Friday, June 15, 2012


As promised, I remembered my bloggista manners and actually took pictures as I dealt with some strawberries yesterday! Huzzah!!

So, as I mentioned in my last post, Kyle and I went strawberry picking last weekend, which I was really thankful for because I knew he'd be stressed and not really in the mood to do anything fun because he's been doing so much not-fun stuff lately; getting his Jeep fixed, paying lots of bills, getting the house moved into, taking care of the yard, etc... But with very very little pushing, I convinced him that he should relax and do something fun... that was until strawberry picking day dawned a balmy 90 degrees. We went anyway, armed with water battles and with promises of ice cream right after.

We picked 16 pounds of strawberries, ya'll!!!! Strawberries are heavy, it didn't seem like 16 pounds, but that's how much two baskets weigh. By the way, I don't even know where my camera is to have taken pictures at the orchard, sorry. Here's some other people at the farm we went to having fun:
So this is Shady Brook Farm!
 There's lots of stuff to do there, and they're huge on kid stuff, there's stuff for kids all the time!
And of course, there's lots of strawberry fields. They also have pick your own apples, blueberries, blackberries, cantaloupe, peaches, pumpkins, raspberries, tomatoes and watermelon. They also make their own wine and have all sorts of herbs and cheeses and a market with a deli and an ice cream shop. It's pretty awesome there, but not so great on a 90 degree day with no wind. Nonetheless, like I said, it was still a successful day because we walked out of there in a little over an hour with 16 pounds of strawberries.

So anyway, I've frozen about 2/3 of the strawberries, because it's just too many to eat fresh. Kind of sad, but I'll probably make stuff out of the frozen ones anyway. I didn't have dry ice like Alton Brown suggests, but I do have a FoodSaver, so hopefully they will thaw relatively well. Speaking of Alton, it's his inspiration I used to make a tasty concoction with the remaining 1/3 of the strawberries:
I macerated the strawberries so they could be used in any number of applications. Macerated strawberries is easy, watch the video. I made it a lot harder on myself by losing my wine opener kit. So I used the ole' push the cork all the way through method... it didn't go well:
Wayta' go!! I also got it all over myself and the counter and the floor, but the ceiling was the best. It put me in mind immediately of Eddie Murphy and Daddy Day Care, when he takes the kid to the bathroom and the kid says "I missed!" which is exactly what I'm going to tell Kyle to break the tension.

AnyWAY! Wine is breathing, break out the software:
Strawberries of course! And as Alton recommends, I did NOT go out and buy a strawberry huller, I used my trusty dusty star tip from my piping kit:
It is an excellent alternative and does not damage the rest of the berry, but if you have squishy berries, you might squish them while trying to insert the tip and twist it. I had mostly firm ones, so... not to brag or anything...

Moving on, the recipe for the macerated strawberries is just the strawberries (pretty much however many can fit in the container you're using, red wine (acid to stop the strawberry flesh from consuming itself), honey (you know what that's for), and lemon zest.
Alton didn't tell me this, but I think that a sweeter red works best, because you don't want it too dry or tannic, then you'll only taste dry red wine, and your berries will be oaky instead of crisp, but what do I know?

Moving on again, I do NOT, however, own an egg slicer. I don't think they exist anymore... Who uses an egg slicer still?! Don't anyone answer that. I sliced every single one of those strawberries (there was also another tray that I didn't take a picture of) by hand:
(I got really bored, but I pressed on!) Then you just put the strawberries in a container with the wine and the honey and lemon zest... Alton also says pepper, I have nothing against pepper but I completely forgot it. All in all, I used all the wine and filled two half gallon containers with macerated strawberries. Phew.
It took me about two hours, all said and done, and I made one hell of a mess. But then I did a little dance because I have a garbage disposal now! Yippee!!
So, after all that, I went to bed, but when I got up the next morning, I instantly thought that I must do something with those strawberries, it would be a travesty not to! Of course, what's the best dessert/breakfast involving strawberries?! Why the short cake of the berry straw, of course! I had Bisquick! I made biscuits! I had shortcake!!
Beautiful yes?! So the only mistake I made was that I had heavy cream but I thought that it would be a healthy alternative to use Greek yogurt instead of whipped cream. It was a bad idea, it actually made the whole thing too sour. The berries in wine is already a little sour, don't make it worse for yourself. I had good intentions but I'll be sticking with some sweetened, whipped cream next time. Other than that, anyone that knows me knows that I hate fruit on bread or fruit in my jello or fruit on anything basically. I eat food as it is, and I eat fruit as it is, I don't usually like to mix fruit with anything... ANYTHING!! But this was awesome, I ate it all. None for you.

And Alton goes on to explain my next recipe, which I cannot wait to try:
But I'm visiting family this weekend, so hopefully I will be able to make strawberry summer pudding when I get back home! Also when I get back home, I'll take pictures of the new furniture too, promise, and thank you Lara Ann for reminding me that I didn't give credit where credit was due! Our furniture is from Bassett. Next, I need to find a rug for the living room... thus begins the new saga.

If anyone has any strawberry recipes for me to try, send them along!!

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