Saturday, June 4, 2011

Strawberry Fields shouldn't be forever


Strawberries- A June thing in Jersey

Strawberries were once a highly anticipated fruit, but now the season is 11 months long, and it is not all for the better. These big agriculture strawberries are not grown for flavor but to withstand a journey across the United States from the West coast and to look pretty in the supermarket until bought.  Because of this, strawberries are ranked third in the famed 'dirty dozen' fruits and vegetables for pesticides, fungicides and other chemicals which help them withstand its time on a truck.  Even a locally grown and pick strawberry will have its share of pesticides, so wash them well - but not until you are ready to eat them.
Strawberries are another spring gift, it is hard to image something so sweet can be enjoy this early in the year. Don't miss out. 

Strawberries are irrefutably, without question the Fruit of Love. Heart shaped in form, sweet to the taste and lusciously red in color to the eye. Can they be anymore the silent voice of love;they aren't oysters but way nicer to share and dip in chocolate.  Floating in a glass of champagne, and delivered with a kiss, strawberries will never need a date on a calendar with a Hallmark card and a pretty box of chocolates to reveal one's feelings ( Well, chocolates? Sure lets do it).  June, with all its strawberries, is the month for Lovers - not a single day in February. 

Just picked Jersey Strawberry in some Valley Sheppard Sheep Yogurt
The good news is that the local season has arrived in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. You will not be able to avoid the numerous "strawberry festivals" at least until the blueberry festivals take their place next month.  Best eaten from the stem; mixed in a yogurt; wrapped in a crepe or mashed into a sauce over ice cream.   Great with creamy cheeses like my beloved goat Chevre or a nice Brie.
 The local strawberry is still a very much an anticipated season for many of us familiar with the taste.

Strawberries Fields forever?  Okay, but once a year if you want the best. 

side note------>  As a diabetic, I eat strawberries in the evening when my mitochondria is stoked.  

Chilled Strawberry Champagne Soup

About one quart of fresh strawberries – washed and hulled
1/3 of a cup of sugar (I hate sugar but it is still the only sweetener to cook with)
2 ounces of orange juice
about 2 ounces of dry champagne for each bowl (brute if you prefer) don’t open until ready to serve- then serve the remaining bottle in glasses to quest(s)

options for toppings:

A fine creamy rich ice cream, say chocolate- a small dollop in the center of if melted- “script” the surface with a nice swirl.  But don’t let the chocolate over power.

(not the soup)

A Greek style yogurt with orange zest. 

In a blender, puree the strawberries, sugar and orange juice. Add a single ice cube if your blender can handle it ( OJ ice cubes would be very cool but that’s planning ahead)
Transfer into a large bowl and let chill for a few hours in the refrigerator or about 20 mins in the freezer- DO NOT FREEZE.
Pour into a bowl with about 2 oz of the champagne you just popped.
Add the topping if any.  

Above all else- enjoy your quests.


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