Every year around this time I go a little nuts making strawberry desserts. Witness last year's strawberry sweets frenzy: Mini Strawberry and Rum Pies, Strawberry Rhubarb Buckle, Strawberry Basil Sorbet. And those are just the ones that made the cut to become blog posts.
Over Memorial Day weekend I went my friend Karol's new apartment in Williamsburg for her housewarming BBQ potluck, which promised lots of food and merriment on a big beautiful deck. Her potlucks usually draw a big crowd, so I decided to make not one but two strawberry rhubarb tarts.
I picked up a large container of first-of-the-season Jersey strawberries and rhubarb stalks from the Greenmarket. And had ambitious plans of getting up early on Sunday morning to make the tarts without rushing. The waking up early part, um, never happened. Fortunately, I found out, you can really make these tarts in just two hours from start to finish, including the galette dough.
Last weekend, it was finally gorgeous out after a month of rainy and chilly weather. Instead of lounging in the park, I spent most of it holed up indoors, editing the unbound galley pages of my cookbook, giving it the final check before it got sent to the printer. I barely left the house, sipped many cups of coffee, and snacked on an embarrassing assortment of sweet and salty junk food. (The telltales signs of an intense period of work.)
Yesterday morning at 11am, I packaged it up and sent it back to my publisher. I sank down on my couch and let the sense of relief sink in.
Breakfast, Desserts, Recipes
I can thank my first job out of culinary school for introducing me to how wonderful strawberries and rhubarb can be together.
The job was at an catering company in Manhattan that specialized in large-scale events. I worked in the pastry department, which meant that we could spend an entire day creating hundreds of portions of the same desserts. At times, the head count for certain events could be as high as 1,500. If you have ever done 1,500 portions of the same cookies, cakes, or pies, you know how tedious this can be.
Are you as excited for strawberry season as I am?
A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a carton of strawberries from the market, fully intent on using them for making sorbet. At home while unpacking groceries, I decided it wouldn’t hurt if I tasted a couple, you know, just to see if they were sweet and ripe enough. And then a couple more. Before I knew it, most of the carton was gone, and I was still standing in the kitchen with strawberry-stained hands and groceries still needing to be unpacked.