Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Strawberry Test Kitchen

The berries are ripening faster than we can pick them. A couple of pints on Sunday, but no one was able to visit the plot on Monday. So on Tuesday, it meant spending the time I had allocated for weeding and a project at home on harvesting even more strawberries, about 3 1/2 pints. For about every five ripe or slightly overripe berries there was a rotted one to dispose of, and since I am out of town at the moment and unable to get back until tomorrow, I anticipate there will be even more.

At this point, my plans are for the berries to appear in some form at three potlucks later this week. One recipe I hope to try is a Strawberry Chiffon Pie; if I can't pull it off for the event at my daughter's school on Thursday, I might have it down in time for my friend's fundraiser on Friday night. Without reliable refrigeration at the MSG barbecue this Saturday, it might make more sense to bring strawberry shortcake (either making a simple shortcake or buying one), and hope that the kids don't have mischievous plans for the whipped cream.

The reason for the title "Strawberry Test Kitchen" is that I like to think of my first attempt at any recipe as an experiment. That way, if I screw it up I'll feel less disappointed. Also, there's always some ingredient that I have to either omit or substitute, so it's a test to determine how badly the recipe needed it. That was the case Monday night when my daughter and I made a half-batch of Strawberry Italian Ice (no, I'm not getting any kickbacks from Better Homes and Gardens!). We didn't have an orange handy for the grated orange peel, but after tasting the results yesterday morning, I think we managed just fine without it. The boiled sugar and other ingredients gave the ice the right amount of sweetness and enhanced the flavor of the strawberries.

So many strawberries, so little time. What would you do?


Daphne said...

Strawberry sorbet :> yum. It is the perfect way to preserve them, though my daughter would disagree. She thinks ice cream is much better.

Daniel said...

I make a simple strawberry jelly every year. I use it for all kinds of things like breakfasts, on ice cream, in tarts, pretty versatile stuff. Here is the recipe:

Sally said...

Daphne, I think my daughter is with yours; she did eat the ice but it wasn't as creamy and rich.

Thanks for the jelly recipe, Daniel. I may do it. I ditched the chiffon pie idea when someone gave me some rhubarb, and I made a couple of pies that went over well.