Strawberry fever

June 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

I have strawberry fever over here, which means strawberry shortcake, strawberry lemonade, strawberry drinks, and strawberry breakfast bars, and can you tell I am drowning in strawberries? The strawberry fields on the farm have been overabundant this year, with both the early and late varieties coming in at the same time due to strange weather patterns. Every week, we head out to the fields to pick four quarts!

It’s blazing hot, and we escaped for the weekend to my grandparents’ house on the Cape. On the way out of the city, we stopped by the farm to pick four quarts of strawberries.  I made lemonade to match my painted toes, to sip on the patio after a run down to the beach. I whipped fresh cream and made sugar-crusted biscuits and piled zillions of strawberries on top for a quick summer dessert. This is the life.

It’s no secret that strawberry shortcake is one of my favorite foods. It’s so simple, and yet one of those things where the sum of all the parts (and there’s only three!) really makes something absolutely divine for a summer evening.

For this particular shortcake, I used Smitten Kitchen’s dreamy cream scone recipe (don’t forget the sugar on top!) but I’ve barely met a scone recipe I didn’t like—mind you, I can’t say the same for store-bought scones—so that’s really quite interchangeable. I’m also a fan of the coffeehouse scones from JoyofBaking and am more likely to have buttermilk than cream around the house. But then, you already splurged on the whipping cream anyway, right?

Strawberry Maple Crumble Muffins

September 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

The days are alternating between warm summer breeze, muggy, rainy, and crisp and chill. I have this song on repeat. If you love me hardcore then don’t walk away. It’s a game, I don’t want to play. The party nights are getting fewer, replaced by nights of curling up in bed with endless reading and my thesis. Yoga has become habit again, as a way to disappear for a couple of hours, pensively sink into myself and my thoughts. I’m craving a visit to the nearby apple orchard. A cider doughnut. Leaf stomping. Vanilla ice cream melted on top of warm apple crisp. It never feels like fall without a kitchen, so I guess we’re stuck in a summer-spring mix for a bit longer.

You could say that strawberries are well out of season. But muffins and maple syrup aren’t. I brought back the cutest little muffin liners from France and wanted to put them to good use — unfortunately, these muffins were so moist and buttery that you can barely distinguish the patterns at all. But I loved the pretty bursts of pink, though I think they’d be equally good with some fall flavors mixed in — a tart apple, a crisper pear.

I loosely followed this 101 Cookbooks recipe for Maple Huckleberry Coffee Cake. I left out the fresh thyme, because I imagined it wouldn’t be something that the family would enjoy, though the adventurous and experimental part of me urges you to try it.

Strawberry Jam Tarts

September 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

As I’m busy getting back into the swing of things on campus — accepting that daily reading is a part of real life, reconvincing myself that yoga is good for the soul (and my arm muscles), and coming to the harsh realization that coffee not naptime is the cure to exhaustion — I realize I’ve let the blog fall to the wayside a bit. I came back from a brutal spinning session this evening, promptly got in bed, and then remembered that it’s no longer summer, when an 8 p.m. bedtime in acceptable.

Still the past week and a half have felt a bit like summer camp — late afternoon runs past the Battlefield, walks with friends on the path by the lake, meals eaten at picnic tables, and unlimited beer for all (though I guess our summer camp might be a bit more risqué than most). There have been bottles of sweet peach champagne (though the snob in me would insist on calling it sparkling wine), lots of chocolate chip cookies from our clubhouse, neon baseball caps, a little concert crowd shoving, and quite a bit of dancing, though some might say it’s just us bouncing up and down endlessly. I started the first day of classes with cuts and blisters everywhere, barely able to keep my eyes open, but so excited for the adventures to come. It’s that week when class discussions are still enthralling, the honeymoon period before stress and panic set in, when we’re finally realizing we’re seniors. This is it, the last year, the beginning of the end.

The finale is a bit different for me given the newness of this year. The first year of living in the upper class slums, where cockroaches are apparently a real thing and not just the stars of my nightmares. The first year of college without the best friend who’s been at my side since day one, when we were randomly placed in single rooms on the same hallway freshman year. The first year of really being a part of the Class of 2013, putting everything that was the Class of 2012 firmly in the past. It’s been bittersweet so far, but the weekend has done a lot to erase the nerves and tears.

These tarts bring a smile whenever I think back to them, and they could not be simpler to make. Just a bit of tart dough, rolled out and cut in strips, some quality jam (I used a jar of strawberry jam we picked up on our family trip to The Apple Farm), and a little bit of patience for the weaving.

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