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Strawberries and Hot Rods

 

Betty on the left, yours truly on the right.

Last Saturday my neighbor and friend drove to London, Ohio for their annual Strawberry Festival. I don’t know about where you live. But Ohio is big on local festivals and fairs. We have a festival and celebration for just about everything under the sun.

We have several strawberry festivals, a banana-split festival, several ice-cream festivals, an apple festival (not to be confused with the Johnny Appleseed festival or the apple butter festival,) a honey festival, a melon festival, a potato festival, a pumpkin festival, a zucchini festival, a sauerkraut festival, and a tomato festival. I better not forget the popcorn festivals and the maple syrup festival. 

We have festivals celebrating sunflowers, wooly bears, tall stack ships, wild turkeys and Bratwursts too.

Then there are the non-food themed festivals: railroads, coal, pioneer days, covered bridge festival, hot-air balloon, a Renaissance Fair, and a moonshine festival to name just a few. And that last one has nothing to do with the phases of the moon, just in case anyone was wondering! 

The beautiful, historical, and very  interesting Mission of San Juan Capistrano in California and their swallows have nothing on Ohio. We have a festival in early spring marking the day when the Hinckley Buzzards come back to Ohio from their southern winter stomping grounds. 

Believe it or not there is also a Tobacco Festival featuring a tobacco worm race. 

Ohio is also home of a festival honoring twins and their families. Twins Days Festival in, where else? but  Twinsburg, Ohio. 

The festival I love the most though is the Columbus Jazz & Rib Fest. Smooth music and good eats. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

While there was no cool jazz or hot ribs at the Strawberry Festival in London, Ohio Saturday, the air was loud with the sound of car engines roaring and revving-up at the annual Cobra Car Show and charity fundraising event benefiting Cystic Fibrosis.

The Cobra is a British built and designed sports and race car that was produced during the 1960s.The London Strawberry Festival is one of the biggest shows for Cobra enthusiasts nationwide. 

What can I say? Ohioans love to party and eat. From strawberries and sports cars to tobacco worms, we find many new and inventive ways to mix it up.

I have two recipes for you today.

Featured Recipe # 1:           Strawberry Butter 

This is more technique than recipe. You can make any flavor butter you want. One of my favorites is Lime Butter. I just mix a little lime juice and lime zest with the softened butter and keep it in my freezer. I like to use the Lime Butter on Broiled Salmon and on corn-on-the-cob. 

You can also use up any herbs lurking in your fridge by making Herbed Butter. I like the combination of chopped fresh garlic (or onion or shallots), parsley, tarragon, and thyme. But you can use any fresh herb or herbs you  like.

Last post I mentioned one of the ways you can save money at the grocery store is to just buy plain frozen vegetables instead of those in butter or seasoned sauces. It is cheaper to make your own. This recipe/technique is how you can do it. Make up several different combinations on flavored butters and keep them in your freezer. Then add a slice or two to your frozen vegetables after they are cooked.

You can keep these flavored butters up to one year in the freezer. If you are going to store them that long though, place the frozen butter in aluminum foil, wrap tightly and place in a plastic bag.

You should be able to get at least 10 slices of butter from 1 roll.

Here is what you need for 1 roll of butter:

1 stick of unsalted butter              

4-6 strawberries   

           

This is what you do:

Soften the butter.

Chop the strawberries.

When the butter is soft use the heel of your hand to flatten it some what on a cutting board.

Place the strawberries on top of the butter and using a spoon or a knife mix the two together very well and form into a rough roll.

 

 

Make a rough loaf or roll with the butter.

Now place the butter on a piece of waxed paper. Fold the top edge of the waxed paper over and then under the butter. Using your hands and finger smooth the butter into a log-shaped roll. Now smooth it out. At this point I sometimes have to put the butter roll into the freezer for about 5 minutes. Then I can smooth it out and make a nice roll.

Once you have it wrapped in the wax paper you can begin to shape and smooth the roll out.

Seal the roll and turn the ends of the wax paper in opposite directions. Freeze for at least 1 hour.

To use, take the roll out of the freezer about 5-10 minutes before using. Then just slice it into rounds and spread on a  hot biscuit or toast.

 

 

Cost

1 stick of butter               $0.50              

4-6 strawberries              $0.60

Total Cost = $1.10
Per Slice Cost = $0.11    
Featured Recipe #2:            Strawberry Spread 

This recipe is perfect for me, for as you know I am secretly the lazy cook. This is an easy way to make a jam like to spread for bread. Except you don’t have to sterilize the jars and all that other time-consuming stuff you have to do to make jam and jelly. I have made jam before. So it is not like I can’t do it. It is just that this bread spread is so much quicker and easier. And just as delicious. 

Once made you will need to refrigerate this spread. It will keep 3-5 days in the refrigerator. That is why I make just a little of it at a time. If you have a larger family the recipe can be doubled.

Not only can you put this yumminess on bread, you can top ice cream with it, or mix it in hot breakfast cereals like oats or my personal favorite Cream of Wheat.

Today I just used strawberries, but you can mix several fruits together, for instance, strawberries and blueberries and/or blackberries. One of my favorite bread spreads is peaches and raspberries; a little slice of heaven right here on earth.

Here is what you need:

1½ cups chopped strawberries

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Here is what you do:

Place all of the ingredients in a pan over high heat and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium high and cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Stir occasionally until the mixture reaches a semi-thick or jam like consistency.

Cool and spread on biscuits or other breads with or without butter.

Cost

1½ cups chopped strawberries               $1.00

3 tablespoons sugar                               $0.12

1 tablespoon lemon juice                        $0.30

Total Cost = $1.42
This is for about 10 tablespoons of spread.

Bon Appetite!!!

Quote of the Day ~ You don’t have to cook fancy masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.         Julia Child

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