Berry Delicious Dessert
By Karen Schulz
In summertime, I get carried away in the produce section. Whether in a grocery store, or at a farmer’s market or roadside stand, there are so many delicious choices and the plethora of colors is over-stimulating, which is why I almost always over-buy.
I see vibrant red strawberries and think I’ll make pancakes with fresh berries on top, or smoothies, or strawberry shortcake, or a cobbler, or just have them out on the counter for a healthy snack when the kids walk in. Or, I see a rainbow of colors in small radish bunches and think, ooh, when did radishes step up their game and present themselves in purples, whites, and various reds? They will be perfect for breakfast, on toast with butter, in a festive salad, or alone with a sprinkle of salt. Of course, none of these things ever really happen, because summer is when I have the hardest time pulling off family dinner, or any family meal for that matter.
This time of year, it seems nobody has the same schedule. Work, sleep, exercise, travel, and dining are all over the map. Getting everyone together at the same time feels a little like catching a wave on the sand. However, while I do lower my expectations, I never give up.
One trick to stealing family time around the summer table is grilling. The beauty of grilling is that no matter what you grill, it will be delicious at any temperature, therefore, expanding your window of opportunity to be ready when you have everyone under your roof at the same time.
In summertime, I also find that experimenting with desserts helps draw people into the kitchen. I always keep fresh berries on hand. Not only are they the best healthy, grabbable summer snack, they make a super simple dessert, easy to whip up anytime. Once the family knows this is at the ready, you may find your kitchen full of more visitors than you expected.
<Lemony Strawberry Parfait>>
1 cup heavy cream
4 T. sugar, divided
2 T. fresh lemon juice, divided
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
Lemon zest for garnish
In a chilled, medium-size bowl, whip the heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Gradually add in the remaining sugar and lemon juice, whipping until the cream is thick but not overwhipped. You are looking for firm peaks.
Alternate layers of whipped cream and sliced strawberries in small glasses, then top each treat with a dollop of the cream and the lemon zest.