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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Strawberries


My first house as a child was on Hyland Drive in Decatur, Georgia, U.S.A.  It was a great neighborhood with a lot of friends.  My grandfather, a Greek immigrant, lived with us for many years.  He had a love for gardening and in our small backyard we had a grapevine, corn, and strawberries.  I don't really remember other fruit or vegetables, but I remember those three.  I also know that it is not wise to play with a slinky toy near a grapevine!  I'm sure it would still be tangled up in the vines.  

Strawberries are my favorite fruit!  I guess because I remember going to the back yard with "Papa" (my grandfather) to pick them ripe off of the vine.  I remember him picking them, dropping them in a pot or bowl, and letting me eat them right after picking.  Now that is a delicious strawberry!!  My grandfather did everything in the world for the grandchildren including letting one in particular eat tons of strawberries!

Although I like strawberry shortcake, cheesecake, strawberry cakes, chocolate strawberries, etc... I must say my favorite way to eat them is for breakfast with Greek yogurt!  Nothing starts the day like having my favorite fruit.  They are good for me too... so that's a plus!  When our sons were little, we stopped at a strawberry farm and picked fresh strawberries.  It takes a lot of time to pick a bucket of strawberries, but we did it.  To this day, I remember being surrounded by the fresh scent of the berries.  Strawberries and french toast for breakfast, sliced strawberries and spinach salad, strawberries for dessert, and a fresh strawberry tart for a midnight snack! shhhhhhhh don't tell! :)

For a quick treat, what could be better than chocolate covered strawberries? Not much!  Semi sweet chocolate and luscious ripe berries is the best "candy" anyone can make.  With balsamic vinegar being so popular today, I have also sprinkled a bit on the strawberries to give a different taste.  During this time of year when they are at their best, I eat them every day for breakfast and a snack!  

To me, the less one does with a strawberry, the better!  Fill pre-baked puff pastry shells with sliced fresh strawberries and top with fresh whipped cream. finish with a drizzle of melted semi sweet chocolate, and a few toasted almonds.  Can't get much easier than that!!

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Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar
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