Once again the season of starwberries looms upon the horizons of farmers markets & better produce departments. I'm excited, no a bit nuts for the starwberries. Now in AZ I do miss the times picking fresh at the farms that dot north of Metro Detroit: fresh slightly cool because I always go in the morning & oh sooo sweet.
Now in Arizona its a rougher road but thanks to some amazing farmers in California, the local markets are dotted with lovely plump sweeties, that seemingly jump into my mouth at will. Perfection.
I will confess though "au natural" is not always my whim. Its hot here, reaaallly hot, so sometimes blended with mint & club soda makes a refreshing non alcoholic spritzer that seals the day with a cool pucker. Yes a shot of rum makes a fine mojito as well.
Of course salads always work. I actually blend strawberries & balasmic vinegar, let them marinate for a day on the counter & then use the yummy sludge to make a killer salad dressing (good olive oil, Maldon salt & fresh black pepper...thats it) which most often ends up over greens with chevre & nuts.
If you marinate slice in a balsamic with salt & pepper they also make the perfect topping to bruschetta. Argula & soft cheese of your choice on grilled bread. Mouth is watering.
Somewhere between main course & dessert is strawberry gazpacho. It really can go either way sweet or savory.
Macerate in balsamic has become a common choice but ever try in red wine?? Rose works well too: I prefer Spanish rose its less sweet but all vino coices are wonderful.
Cheesecake, short cake & pound cake or top 3 but cream cake & pavlova is a must try. I loved the chewy marshmellow like meringue of the pavlova & its a killer compliment to the berries.
Then theres the kid in me that just loves the milkshake. Good vanilla, strawberries, milk & my stick blender...heaven.
You didnt think I forgot chocolate covered strawberries did you....heck no!!
And of course jam: fridge jam is just berries, sugar & water. Now its fridge, only as titled but really...heaven.
So stray from the store, hit the fields for me this year & be berry happy.
Images courtesy of Good Housekeeping, Good Food UK, Johner, Martha Stewart Living & Me,
Firmly entrenched in my 40s, I've realized my devotion to family, design, cuisine, garden & all that is graceful matters most. Styles have changed in my heart but at the soul of it all is my sense that quality must outweigh all else. From love to ice cream its quality not quanitity.