We’re coming down to the end of the alphabet in the a-to-z blogging challenge. But at the farmers’ market, the seasons are just beginning to produce.The weather has been so odd here this year, well, odd everywhere, I guess…cold, then hot, then warm, then hot, then cold, etc., that I have been alternating between turning up the heat, then having the windows open, then turning on the air conditioning, then the heat again, for about the past two months. So the cold weather crops like greens (Spinach!) and lettuce have been thriving, but strawberries made their appearance for the first time this weekend, and it’s incredibly late for them. Usually here in the mid-south Memphis Mississippi delta weather, they’re ripe and ready in early April. But better late than never!
Now the very best thing that can be done with strawberries is to gently wash them, and eat. As is, nothing added, juicy and staining your fingers. Maybe three or four times a day, as it’s not a long season. And if like me, you buy too many to eat before they go bad, you can freeze them. But you can also make strawberry butter and strawberry bread. Since my a-to-z theme was quick and easy foods, here’s the recipe for strawberry butter – the bread will be featured in early May. The butter, however, is good on anything: whole-grain toast, rolls, croissants…even as the spread on a sliced chicken sandwich (if you think that sounds odd, think of throwing a few strawberries into a tossed salad with chicken).
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
- 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries OR (out of season) 1 10-oz package strawberries, thawed and drained
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
If using fresh strawberries, sprinkle with 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar and let sit for an hour or so to macerate (That means the juice will be drawn out, and they soften). Drain the juice (& save juice for something else, like tea – see “T” on next post) and use the strawberries.
Mix softened butter, drained strawberries and powdered sugar together. Beat with a wire whisk or a paddle mixer until fully blended. Serve at room temperature. Store any leftovers in the fridge, but let sit until room temperature before serving. [These words will eventually be replaced by a picture, but it may take 2 or 3 days]
Any strawberry questions? See http://strawberryplants.org/ for recipes, conversions, information about planting, heirloom varieties….it’s all there.