|From Queen Anne's Farmer's Mkt, Seattle|
As a child I was lucky enough to be able to freely wander in the local fields and forests. Idyllic. Pretending, immersed in fabulous stories that lasted for hours as we imagined, improvised and made them exciting in our childish minds. My friend and I mixing up climbing trees, catching polliwogs and when we were very lucky, picking wild strawberries. Teeny, tiny little gems hardly bigger than your pinky fingernail and so few each one found was like a treasure. Hardly a bite, and barely enough juice to stain your fingers as we gently pulled the berry from the vine, eagerly searching for yet another.
|Just picked wild strawberry|
One of my dearest friends in the world's father ran the Kobara Family Farm, raising the famed Driscoll berries on the fertile banks of the Pajaro River and within miles of the Monterey Bay. Once a year, when the season was at it's height we were told to wait for the call. In a time before texting, twitter and cell phones (or even ubiquitous answering machines and voice mail) that meant being near your phone -- yeah, wired and corded. The large flatbed farm truck would be loaded with flats of berries that were just too ripe for shipment, but ready to eat, now! Frantically and systematically, she would make call after call, "I am coming your way in two hours, be there." If you were fortunate to connect, the rendezvous was set with the coordination and rapid pace of a covert op. You had to be ready to drive halfway across the county, meet at a cross roads for the rapid exchange and a quick hug. Then zoom off she went in her loaded Volvo wagon for another drop. Driving home we were made slightly heady by the intoxicating and uncommonly rich, honey sweet smell of the ripened berries in the back seat. What to make?
Oh my the concoctions and preparations available. Other than just rinsing and eating I am a sucker for simple strawberry shortcake like my Dad made. Sweetened biscuits still warm from the oven with a dusting of sugar, light and fluffy until soaked in the rosy red juices of the macerated fruit and topped with mounds of whipped cream. On a recent warm weekend my darling son surprised me with a half flat of local ripe berries. I had about a pound and a half of fresh rhubarb waiting for me so I combined the two into this pretty, pretty mousse. Recipe adapted from Rhubarb-Mascarpone Mousse Cake by Shelley Wiseman on Gourmet Live. I will save the complete recipe for a special occasion, it looks just spectacular.
Later in the week with the afternoon temperatures rising, motivated by a really long day at work resulted in evening cocktails on the deck. Ahh, strawberry margarita time!
|Cool and refreshing on a warm afternoon -- Strawberry Margaritas anyone?|
I split the quantity of fruit 50/50 for the mousse portion of the recipe and followed the directions as written (don't be surprised, I can do that!) The mousse easily makes 8 servings in pretty glasses.
For a great margarita recipe I went with Guy Fieri's, but there are many out there that will work just fine.
To get you started with even more ideas check my friend's take on this berry:
Jeanne's Roasted Strawberries
Illva's Cold Strawberry and Chili Soup
|What will you make?|
I hope you find something deliciously strawberry to make while they are around, bright, fresh and sweet.