I love strawberry season. It lasts only a few short weeks, but it sure is good while it lasts. We are not growing strawberries this year - well, we are, but they are not big enough to fruit this year - but they can be found all around here. Strawberries are at local farmer's markets, roadside stands, u-picks, and in CSA's. We have picked up strawberries every time we see them, knowing that in a week or two they will be gone. I love making some jam and drying some for granola, but really, sorbet is a must. It is the perfect thing on a hot day.
Making an unheated dairy-free sorbet is really the best way to get the full amazing strawberry flavor. I know many recipes call for syrups with water, but really, who wants watered down strawberries. I want it to taste like an explosion of strawberries in my mouth. I don't like using white sugar and my body doesn't like me using white sugar, so I have experimented to get a scoopable sorbet using a natural sugar. This recipe uses raw honey and a wee bit of limoncello to keep it from freezing too solid (I love our homemade limoncello!!!!). This remains scoopable and a vivid red with the full pow of fresh strawberries. This *only* uses 3 Tbsp of limoncello per full quart of sorbet, but if you wish to have no liqueur in this, you can use 2 tsp of vanilla instead of one (vanilla extract also uses alcohol, which is what helps keep the sorbet from freezing into solid ice chunks) - but it WILL still be hard to scoop since you won't have the same recipe ratio and nobody wants several tablespoons of vanilla extract in their sorbet to compensate. Don't add *extra* limoncello though, as too much alcohol will make it more of a slushie. This recipe really is a great balance of flavor and freeze consistency and sweetness.
This is an unheated strawberry sorbet that packs so much intense strawberry flavor you will want more!
Blend the strawberries & lime juice on high in a blender until smooth.
Strawberry season doesn't last very long, and while we *could* buy strawberries from the grocery store all year 'round, we all know nothing tastes as good as locally grown strawberries in season. This recipe really takes advantage of the natural sweetness and amazing flavor or summertime fruit. I think I have a sorbet recipe for just about every single berry all summer long, but strawberries are the first berries after a long winter and spring, and the taste is just...summer. I sometimes try to tuck a quart of it down at the bottom of the chest freezer so we can find in the fall and get all excited that we still have strawberry sorbet in October - but it never lasts that long. That is partly because I just have horrible secret agent stealth skills, and partly because it is so good and who wants to save some for later when you can have it now, when it is hothothot outside. We had strawberries in our CSA yesterday, and picked up a few extra quarts, so I am going to go make some more sorbet!
This is the time of year for apple orchards, cool autumn days, and falling leaves. It is also the time for simmering pots of cider on the stove, infused with spices to warm the body and make the whole house smell amazing.
We are lucky to live near many apple orchards - the closest is just 4.5 miles away. Just about every weekend from late September until November we are picking up gallons of freshly pressed cider and bushels of apples to make and bake with. As it gets dark earlier and earlier, we tuck in more in the evenings and play board games, cards, and even poker together. It is a family ritual to have a cup of steaming cider while we play and I make this almost daily.
Chai Spiced Cider
This mulling spice blend is based on aromatic chai. These spices are wonderful with cider, and add even more depth and flavor to your hot cider recipe. Double or triple the recipe and put it in a crockpot on low or pour warm into a punch bowl - perfect for parties!
Pour your fresh apple cider into a pot.
Cider in the fall is one of those family rituals that makes the season feel complete to us. The house fills with the amazing aroma of apples, cinnamon, and other spices. It warms us after an evening walk on a chilly night. It simply means fall is here. Enjoy!
Capturing my love of whole foods, combined with the activity of a bustling kitchen.
A weekly collection of photos from the center of my home.
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Top to bottom:: blueberries (over 20# this week), blueberries in the dehydrator for granola all winter long, blueberry-coconut water sorbet with orange blossom water, smoothies (peaches, blueberries, cherries, banana, spirulina, coconut water), gathering herbs to dry from the garden, spiralized cucumbers for making miso fermented pickles, tomato season has arrived, gluten free/dairy free blueberry upside down cake (a blueberry adapted version of this recipe), and blueberry mostarda.
Blueberries is my theme for the week. Ha! We try to get things in season in bulk whenever we can, and then preserve enough in many ways to last the winter, of course. This week we froze a lot, dried a lot, made cake, mostarda, and a few other things. I try to freeze and dry enough fruit to last us all winter. We make smoothies all the time, plus dried fruit is amazing in homemade granola/granola bars. As for the mostarda, well, none of us really likes jam or jelly. Too sweet. We don't eat bread. So no need to make it. But, mostarda is amazing. I make tweaked versions of mostarda. Usually it is big whole fruit which is sweet and twangy and savory all at once. I like it more like a compote mustard texture. It has the flavor of the fruit, a lot of mustard seeds, the richness of the vinegar (in this I used raspberry balsamic), and isn't too sweet. I usually make several kinds to last us through winter - blueberry, peach, white currant.
Tomato season is here finally as well. Time to dry a bunch, roast a lot, make salsa to freeze (I like the freshness of frozen salsa more than canned), and later, sauce. We don't use that much sauce these days, so I prefer drying and salsa the most. Cucumbers are here too. This is another one we use differently. We are not huge fans of pickles. Just regular pickles. We make a few bags of freezer pickles every year, plus a few jars of lacto fermented garlic pickles, but overall I like relishes and unusual flavors better. This week I made miso fermented refrigerator pickles. Almost ready to crack them open for a taste!
Door County Cherries should be in soon, so I will have more fruit after this batch. And we will be up to our noses in tomatoes.
How about you? What has been happening in your kitchen this week?
Be sure to visit Heather at Beauty that Moves for all of the Blog Hop-ees.
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, whole foods maker, and mother of two unschooled boys in south central Wisconsin.