am here too!) – we always think about moving up there too but the pull of the city is too strong. This state has the best of everything though!


  46. Lisa

    OK. I think I’m hooked. Love to cook with fresh fruits and veggies. My family loves breads, soups and desert.
    Definately on my table soon.


  47. Summer

    I am just catching up with my Happyolks reading and these words are so timely for me. I was meant to read them now.


  48. kimi



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *