Last Saturday, my girls and I took a class at Miller Farms where we learned how to make some scrumptious things with strawberries! I found this class more enjoyable than others I've taken since even though we are on the property of working farm/business, the class took place in someone's kitchen and she was the one teaching us. Chefs are cool, and have a ton of classroom training, but there was just something charming about learning these tips from someone who is self-taught in her own kitchen...
She had a place setting for each of us with all the tools we'd need for the day:
...plus it was nice to be on a farm, outside of the hustle and bustle of town, just relaxing and learning about strawberries. Talk about a stress reliever - and this sign mounted outside her kitchen is all too true!
First she whipped up a refreshing summer drink with very simple assembly!
To make it: she picked some fresh spearmint, bruised it with a rolling pin to extract some juice and flavor, and dropped into a huge pitcher...well really it was a big mason jar she used as a pitcher - so cute! Then she sliced a lemon and lime and threw those in the jar and added some frozen strawberries - I'd imagine you can throw fresh ones in there for even more flavor, but the frozen ones were her choice of the day. Once her flavorful goodies were ready she filled the jar with water and let it sit for a few minutes for the flavors to combine. When she gave us each a glass of it, I was surprised at how much flavor it had after being assembled so recently! It would be a great refreshment for any summer party or after a hard day's work outside! Or at a party, as a companion to a pitcher of Sangria, for your dry friends?
She made a cheesecake, which I'm totally intimidated by and won't try for a while, along with a pork loin recipe that Dave and I will be having tonight for dinner! More on that later...
My favorite recipe Jo whipped up (literally - ha! I crack myself up!) was the french cream, which you can use as a fruit dip or pastry or cake frosting. I've never whipped cream before so I probably asked some dumb questions during this part of Jo's presentation! :) I've used heavy cream in recipes before but never whipped it - but now that I know how easy this recipe is I'll be making it often since you can use it with most fruits that are soft enough to be mashed with a hand mixer - I imagine peaches that have been soaked would be yummy!
Ok, back to the recipe - it is SO tasty, I whipped up my own batch last night! All you need is heavy cream (or whipping cream), sugar, cream cheese, butter, and strawberries!
I whipped up 1 pint of heavy cream until it formed soft peaks - until I saw it up close I had no idea what that was supposed to look like, but when the cream got there, it was obvious:
In another bowl I combined a stick of butter with 8 oz. cream cheese and then added 1/2 cup of sugar. Once those were blended I added in 1 quart of strawberries (hulled and sliced) - isn't that little paring knife cute? That was a gift to us from Miller Farms for taking the class :)
Once that mixture was blended I (with Dave's help) added the whipped cream in batches while still mixing it. When it's all blended you get this pink lovely:
I put the mixture in the fridge to chill while I made some french bread to serve it with - another recipe we tried at the class and fodder for another post :)