Monday, June 30, 2008

Strawberry Fields

I am so excited, one of my best friends is coming to town today to visit me for a week!! We were even roommates for 4 years, and this has been a rough year, because from the time we met 11 years ago, we have never lived in different towns for longer than a summer, and now we live 2000 miles apart. But she is coming to visit today and not only will we get to hang out, but I will be able to do some of the cool things here that just aren't cool to do alone.

Speaking of cool, that is what it is NOT here. According to the news, yesterday topped out at 94 degrees, which is not cool wherever you live, but here, in the land of zero-air conditioning, is fairly uncomfortable. My apartment faces south (bad) but there is a tree in front of the windows (good), but there are only two windows (bad) and no possible way to get a cross breeze (really bad). In addition, due to some beautiful strawberries, I had to cook yesterday (really really bad). It was still quite warm this morning, but the cats dutifully woke me up at 5:30 so I opened the sliding door and turned on the fan while it is still cool.

So, the strawberries. I went to the farmer's market on Saturday and of course, there was absolutely wonderful produce and things, and one of the booths had half-flats of strawberries. For you city people, that is 8 pints of strawberries (a pint is a small box about 3.5" square by 3" deep). I normally would not buy that many strawberries at one time (although I do love fresh strawberries), but these were the best looking strawberries I have ever seen and the kids working the booth said they had been picked that morning, and it was a decent price, so I bought a half flat. When I got home, I put them in the fridge, because that's what you do with produce, right? Well, a few hours later, when I opened the fridge, they weren't looking so good, so I called mom and she said that the fridge starts breaking them down immediately and they would be bad within a day or so. So that means, I had to find a way to use 7.5 pints of strawberries (I had already eaten half a box at that point).

So, I get online and go to, and look up "strawberry" and found 3 recipes that would use strawberries and would keep well, and in addition, were recipes where I had all most of the ingredients already. One was "Frosty Strawberry Squares," one was "Strawberry Vinaigrette," and one was for "Strawberry Muffins." Those of you who don't know, I hate cooking. I am not good at it, it does not relax me, and it makes a mess, which I then have to clean up. But I did not want to waste these strawberries started with the strawberry vinaigrette. It's an easy recipe, no cooking involved, you just had to throw everything in the blender. I haven't really tried it yet, but I will say that in the picture, it looks like an oil based dressing. I followed the directions exactly, and mine looks like yogurt. We'll see how it tastes. I then made the frosty strawberry squares. Again, I followed the directions exactly, but apparently the poster of the recipe left out one crucial step that all the other cooks that commented on the recipe also didn't feel the need to mention, so the strawberry mixture was supposed to stiffen and it didn't. So, I called mom again, and instead of a mousse like texture, it's an ice cream like concoction. I haven't tasted that either. The third attempt was the strawberry muffins, which appear to have turned out well, but the posted baking times must be for Death Valley or something, because all the comments said to bake for less time and even doing that, well, let's just say the muffins are well-bronzed. I haven't tried those either. But in the end, I accomplished what I wanted - I used all but one pint of the strawberries, and those I can eat on my own.

One last thing.....I finally ordered a camera, it should be here this week, so this blog will be less boring. =)

No comments: