Not to be dramatic, but this is kind of the culmination of my life’s work.
A few years ago my mother found the Friendly’s Wattamelon Roll (obnoxious misspelling and all) at a Super Walmart. This was a big deal. We hadn’t seen the likes of this elusive roll since we lived in New York in the early 90’s. The fact that even I have a fuzzy memory of this roll–I, the youngest of the family, who was three when we made the move from New York to California–is a testament to how deep this dessert runs in our family history.
While eating the newly discovered roll, I wondered why I never came across watermelon-flavored sherbet. Why was Friendly’s the lone pioneer?
That set me on a quest to one day recreate the watermelon sherbet in this roll.
I suggest going the Ina Garten route for this one.
You know, the whole meme about her preference for quality ingredients, that if you can’t get it flown in on a private jet fueled by children’s tears, “storebought is fine”?
In this case, storebought, run-of-the-mill olive oil was fine. The cake ended up tasting delicious. But maybe, had I gone with some olive oil I didn’t get from Trader Joe’s at the bargain price of $6.99 for a liter, I might have been able to taste the subtle notes of olive oil. I could taste it in the batter–in fact, I felt like I was eating a dessert salad dressing and feared I’d added too much–but like alcohol it seemed to have baked out during its time in the oven, leaving me with a moist, lemony cake. I like to think the quality of olive oil used was the reason I couldn’t taste it in the cake–I admittedly have a fairly unrefined palate, but I do remember standing at an olive oil booth at a farmer’s market one Saturday, dipping cubes of bread into shallow dishes of olive oil and actually being able to taste the differences, some smooth, some peppery, all distinct from one another. I bought a bottle of olive oil that day, though I’ve since used it all (I’d go back for more but I have a standing appointment with my pillow on Saturday mornings. And afternoons).