Once summer starts, I find myself getting excited all over again each week when I do my food shopping. Cherries! Peaches! Plums! Strawberries! Figs!
Each taste of an in-season fruit convinces me that it’s my favorite, until the next fruit comes into season and I taste it, and am convinced THAT ONE is actually my favorite.
I do really love strawberries though (and NOT the giant ones that you see around Valentine’s Day dipped in chocolate. I swear, once I found a strawberry that was bigger than an avocado I had sitting on my counter. shudder). I wanted to pick strawberries at a local farm this year, and planned to make strawberry shortcakes with my haul. There really is nothing better to me than the small, fragile, juicy strawberries that come into season for just a few weeks at the beginning of each summer. Emphasis on just a few weeks, as I found out yesterday that I completely missed the season! We are in the midst of a heatwave with temps in the 90s (I am sweltering in my living room at the moment), and according to the farmers, that spells doom for this season’s remaining strawberries. Here’s hoping I can make it next year…
I made the shortcakes anyways, and had to make due with some bruised organic strawberries from the grocery store SIGH. I used a shortcake recipe from Alanna at Bojon Gourmet, as I’ve found her gluten free recipes to be consistently and reliably good. I like the ingredients she chooses to use, particularly since she uses chia seed instead of xanthan gum as a binder.
As usual, Alanna’s recipe turned out wonderfully, although my cakes seem softer and not as sturdy or crisp as hers look in her photos (admittedly, it could be because they are sitting on the counter wilting since it’s 96 degrees outside – waahh). Mine also have a fine, sandy crumb that falls apart easily, like so many gluten-free breads and pastries. I think I’ll try toasting them, but may also make them again and tweak the tapioca and corn starches.
At any rate, I plan to serve them with diced strawberries and peaches, then top them with freshly whipped heavy cream. If you can find heavy cream in your grocery store without any additional ingredients, like carrageenan – ugh, buy it and immediately make whipped cream. You can add a dash of your sweetener of choice, and it is absolutely delicious! I love to eat it simply with whatever ripe fruit is in season. You’ll taste the difference, fresh heavy cream is just so. much. better.
I’m about to make gazpacho for dinner, since it’s too hot for anything else. If you have any good cold soup recipes, please share them with me! I’ve had a few I’ve liked in restaurants (particularly a cold zucchini soup from Buttermilk Channel in Brooklyn), but the ones I’ve made at home are always a bit womp womp. I’ve never been wow-ed or found a recipe I’d repeat. Tonight, I’m making this simple one from Bon Appetit. Fingers crossed it’s a good one.
Have you ever had to explain to someone what gazpacho is? If so, did you say it was essentially a veggie smoothie? I find that people who aren’t familiar with it are equally unimpressed by that definition, haha.