21 June 2012

Strawberry picking and easy homemade sherbet

N, me and little v visited Russell Orchards last Saturday. Boston has tons of these 'pick-your-own-fruits' farms which let you pick fruits fresh off the trees. We wanted to take v for a small outing while summer is around, so this turned out to be the perfect occasion.

Russell Orchards is a cute little rustic farm located in Ipswich, at about 45 mins drive from where we live making it a perfect destination for 'baby's day out'. Depending on the time of the year you visit, you could pick strawberries, arugula, greens, herbs, kale, lettuce, radishes, scallions, sungold tomatoes, swiss chard. Its strawberry season right now & believe me, there is nothing better than picking these berries fresh off the plants. Some pics from the farm:

Much to little v's delight who is crazy about his animal friends, there are a few farm animals too:

The farm also offers a variety of preserves, all made from its fresh produce.

This time of the year though, its all about strawberries! We love strawberries but find the ones from the market almost always disappointing, mainly because they go bad before we can finish off the box. Both N and I hate to throw away food so this usually means that we will buy very limited quantities of fresh strawberries. This time though, we just could not resist. With the strawberries fresh off their plants, we decided to pick as much as time & little v would allow us.
Did you know strawberries grow on the ground & not on trees?

Cannot even begin to tell how much N & I enjoyed the strawberry picking. There were a lot of people on the farm that day so between that competition & the fact that the brightest, juiciest strawberries tend to hide underneath a cluster of leaves, it ended up being a treasure hunt of sorts. By the end of the picking session (which lasted less than an hour), we had about 6 pounds of strawberries!!! Isnt that neat?

We returned with 3 boxes like this! We ate one over the next couple of days (they were so good, they went fast!), gave one away to our friends who live down the street & with the third, I decided to make some homemade strawberry sherbet.

For those who might not have heard, sherbet happens to be an American term for fruity flavored frozen dairy product. with low milk/yogurt content (between 1% and 2%). This was the first time I prepared a sherbet at home & it was a big hit; N loved it!

Strawberry sherbet
Adapted from cookincanuck's recipe from here. 

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar (or more/less depending on sweetness of fruit)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 (small, individual serving) container packaged strawberry flavored yogurt 

1. In a medium bowl, stir together strawberries and sugar. Let the strawberries rest for 15 minutes to release the juices.
2. Place strawberries along with the juices & lemon juice in a blender. Puree until the mixture is smooth.
3. Sieve the puree using a fine mesh; discard the solids left in the sieve.
4. Add yogurt to the sieved puree. Blend a little & transfer to a stainless steel container. Cover with a plastic wrap & chill in refrigerator until syrup has chilled – about 1 hour.
5. Transfer back to the freeze for 3-4 hours. Remove sherbet from freezer and puree once more in a food processor or blender. Return strawberry puree mixture to metal container, cover and freeze for a further 3-4 hours. Serve.

Makes 4 small  servings

This is a super easy recipe & yields delicious results- the sherbet is light, delicately sweet & the lime juice adds a nice touch to the tartness of the strawberries. Perfect for hot, summer days; I will definitely be making some more soon.

08 June 2012

Reason for postlessness: I am a 'Sieve woman'

Anyone wondered why this blog has been dead for so long? Things got really slow after I got pregnant, but I was really hopeful that the momentum would be back after the blog restart last September. Turns out not. And here's why:

Taken from 'Black Milk' by Elif Shafak:
'(A woman) can be as talented as she likes, as fond of art & literature as she likes, but her path as a writer will be strewn with obstacles, small and large. She will have a hard time finding wiggle room in the 'sociable-wife, meticulous-housewife, faithful-mother' box she is expected to fit into. More important, between her womanly tasks and motherly roles, she will not be able to find the time to write. Her whole day will pass with household chores, cooking, ironing, taking care of children, tending to her family responsibilities.....before she knows it, she will be a Sieve Woman, all the time in the world leaking through the holes in her life. In those rare moments when she finds herself alone, she will give in to exhaustion & frustration. How will she write? When will she write?'

Story of my life. 

Plus the fact that I can be a little lazy at times, of course :)

Plan to be back soon. And stay.