Strawberries on Toast for Lunch E.A.T. #50

Late May in Nashville means an abundance of fresh, juicy, local strawberries. Sliced strawberries on buttered bread toasted with a light sprinkling of raw sugar is just about a close to Nirvana as you can get when it comes to food.

This was our Friday lunch, and might be Saturday’s lunch as well and why not Sunday breakfast with a few slices of Gruyere added? We try to eat as many as we can while the local crop is plentiful. Simple is best, although over the years I have posted recipes for strawberry jam and Victoria sponge cakes with strawberries…let’s not forget the strawberry tarts. Those are all delicious and wonderful, but our absolute favorite way to eat strawberries is just like this. Simple and lightly sweet.

There is no recipe. Just grab some really good crusty-loafed bread such as sour-dough. Fresh local berries capped and sliced. Smear the bread slices with yummy softened butter and toast. Top toasted bread with sliced berries and a light sprinkling of raw sugar. It is as Easy-as-This.

Life is short, summer is here, treat yourself and others kindly and enjoy the bounty.

Bon Apetit.

When a Shrub is not A Bush! – Drinkable Strawberry Shrub, E.A.T. #16

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I am always amazed why it takes me so long to get around to trying something that I have known about for so long.  I have read about “shrub”drinks over the years, but had no idea how easy they are to make and how zesty & wonderful they taste, especially if you are a fan of vinegar drinks.

Before bottled colas & other sugary drinks became a ubiquitous part of our cultural landscape people made vinegar based fruit drinks commonly called “shrubs”. Mixed with carbonated water, Prosecco or even a Belgium Lambic beer results in one perfect warm weather cooler. I tried all three and found each deliciously appealing.

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A few simple ingredients are all you need to make your own bottle(s) of shrub to keep in the refrigerator chilled and ready to enjoy.  Fresh berries or other fruit, sugar, white wine, red wine & balsamic vinegars….simple and inexpensive.

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If you are a fan of kombucha, then I think you will find this recipe for strawberry shrub a new and interesting way to get your vinegar based drink fix. It truly is as “easy as this”! Give it a try,  let me know what you think.

Strawberry Shrub Drink

  • Difficulty: easyasthis
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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs fresh, sweet strawberries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches), wash, hulled & chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, dark or white
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar

 

Directions:

  1. Mix fruit and sugar in a bowl. Crush berries with a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon. Cover for 1 hour or chilled overnight allowing fruit and sugar to meld and juices to be released from the fruit.
  2. Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth, pressing the fruit to get out all the flavorful juice.
  3. Add balsamic, white wine and red wine vinegars to the strained juice. Store “shrub” in a lidded glass jar chilled until ready to use.
  4. For Mocktails put some of the shrub in a glass with ice and top with fizzy water. For Cocktails mix with Prosecco or a Peach Lambic Beer. Add a squeeze of lime or orange if desired. Adjust the amount of the shrub depending on your particular taste. I enjoy a very zesty drink with lots of that full-bodied fruit vinegar flavor. Experiment to come up with you own combinations.

Teresa Blackburn Food Styling