It’s Memorial Day weekend, and rather than sitting in traffic on I-75 with the rest of southeastern Michigan, Bill and I have decided to have a “stay-cation.” I’m thinking we may regret this decision in the next few days, as temperatures are supposed to be in the 80s and 90s, and a cabin on the lake would be much more pleasant than our sweltering sun-drenched backyard. But, alas, the decision has been made. Our exciting plans include lots of sweating profusely, venturing into Detroit to visit Historic Fort Wayne and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and trying desperately to keep up with our strawberry crop.
Thanks to an often summer-like spring, our strawberries came in several weeks earlier than usual. They are in full force now, and a disproportionately large amount of my time has been devoted to picking, coring, and rinsing them….and using them up before they go bad. But I don’t mind too much because they are oh so tasty!
Besides munching on them with a sprinkle of sugar, here is what we have made so far: Strawberry spinach salad, a pitcher of strawberry mojitos, strawberry-topped vanilla bean ice cream, strawberry smoothies, homemade strawberry banana “ice cream,” and several jars of freezer jam.
My improvised recipe for the smoothies consists of throwing a handful of fresh strawberries into my Magic Bullet blender along with half of a container of Greek yogurt, some crushed ice, milk (Lactaid), and a spoonful of my last jar of freezer jam from 2010. Sometimes it’s refreshing to drink lunch from a straw, as I did today.
With the hot weather upon us, I’m thankful that I also recently discovered a quick and easy way to make a creamy frozen treat that is very similar in taste and texture to ice cream. Simply slice up a very ripe banana, freeze the pieces, and then purée them to a smooth consistency. Again, I use the Magic Bullet. It’s the most healthy and natural ice cream you’ll ever have! A few days ago, I did the banana thing and added in some fresh strawberries. It had a great flavor, but it was a tiny bit soupy due to the juiciness of the berries. Next time, I’ll freeze the strawberries a bit and see if that will make a difference.
Speaking of juicy….my freezer jam is refusing to set up properly. I followed the recipe in the Sure Jell package to a tee, but after the requisite 24 hours on the kitchen counter it’s not at all firm. Not sure what went wrong. The thing I love about freezer jam, though, is that if it turns out runny, it is still perfect for spooning over pancakes, waffles, crepes, ice cream, or adding into smoothies!