Monday, June 11, 2012

Strawberry Jam from the Archives

This Jam truly was the best I have ever I must re-post it while the berries are still in season.
The recipe uses green strawberries, some lemon rind and seeds for you don't need any special ingredients to make it. Herbs like Thyme, Basil or Verbena make the Jam really delicious and special! Enjoy!

Click Here: Strawberry Jam

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Farmers' Lemonade - Great for Strawberry Season

The idea of adding cream to lemonade is a seriously bizarre concept I know. But this strawberry lemonade is delicious, unusual, and refreshing, a real special treat, and a great use of strawberries which are in season now. I have brought this to numerous picnics, parties and strawberry festivals and it is always a big hit!

I first came across this drink at City Bakery in NYC about 10 years ago, and have been making it ever sense. I love the strawberry version but it works great as a straight up lemonade as well.  Just for fun, I made one jar with cream and one without, the farmers' version with cream won out hands down! 

You don't really need to follow a specific recipe to make this, you basically add some cream to a fresh made lemonade. It's ok if you add a little more or a little less sugar, lemon juice, cream... just make it how you like it.

Strawberry Farmers' Lemonade
6 lemons (about 1 cup lemon juice)
1 pint strawberries
1/2 - 1 cup sugar (or to taste)
1 cup cream
6 cups water
  1. Puree strawberries with two spoonfuls of sugar. Strain out seeds.
  2. Squeeze juice from lemons and strain out seeds. Mix in remaining sugar, stir until dissolved.
  3. Combine lemon juice and strawberry juice. Add six cups of cold water. Taste and adjust sweetness as desired. 
  4. Stir in 1 cup of heavy cream and mix well. Pour over ice and enjoy. 
Note: you can use agave, stevia, honey or other sweeteners to make lemonade if you like. I didn't have cream when I was making this last batch of lemonade, so I used half and half, and it worked just fine as well. 

If you missed this other great lemonade recipe from last summer, check it out:

Any ideas for other delicious summer drinks, please share...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Strawberry Season Has Arrived!

The warm weather has brought the first berries of the season a little early this year and I can't wait to get out picking. The few rows of strawberries in my backyard are still mostly green, and I'm not sure that I'll beat the squirrels to the ripe ones (they seem to have finally discovered them this year). Whether it's a few strawberries from my yard, or 10 pounds picked at a local 'pick your own' farm, the taste of fresh strawberries, still warm from the sun is so exponentially better than the ones trucked in from California or Florida, that we eat the rest of the year, that I just can't wait to get to the fields this weekend! Check for locations near you, and if you are in CT, you can also check out for info on local farms. I called Jones Fmaily Farm in Shelton, one of my favorites, and they are open for picking starting Thursday May 31, 8am-5:30pm. Call before heading you to check on picking conditions and weather.

I got lucky yesterday. While at a work meeting, wondering how I was going to fit berry picking into my busy weekend, not to mention the challenge of the impending rain, I got invited up the block to the Yale Farm to pick strawberries! What a fantastic gift! Food grown right where we live, a gift that we need to keep spreading around this city! (more on that in another post...)

Recently I submitted this recipe to the folks at BuyCTGrown to help them promote locally grown ingredients. It will be printed on their "Very Berry Cards" this season.

Strawberries with Lemon Verbena Cream 
Serves 6
1 quart strawberries*
3 tablespoons sugar (or honey)
4 lemon verbena leaves (mint or tarragon can be used as well)
1/4 cup sugar 
10 lemon verbena leaves (mint or tarragon can be used as well)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (or other strained yogurt)
  1. Wash and slice strawberries. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar or other sweetener. Crush verbena leaves with your fingers, add to strawberries and sugar, stir and set aside.
  2. Combine ¼ cup sugar with lemon verbena leaves in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until leaves are very finely chopped. Alternately, use a knife or a mortar and pestle to very finely chop leaves into sugar.
  3. Mix heavy cream, yogurt and verbena sugar together. Using a whisk or electric mixer mix until thick whipped cream has formed.
  4. Serve a small bowl of berries with a generous scoop of yogurt and verbena laced whipped cream.
Additional serving suggestions:  Toast slices of brioche or challah bread and spoon strawberries and cream on top of each slice for a fun and healthier alternative to strawberry shortcake.
* one quart is about 1 ½ pounds of strawberries

This recipe is also great served in homemade chocolate cups.

Want to get out picking? Find a location near you: - for national listings - for CT listings

Have fun and please share your favorite strawberry recipes or photos of you picking!