A variation on strawberries

May 20, 2015

Strawberries and cream, with butter on it. Do this.

Strawberries and cream, with butter on it. Do this.

As if you needed one; in fact, it’s almost like gilding the lily. But still, you need to set aside a few of your berries from the waning weeks of the season and do this.

It’s Sweet Baby Jesus good.

It’s strawberries and cream bread.

We have, for some cause, not been eating strawberries as much as we normally do this year. The local berries are uncommonly tart, which is OK, if a little unusual. I’m told it’s a function of how much rain we’ve had, and maybe the cool, late spring.

Anyway, I bought berries at the market last weekend because I wanted to try another go at the Strawberries and Cream Bread (recipe here), which you’ll remember I goofed up last week by not dicing the strawberries finely enough.

So I remedied that. I capped the strawberries and halved them — they were quite small, and VERY tart — and pulsed them in the FoPro three or four times. Not a puree, but about the texture you’d get if they were firmer and you grated them. Plus some juice, of course.

Cinnamon-y vanilla extract. Odd.

Cinnamon-y vanilla extract. Odd.

Went ahead and did everything else as called for in the recipe, but for leaving out the cinnamon because? for some reason, this vanilla extract I have now has a decidedly cinnamony taste to it. Which is ok in a lot of instances, but not so much in others. It SAYS nothing about cinnamon. It SAYS it’s pure vanilla extract. So anyway, I left out the cinnamon, and it was fine.

This makes a dense, moist bread that is sweet, but not overly so. It calls for an optional half-cup of brown sugar “if you want a sweeter bread,” and given how tart the berries were, I used it. Glad I did. I contemplated making a strawberry glaze to go over the top, and decided against it. It might also be good with a schmear of whipped strawberry cream cheese, but it was pretty fine with a schmear of butter.

If you really wanted to do strawberry overload you could macerate some strawberries in sugar and balsamic vinegar and spoon on a slice. Because, y’know, I’m not sure it’s possible to overload on fresh strawberries.

This made a single loaf in my 8 x 3 1/2 loaf pan, but I think it would cook up nicely in muffins or mini-muffins, too. I’ll enjoy several days’ worth of breakfasts off it.

Dinner last night (sweet potatoes and ham in foil packets) was sidetracked when Child A called and said, “I’m starving and I want Indian food, and I’m picking you up,” and I said “OK.” Chicken tikka masala, rice, naan and mango kulfi, which is about my favorite ice cream in town. We’re fortunate to have a respectable Indian restaurant in town; the butter chicken is often a bit too sweet, but the tikka masala last night was just about perfect. Brought home leftover sauce and naan that will likely be the basis for lunch today. I should probably cook more Indian food; it’s generally pretty healthy and good for you, and I understand one can use a gas grill to at least relatively well mimic a tandoor oven. So we’ll have sweet potatoes and ham tonight, as they should warm back up just fine inside their little sealed packets.

Hump day. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em do the best you can to get through it. Strawberries and cream bread will help, I promise.




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