Strawberries are in season, and this is the only time of the year when you can experience them as nature intended, freshly-picked, ripe, and sweet. Even so, you may have to seek out a local produce stand or farmer’s market, as the best varieties are too fragile and ephemeral to make it to the supermarket.
I bought the berries in the picture above from Flower World, a large nursery that has a produce store that sells garden-fresh fruits and vegetables as well as eggs from their chickens out back. The eggs are often still warm and the strawberries still shining with the morning dew. I am tempted to just eat them out of the boxes while standing in the aisle at the store, because they start to fade within a matter of hours.
I tried to grow my own berries, but we have had another record-breaking cool and rainy spring here in the Northwest, while most of the country burned and sweltered. Comparing my pathetic strawberries (picture below) to Flower World’s, leads me to suspect that their berries started life in the greenhouse. So, I am still a lousy farmer, and just count my blessings that I can enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor. (You can read about one of my previous attempts at gardening here.)
|STRAWBERRIES FROM MY BACKYARD, (c) 2012, JUDY BARNES BAKER|
Perfect strawberries are best served simply, with a splash of heavy cream. The cream prevents over-indulging, because even though they are very low in sugar for a fruit, a big bowl full would still put me over my limit. Sometimes I like to pay homage to nature’s perfect berry and elaborate a bit on the strawberries and cream theme by making Mascarpone Cream as a topper.
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 1/2 carton) mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese)
Sugar substitute of choice equal to 3 tablespoons of sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons xylitol “honey,” optional
Place a medium bowl and beaters in the freezer for 5 minutes.
In a second bowl, beat the mascarpone and EZ-Sweetz until fluffy. In the chilled bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold in the sweetened mascarpone. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Spoon over fruit and drizzle with “honey,” if desired.
Makes 16 servings.
Mascarpone Cream only: Calories: 82; Fat: 8.6g; Protein: 0.8g; Fiber: 0g; Net carbs: 0.9g
Mascarpone Cream plus 1/2 cup strawberries: Calories: 109; Fat: 8.8g; Protein: 1.3g; Fiber: 1.7g; Net carbs: 5.6g
“Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.”—Izaak Walton, quoting William Butler
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(c) 2012, Judy Barnes Baker, wwww.carbwarsblog.com
Judy those sound wonderful. It is so funny about the difference in seasons. In Texas, strawberry season begins in March and is mostly over by April/Mayish?!