Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora


Lemon Basil Sorbet by Sanura Weathers of

My rose tinted glasses are tinted with reality considering the political, environmental and lifestyle chaos of 2016 into 2017. Imani is a challenge. But, for the sake of love, we have to believe that good change is going to come. It’s difficult to believe, since people’s true feelings have showed within the last two to three years. We didn’t like what we saw or heard. But, the hatred — that we knew was always there — is now in the open. And, that’s a good start.

Lemons. Image by by Sanura Weathers of

In the spirit of Imani — the principle of faith — perhaps 2018 will be the year to refresh. With renew energy, we have to continue talking about people’s exposed, unapologetic hatred. But, I still have a naive faith, that one day (Can we start this year?), White Americans will not fall for divisive politics, because history always ends with the same result: Only the super rich and powerful who take advantage of professional, working and poor people always wins.

My first spoonful of sugar for 2018 is a scoop of Basil Lemon Sorbet. It’s a refreshing bite after eating heavy meals and talking about politics. It has a tart, sweet and tangy taste. It’s sweetened with light corn syrup (don’t confuse it with the high fructose version), since lemon juice doesn’t have much texture or body, when compared to other fruits, to it into into a creamy sorbet. The basil was added after reading writer Michael Twitty’s account of West African households planting basil at the entrance of homes to keep away bad spirits.

Basil leaves by Sanura Weathers of

At the start of 2017, I paused. Going into 2018, I’m roaring into action, but I’m feeling a certain tiredness, because this battle has been fought many times in American history. I do believe this battle is for liberal White Americans to start calling out their racist family members and having a long, difficult conversation about their privilege status, that doesn’t yield much in financial benefits. Maybe, for the quality of life for everyone, they start to shed their whiteness, which was always a social construct to divide people.

I’m thinking too far into a hopeful future. But, that is my faith. Maybe one day or year, Americans will no longer fall for divisive politics. One day, we will pause and look around to see everyone as allies with the same dreams.

Lemon Basil Sorbet


  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest (from 1 lb. of small to medium size lemons)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from about 2-1/2 to 3 medium sized lemons)
  • About 1-1/2 cups of tightly packed basil leaves; rinsed cleaned
  • 22.4 oz. light corn syrup*
  • (Optional) 1 tbsp. gin, tequila or vodka


  1. Blitz water, lemon zest, lemon juice and basil leaves in a blender. Set aside for at lease one hour in a tightly covered container in a refrigerator.
  2. Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Pour lemon-basil water thru the fine mesh sieve. Discard solids.
  3. Pour lemon-basil water into a large bowl. Whisk in corn syrup and optional alcohol to make lemon-basil syrup.
  4. Pour lemon-basil syrup into the bowl of an ice cream maker. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for churning the sorbet. The finish mixture will turn from a liquid, darker green into a creamy slurpy, lighter green.
  5. Remove Lemon Basil Sorbet from the ice cream maker’s bowl into another bowl. Tightly seal and place in the freezer for a few hours or overnight to cure.
  6. Enjoy.

Note: *Used two bottles (11.2 oz. each) of Wholesome Organic Light Corn Syrup

Lemon Basil Sorbet by Sanura Weathers of

About Sanura of

In 2009, Sanura Weathers started a sweet, savory, buttery, green and healthy food blog at As a Food Writer and Graphic Designer, Sanura creates a visually appetizing food blog redefining comfort and traditional recipes with a healthy twist. Sanura also edits and curates writers for


This entry was posted on January 1, 2018 by in 2017, Imani, Recipe and tagged , , , , , , , , , .


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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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