I went strawberry picking on the weekend. I came home with 3 x 4 litre baskets of fresh, ripe, red strawberries. They are so much sweeter than the ones you get in the grocery store all year round, imported from California or wherever. I don't understand why people still buy them at this time of year, but sadly, my mom called me yesterday and told me she'd done just that. Argh.
So I spent most of the weekend dealing with the berries....I made two batches of no-cook strawberry jam (with some left-over Certo packages from last year), one batch of Jamie's cooked strawberry jam, and a dairy-free strawberry cheesecake. I also froze 3 large containers of whole berries, and still have a big bowl of fresh berries in the fridge for snacking.
Tonight I had a real craving for greens. Then I remembered a delicious salad I'd seen made with strawberries, balsamic vinegar and arugula. The arugula in the back garden is out of control, so it was a perfect idea for dinner. I picked a big bunch of it, and added a few sprigs of mint and basil while I was at it. I sliced up a handful of strawberries, and dressed them with the vinegar, a bit of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and let them sit for a few minutes to release their juices. Then, I added them to the salad greens with some shaved parmesan, and some sliced turkey breast. It was my low-fat, almost dairy free version of Jamie's Strawberry Salad with Speck and Halloumi. For dessert, I had a big piece of cheesecake. Why not? No one else will touch it, since it contains the dreaded T word (tofu). Their loss!
My two little strawberry plants have a few greenish-white strawberries on them. I went out to check on them this afternoon, and had to shoo a bunny away. Sure enough, there were teeth marks on the biggest berry. I don't think I'll be eating any of these this year, but I do have hope for next year!