All things Strawberry
Life has been busy with Strawberries and such. We have been picking berries, making jam, picking more berries and making more jam. This time of May I always fret of the ending of strawberry season and feel that we have not picked enough not made enough.
I truly love picking all berries but Strawberries are probably my favorite. I know, picking strawberries requires you to bend close to the ground and its a little dirty but Strawberries are the Ruby of them all. They are sweet, beautiful are abundant in our area and make WONDERFUL Jam.
I was recently asked to be a Taste Tester for an special our local news paper runs on judging three restaurant specializing in various foods. This time it's the Best Strawberry Desert. Because of my vast Strawberry knowledge and love for all things Strawberry, I was invited to join as a judge. Wow - I was super excited and ready for the challenge to help determine the BEST STRAWBERRY DESERT in Hampton Roads. It would be a tough task but I would dutifully accept this huge responsibility. The feature article has not been published yet (this Sunday) but I can give you a little snap shot of the three contenders.
First on our list was a classic Strawberry Pie. Oh my, it was beautiful and everything was homemade! The original creator, an 82 year-old grandmother is even in the kitchen daily to help roll out the pie crusts. You could definitely taste the love in this pie. I loved that it was packed full of freshly picked berries and just enough jell. In many of the commercial Strawberry Pies, its mostly jelly with a few berries thrown in. And topping it all was homemade whipped cream -- YUMMY!
I was kind of embarrassed that I wolfed it down in a few seconds flat but It was scrumptious.
Next we had Strawberry Cupcakes. My sister-in-law is a cupcake queen and has spoiled me with wonderful cupcakes (many filled with our jam). Now, truth be told, I love cupcakes but I am not one to seek out a Cupcake Shop and buy a fancy-pants cupcake so I was still thinking the pie would be my fav. (I am an old fashioned gal).
The Cupcake was wonderful and looked so sweet. They use local berries chopped up and their icing was YUMMY. Although I must admit it was too much for me. I know many of you would disagree that you can never have too much icing - but I thought it was. The shop was modern and crisp. It was a nice spot to have a cupcake!
Our third stop was on the other side of the earth - or at least it felt that way. About a 40 minute drive later we were at a sushi restaurant. It was actually a blessing that we had such a long drive as we were all getting full on sweetness! I was a little surprised that a sushi place was nominated for a good strawberry desert but ready for our final stop.
The restaurant itself was a cool little place in a very unlikely spot. It was a funky yet traditional and it everything looked amazing. As we waited for our Strawberry Deserts we were all eager to have the final taste. We were all served the most beautiful Strawberry Wonton Napoleons. Everyone in the restaurant turned to look as they were truly beautiful!
Each desert was very good and I truly enjoyed them in a different way. The thing that struck me most was that each one of these locally owned restaurants all commented on exactly where their strawberries were from. I love them for that. They were making every effort to use the best and freshest berries available and helping a farmer along the way -- just as we strive to do with our jam!
Of course I don’t want to spoil the article by telling you who won the official taste test but it was a close one. I can tell you that I will return for a homemade Strawberry Pie, stop in the cupcake store for a little sweet treat and return for sushi and wonton napoleons before strawberry season comes to an end.
Now get out there and enjoy some local strawberries before they are gone for another year!!