Here is one of my very earliest food memories.
I was 3 or 4 years old (I know because we moved a lot, and this happened at the house I lived in when I was 3 or 4). It was a sunny, hot day, and my mother had set up the sprinkler so that could run around naked in the yard in the water. I was eating strawberries and getting strawberry juice all over myself, which was fine with my mother who was very patient with my messy ways. I was naked anyway and rinsing myself off regularly in the sprinkler. So many of my favourite things were happening all at the same time! Sunshine! Water! Nakedness! Strawberries! I was happy.
Then an idea came into my tiny hedonist head. You know what else I liked? My fluffy soft kitty cat! I decided would be a really good idea to add my cat into this perfect moment. So with my mouth full of strawberries and my the long soft fur of my kitty pressed to my naked chest I stepped into the sunshine to let the sprinkler wash over me. My expectations were high and the reality was truly horrific. My cat scratched my entire chest and belly to shreds. I still wince at the memory of having my nipple scratched. There were tears, and regret, and first aid measures. It was an important lesson, that I had learned earlier than most hedonists…. Sometimes more is not more.
My strawberry recipes break down into two categories. In one camp we have recipes that celebrate the simple beauty of strawberries. No need to add a fluffy kitty cat! Just appreciate the strawberry.
SWEET AND SIMPLE STRAWBERRY RECIPES
In the other camp my natural tendency to add a fluffy kitty cat to any good situation is revealed. These recipes are complicated, but the good news is that I have tested them for you! All danger of this recipe scratching you to shreds has been carefully removed.
APPEALINGLY DANGEROUS STRAWBERRY RECIPES
Today, I would like to offer another recipe in the sweet and simple category. My friend Kerthy brought this Spinach salad with Strawberries, Bacon and Spring Onions to our perfect spring dinner party last weekend. I can’t believe how delicious it is. A few days after the dinner party I received strawberries, spinach and spring onions in my CSA farmshare order, so I have been indulging in this salad every day for almost a week. It is really important to have totally ripe strawberries for this salad. Those small, local strawberries are the best.
KERTHY’S SPINACH SALAD WITH STRAWBERRIES, BACON AND SPRING ONIONS
- 4-6 cups of washed spinach (chopped if large)
- 4 slices of bacon
- a splash of vinegar
- salt and pepper
- a pint of ripe strawberries
- 2 spring onions, bulbs and greens thinly sliced
- Fry up the bacon until it is crispy. Lift the bacon out of the pan and drain on paper towels.
- Scoop about 1/3 cup of hot bacon grease out of the pan and into a blender. Throw in a handful of strawberries (green tops removed). This is a good way to use any bruised or squished strawberries. Add a splash of vinegar and blend it all up. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Slice the remaining strawberries.
- Toss the spinach in the dressing and top with the sliced strawberries. Crumble the bacon on top and sprinkle with sliced spring onions.
MORE SALADS WITH FRUIT…
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Dang! What a cutie!!
Yeah but you can tell I was trouble too right?