7 Aug

Some time early last year a group of girlfriends and I decided that once a month we would have a girls’ day out together. Eighteen months later and we’ve only managed to go on three. It’s kind of difficult finding a day when all four/five of us are free. Nevertheless, whenever we can we go for a drive and indulge in some simple fun, like going to the beach and… strawberry picking.

I have to admit that strawberry picking has never been high on my list of things to do. In fact, my lack-lustre response to one of my best mate’s exclamation of, “strawberry picking this weekend!” and an excited clap of her hands, was probably a bit disappointing (sorry…).

So yesterday, five of us girls hopped in a car and headed to a strawberry farm near Caboolture. Once we arrived, we were given little baskets (yes, baskets) and pointed in the direction of the fields, instructed that we had to pick at least one kilogram of strawberries. We were allocated rows of beautiful glossy, red strawberries and merrily picked away to our hearts’ content. I was apparently slower than the others so they took pity and donated some of their pickings to me. It didn’t take us long to pick enough, so we got another basket each and went out a second time.

This time we got an education about how to pick strawberries properly. Did you know that there is a right and a wrong way to pick them? I do now… Apparently you should never touch the fruit. Ever. You should pick it from the stem, holding the strawberry up like it’s an icecream, and then pull the stem towards you. It’s actually easier than pulling on the fruit. Did that makes sense? Maybe I should have made a little instructional video…

We all (bar one) picked two or more kilograms’ worth of strawberries and left with massive grins on our faces. Some of us had plans to use them for cooking; others just wanted to eat them unadulterated.

Lunch was a little disappointing, so I’ll skip past that and go straight to the afternoon cooking session. I made mini strawberry jalousies and my cousin made some strawberry and balsamic ice cream as well as a strawberry cheesecake slice. Delicious.

By the way, how do you say jalousie? JA-LOOSE-EE? Whatever.

Basically, to make jalousies, you need to cut a sheet (or two, depending how many you want to make) of puff pastry into four squares. Then on one half of each of the squares, make little diagonal slits. These are both decorative and functional, especially if you accidentally put too many strawberries in one parcel. Turn on your oven to somewhere around 200C to preheat. Then macerate your diced strawberries in some maple syrup and orange rind for a few minutes. Now, spread some almond meal onto the uncut half of the pastry square and then spoon some strawberry mix on top. Then, fold over the cut side and join the ends together so that they make cute little rectangular parcels and all the sides are sealed. You can use a fork for this. You’re supposed to sprinkle sugar on the top of the jalousies, but I didn’t really do this. I just popped them in the oven until the pastry was golden brown.

These were so tasty. I ate three and then I went home and made a giant one and felt sick afterwards from eating so much. One day I will learn to not overindulge.

Fast forward to today. My cousin and I have a weekly ritual of going to the Mt Gravatt markets to buy our fruit and veg. I always get a coffee too, and we get turkish bread or a Romanian cheesy bready thing that I can’t remember the name of right now. They taste good anyway. I am, however, digressing.

I like the atmosphere of markets and I love the idea of buying heaps of fresh fruit and vegetables. But I live by myself and can’t physically use or eat that much food. Things tend to go manky in my fridge quite frequently. When I go to these markets I try to buy a few small things, like cute mini sweet potatoes and little butternut pumpkins.

Today though, something caught my eye and I just had to buy them for novelty’s sake. Blood limes.

I peeled one on the drive home (I wasn’t driving) and curiously dissected it and shared it with my cousin. It certainly tasted citrussy but it wasn’t as acrid as a lemon or lime. They look pretty cool too. But what the crap do you use them for? On the container it mentioned cocktails and beer or something, but I don’t ever drink beer or cocktails. So, other than for drink decoration, what can I use them in?

Maybe I’ll make a lemon/blood lime delicious. We’ll see.

The rest of the day involved a trip to DFO with the same cousin, amusing a sales assistant guy by confessing that I had no bum when I tried on a pair of jeggings, both of us buying clothes that we hadn’t originally intended on buying, and then chowing on some lunch before heading home again.

Then, after I left her place I went straight to my local shops and bought a dress for a wedding in a couple of weekends’ time and promptly left the shops. I call that success.

I did profess that I would do several jobs this evening, but the novelty wore off after doing a load of washing and cleaning the kitchen. I plan on lazing on the couch for a wee while longer and then heading to bed.

Mmm bed.


2 Responses to “Weekend”

  1. birdie 08/08/2011 at 3:08 pm #

    For a “cocktail”, get some fresh mint, add some sugar and “muddle” the leaves (like what you’d do in a mortar/pestle, but not quite so violently). Add the lime juice. Add soda water and ta-da! homemade lemonade πŸ™‚ I do it with regular limes all the time, so I guess it would work with the blood ones. Just adjust the sugar content to how sweet you want the drink to be.

    • bearinthere 08/08/2011 at 9:03 pm #

      A lady at work suggested I make marmalade or lemon butter (with blood lime in it).
      I like your cocktail idea too! I’ll definitely keep that in mind πŸ™‚

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