Saturday, June 9, 2007

Strawberry Lemonade

Lest you ding me for false advertising, I hasten to point out this post is NOT about making lemonade with strawberries. Rather, I've called on that slogan: If Life Hands You Lemons -- Make Lemonade. It is that principle that has salvaged a less than pleasing batch of berries into something with possibilities.

The photo will give you an idea of how much white flesh made up the content of the berries -- and it was virtually flavorless. The dehydration process worked minor wonders, however. While certainly not as intense in flavor as decent berries would have been, these specimens will suffice for munchies. The sweet strawberry flavor did indeed concentrate as I had hoped and brought the flavor quality up a notch.

As I sat there chewing on one of the slices, I contemplated the fate of those remaining. Here's what I think -- I think I'll dice up some of the slices and rehydrate them in hot berry liqueur and then add them to a good brownie batter. Yes?

Which reminds me ... I need to restock my supply of baking cocoa. Running out of baking cocoa is almost as bad as running out of coffee. Gadzooks and other similar expressions of alarm.

I am so embarrassed. After assuring Texas-residing Bonnie that summer had indeed arrived in my own more temperate location, this day dawned overcast and proceeded to stay that way. Adding insult to injury, it has mizzled off and on for the whole duration. Made it a wee bit chilly in the kitchen, where I keep a window open to catch fresh breezes. Had to put on a light sweater to survive the fresh air.

In the meantime, it was perfect weather for a good old-fashioned veggie soup. A cup of tiny seashell pasta in six cups of chicken broth and an addition of a couple of cups of frozen mixed veggies soon had the kitchen smelling wonderful.

Which reminds me of my only gripe about the assorted mixed veggie packages. I don't mind that they put broccoli in the mix. I happen to really like broccoli. What I frown at is the tendency to load the batch with big honkin' chunks of broccoli. Well, I know how to deal with that, by golly. I toss the veggies in a colander and run a bit of hot water over them -- just enough to start the thaw. Then I take my kitchen shears and snip all the broccoli clumps into smaller pieces, fit to play in polite company with others.

Once the soup was done, I filled myself a bowl and sat down with high anticipation. A few judicious shakes of the Tabasco bottle and my lunch was ready. Hot soups and stews always make me warm, both psychologically and physically. The additional thermal effect from a generous addition of chili pepper sauce could cure hypothermia. In this case, I soon found myself shedding my sweater and enjoying the cool breeze coming in the window. Capsicum has to be one of God's better inventions. Not far behind coffee and chocolate, I think.

Hmmm ... I just realized how so many of the Good Things in Life begin with the letter C. We might have to change the way we spell whiskey and sex.

Anyway, good work, God. Thank you.


John Bailey said...

Mmmm. Soup! Soup is good. I'll leave the tobasco in the bottle, though, and opt for a handful of English herbs in season, chopped fine and sizzled briefly in a drop of olive oil... Mmmm!

Ava said...

I like hot sauce in my soup too, Dee. Louisiana hot sauce made in St. Martinsville, or Tabasco from Avery Island are both good. I prefer noodles to other pasta though. Whatever floats our individual boats, right?

BTW, I noticed an ad to the side of your blog for a gadget called a dough docker. I've never heard of such a thing. I suppose there is a gadget for everything.


bb said...

I should write down your soup recipe but the hot sauce would have to remain in the bottle I'm afraid. :-)

Dee said...

Well darn, John and Bonnie. I guess this means you're not going with Ava and me to the Thai restaurant? (grin)

Ava, the Dough Docker was a new one on me, too. Turns out you use it to poke holes in the crust to prevent big air bubbles while it's baking. Which would make it handy in a place that was producing a lot of crusts quickly, like a pizza parlor. For thee and me, however, a good old-fashioned fork works okay-swell, right?

ogofish said...


Good Things in Life begin with the letter C. We might have to change the way we spell whiskey and sex.