Saturday, June 4, 2011

Strawberries by Jeanne

Hi Barbara,

Finally finding the time to send photos and a recipe for your blog!
So here goes…

One of the many things I love about TW [Taipei, Taiwan] is the fresh produce and outdoor markets. My Saturday morning routine usually consists of exercise, kid’s swimming lessons, followed by a trip to the grocery store and produce market on bike. We don’t have a car here and for the most part am happy not to have one. The rules of road are very different here. But on a bike I’m at the grocery store in 10 minutes, and I just love maneuvering my bike thru the maze of people without having to stop!

I’ve attached a bunch of pictures from a typical Sat am journey…the weather was beautiful that day, a clear, sunny day with low humidity and perfect temps is a rarity here…

Me on my bike!


Navigating thru the market, and yes I am on my bike, riding and taking the picture at the same time...

THE STRAWBERRIES..

My favorite strawberry lady. It really does pay to be loyal to one fruit stand. They always make sure you get the best and offer a small discount. BTW, Taiwanese rarely smile and show their teeth in photos….

My kids love, and I mean love strawberries and strawberry season goes from December thru mid-May…so we are very lucky. The recipe for the strawberries is very simple, but with fresh really sweet strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and mascarpone make a terrific combination.

Strawberries
The recipe is courtesy of Epicurious.com

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons plus 4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chilled mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1-pint baskets (about 24 ounces) strawberries, hulled, halved

Combine vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Boil until syrup is reduced to scant 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl; cool completely. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Combine mascarpone, cream, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Whisk until thick soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.

Combine berries and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in large bowl; drizzle with balsamic syrup and toss to blend. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Divide berries and syrup among 6 goblets. Top with mascarpone mixture.

We should try this recipe when we’re back in the US in June with some local strawberries…

   ---Jeanne

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