Aaaahhhh, homegrown strawberries. They are like that first warm breeze after a winter of brisk wind and cold drizzle. A sign of summer as refreshing as the first cool dip in a crystal clear pool during one of those sweltering Texas June days. May brought the first fruits of our labor, and they are delicious my friends!
They are not as large as their store-bought counterparts, but they are sweet, fire engine red, and pack the punch of everything there is to admire about the strawberry.
Don’t get me wrong, gardening is a J-O-B. I’m not sane enough to stay on top of things, so there is always fruit to pick, weeds to pull and bugs to battle. (I have taken great pride in the fact that my attempt at transplanting the new plants from last years’ runners has successfully produced in their new location. It’s the little things.)
This year, I seem to be having a battle of the wits with our little lightweight powerhouses, the ants. Those suckers are so unassuming, but so stinking irritating (both literally and figuratively). Anyway, I have called in the big guns – Man is taking care of them for me. He has been reading the Chris Kyle story, and since he’s not a Seal, he desperately needs someone to battle with – so I just pointed his testosterone in the direction of the ants. And I’m not even sorry.
While I was waging my own battle on the weeds and Man was strategizing the ants, he whipped up some of these lovely egg &sausage tacos. Not to brag, but Man makes a mean breakfast.
I digress, back to what to do with all these lovely berries? My boys’ favorite way to eat them is straight out of the garden (sometimes even before I get to wash them off). I love them any way you want to dish them, but today I think I will try Strawberry Basil Lemonade. I had a version a couple of weeks ago from Good Karma Kitchen on my Food Truck Excursion and it was delightful.
Here’s my version…
2-4 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
4-5 large lemons, juiced
1 small bunch basil leaves
1 pint fresh strawberries, divided in half
I like to heat 2c of water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool to room temp. In a 2 quart pitcher, add the lemon juice, strawberries, and basil in the lemon juice. Using a wooden spoon, muddle the basil and strawberries just a bit. Stir in your sugar solution. Add water to desired tartness. Top with a little sparkling water for some fizz if you wish.