I know many of you have moved on to other summer fruits, but I’m still stuck on strawberries. I was away for a week and felt that I needed to eat an extra weeks worth in order to “catch up”. I went out and bought a ton of Quebec strawberries all at once. Unfortunately, eating them all before they went bad turned out to be impossible. That’s ok though, I was planning on preserving some anyway.
Every year I make a few bottles of strawberry jam. Although I like to dream of giving up my job and selling jam, anyone who has seen that episode of Friends where Monica attempts this knows that’s it’s almost impossible to make a living selling jam. My reasons for making it are more ethereal; in the dead of winter, when the ice and cold have me feeling like I couldn’t possibly go on, the smell of homemade strawberry jam revitalizes me. It’s like sunshine in jar.
I still had a few strawberries left after making my jam, so I decided to have a little fun with them. We were kids, Mom would often make strawberry juice. It’s just strawberries pureed with sugar, but the taste is incredibly fresh and rich. Sometimes we’d freeze the strawberry juice and save it for the winter too. It’s a lot of work, but once you scrape up a bowl full you get the fresh summer flavour in the middle of winter. But on this day I didn’t feel like waiting for my frozen treat, so I decided to make myself some ice pops. I added a little lime juice to give them a little extra kick. They’re perfectly refreshing on a hot summers day.
Strawberry Lime Ice Pops
- 4 cups strawberries, hulled and cleaned
- 1/2 cup sugar
- juice of 1 lime
- Place all ingredients into a blender. Puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze completely.
I’ve had a couple of conversations recently about how hard it is to meet men. Where do you go? It’s pretty much impossible to have a conversation in a bar. Online dating is like looking for a needle in haystack. I already know all of my friends friends, although I could go to the friends friends friends level. At one point I thought I might meet a man in the elevators of my office building. There was this really cute guy I’d see often who would smile at me. Then one day I saw him in a restaurant with his girlfriend and realized he’s just an elevator flirt.
Both of the friends I talked to about this had already come to the conclusion that the only place to meet a man is the grocery store. There are some rules to keep in mind though.
- A man in a big grocery store in the burbs is most likely already in a relationship; small urban markets are the way to go.
- There is nothing to talk about in the canned soup aisle other than the amount of sodium in the cans; if you spot a cute guy there try and catch him again in the beer aisle.
- A man who only has beer and chips in his cart might be fun, but ultimately I believe the relationship would be unsatisfying.
- The best spot to meet a man in the grocery store is the produce section. You can discuss weird looking greens, how to pick a ripe fruit, and if your lucky melons might get squeezed.
And that brings me to the recipe part of this post; watermelon salad. I considered doing a savoury version, as that seems to be the trend these days, but to me watermelon is a sweet treat to enjoy at the end of a long hot day. It’s Watermelon is quite sweet on its own so I used just a bit of honey to sweeten the salad and a little rum to make it extra delicious (booze always makes dessert better).
- 1/2 a medium watermelon
- 2 mangoes
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 oz rum
- Mint, finely chopped
- Using a melon baller, scoop out the watermelon and the mangoes into a medium bowl.
- In a glass, mix the lime juice, honey and rum together.
- Pour the line mixture over the fruit and toss with the mint.
I’m always a little shocked when New Years comes around. Has another year really gone by? Suddenly there is the “what to do for New Years” pressure again.
To be honest I don’t remember what I did most years. It’s not what you think (okay, maybe it’s a little of what you think … hiccup), it’s just that my memories of different New Years parties over the years have all kind of melded together. Some were amazing, like the time I was at Le P’tit Caribou in Mont Tremblant. Some were terrible, like the year I watched people play Guitar Hero all night in some guys basement. All of them were spent with people who were very important to me at that point in time.
Some of those friendships have stood the test of time, others haven’t, but all of the blurred memories are still cherished.
So today I’m thinking about all the people who have come through my life and changed me in some way. And taking a cup of kindness, for auld lang syne.
White Sangria with Pomegranate
- 1 bottle white wine
- 3 cans 7up or Sprite
- Grand Marnier (I didn’t measure, a few ounces I think)
- Seeds of 1 pomegranate
- slices of two limes
- Pour all ingredients into a punch bowl. Wait for the seeds to float.
Happy New Year!