During the winter, there are certain…um, how do I say this… certain fixations of mine, which go dormant.
It might be due to the lack of sun in Ohio from October until March, and I’m being kind.
It might be because winter ones are never the same, even though I eat them year round. I know how unseasonal of me. I’m a bad girl.
Whatever the reason, I feel a good old fashion cleansing is in order. I don’t mean the food kind, where I skip solid meals and then proceed to attack anyone within a five foot radius of me before sobbing in a bowl of juice. Yeah, those don’t work well for me. No, I mean the soul-baring confession kind.
My name is Meghan, and I’m a fresh, local, strawberry loving addict.
I’m also absolutely, without a doubt, on a monster, world wind, strawberry bender right now, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Nope, nope, nope. “Not gonna happen. Wouldn’t be prudent.”
It started with my first batch of farmers market strawberries almost a month ago. Hoop house strawberries are ready earlier than most, and yes it was raining outside when I took this picture (how very observant of you). Now that’s dedication or idiocy; I’m going with the former.
They were cute, little, and innocent (like babies, without all the responsibility), and I never shared them on the blog because I literally ate them directly from the container. Right after I took their picture, of course; in the rain no less. There was no recipe, no fancy presentation; just me and my berries, the way the first berries of the season should be.
Let me tell you (as if you had a choice), they were unbelievable good. So good in fact, they brought me out of hibernation. Like a bear stumbling from his cave (do bears stumble; in my mind everybody does when they first get out of bed, especially the Hubby), I pulled away from the last strawberry, with an incredibly overwhelming thirst for more.
I’m like a zombie on a quest for brains, or like Alice falling down a rabbit hole, although in my drug induced fantasies (these babies are intoxicating), I’m not following a fluffy white rabbit with a pocket watch. I’m blindly stumbling after those sweet, delightful and delectable red berries. Can you blame me? Hell no.
Now I could buy strawberries at the regular grocery store, and I certainly purchase my fair share during the winter months, but there is nothing quite like the ones picked mere hours before, after spending days ripening in the warm golden sun. The results are berries packed with succulent juices, where the beautiful and bold color on the outside is matched only by the vibrancy of the inside.
Call me a strawberry snob if you will. I’d be more than happy to take the title, especially if it involves wearing a crown of some sort. We all know I love a good crown; winning isn’t bad either. If blind tasting was involved, farmers market strawberries would triumph over store-bought ones any day. If you believe anything else, well you’re just kidding yourself, and I’m sorry to be the one to break the news to you. Go have a farmers market strawberry though; it’ll make you feel better. I promise.
Berries this fragrant, flavorful and simply put, damn good need to be celebrated. They need to be eaten in ways in which the berry is showcased, and I have been doing my best to make sure that happens. Not surprisingly (my ego rears her head), I have been successful in my endeavors, which means its high time to share with all of you.
Strawberry and Blue Cheese Bruschetta, recipe from Eating Well, one of my all time favorite magazines.
Vanilla Strawberries with Lemon Ricotta, another gem from Eating Well magazine.
Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake for obvious reasons. I don’t think I need to say anything more than Coffee Cake.
And my final masterpiece, Strawberry Lemon Pasta, which I cobbled together from some of these other recipes and the recesses of my own mind, grand delusions and all. For anyone inclined to make this, the recipe is below. It is a subtle and sweet and would go wonderfully with a big crunchy salad or some thick fresh bread, perfect for soaking up the remaining juices. Trust me; you’re going to want to get those juices. It’s dessert in a dinner and worth every single bite.
I’m pretty sure you could say, I am in a berry induced coma over here, and I am enjoying every single strawberry loving second of it. My only question is who wants to join me?
This post is linked up or soon will be with Laura’s Strange But Good, Kristy’s Fresh Food Wednesdays, Jessie Bear’s Together Tuesday and Heather’s What’s In The Box all for obvious reasons. By the way, these linkup are listed in no particular order, and it’s freaking me out.
Are you digging on fresh fruit this time of year? Have you picked up any local strawberries, and if so what are you making with them?
Strawberry Lemon Pasta (serves 2)
Note: This is a simple recipe and in order for it to be fabulous, you need fresh local strawberries and fresh lemon pasta.
- 2 1/4 cups fresh strawberries, diced
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon of honey
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 6 oz fresh lemon pasta, I used flat spaghetti
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons of fresh chives, snipped in quarter-inch sections (scissors work great here)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons of gorgonzola cheese
- Mix strawberries, lemon juice, honey, and olive oil in a small bowl. Leave on counter for a minimum of twenty minutes to allow flavors to meld and juices to extract. Mm juices.
- In a medium pot, bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions (fresh pasta will only take a couple of minutes). Drain pasta and return to pot.
- Add strawberry mixture to drained pasta and stir to coat.
- Top with fresh chives and gorgonzola cheese.