A Taste of Summer – Fresh Strawberry Pie

Last week I was able to purchase 2 flats of fresh, locally grown strawberries from Fresh Fork Market. I was able to order these a day in advance through the Fresh Fork Market Canning Club on Facebook. Normally our family goes strawberry picking at a local farm, but our schedule this year prevented this from happening. I was thrilled to still be able to enjoy fresh strawberries. In addition, from my 16 quarts of strawberries, I froze strawberries for smoothies year-round, made strawberry freezer jam for the year and froze a dozen pints of strawberry shortcake topping for great-tasting desserts in the middle of winter.

My first strawberry project involves making our favorite strawberry pie. We have one recipe we turn to every year. This recipe, given to me by my sister-in-law in 1988, includes a cookie-like crust you mix right in the pie pan. Here’s the basics if you want to try it:

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Mixing crust in pie plate

Pie Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 Tbsp. milk

Mix this together in a 9-inch pie plate ( I use a fork.) Press out with fingertips to form a crust. Prick with a fork. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 425 degrees.(15 minutes is usually enough.)  Cool.

Pie Filling

  • 1 cup water

    The filling mixture before I boiled it.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. white corn syrup
  • pinch of salt

While the pie crust is baking and cooling, boil these ingredients in a medium saucepan until the filling becomes clear and thick.  Remove from heat and immediately stir in 2 Tbsp. strawberry flavored gelatin.  Allow this to cool.

To cooled filling, add 1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced in half.

Pour strawberry mixture into crust and refrigerate until completely cool and set.  Top with whipped topping and fresh strawberries if desired.   This pie is absolutely delicious – enjoy!

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Fresh Fork Market Week 3: Meet Kohlrabi

Today was a busy day as I tackled a paint job in the kitchen I have wanted to complete for a while. But I made sure to work Fresh Fork Market Week 3my project around my Fresh Fork Market pick-up at 3 p.m. I was eager to pick up my bag for the week and introduce myself to a new friend – my little green Kohlrabi.   I think it is the strangest looking vegetable I have ever met.  This odd little ball-shaped veggie has a few leaf sprigs popping out of the top, giving the illusion of an unkempt hairstyle.  The funny little wrinkles in the outer leaves almost create a mesmerizing facial expression.  How can I possibly eat something so cute!  If I drew two eyes and a nose,  I would have something closely resembling the infamous “Wilson” volleyball, the faithful companion of Chuck Noland (played by Tom Hanks) in the movie “Cast Away”. (Can’t you see him looking at you in my picture?)  But alas,  I need to eat it, vitamins, fiber and all.  I am sure I will enjoy the taste and texture of whatever my kohlrabi turns into this week.

My kohlrabi was joined by a stunning bunch of green onions, some Swiss chard, two zucchini, gorgeous lettuce, collard greens, a quart of delicious red strawberries, and pork chops (not pictured).   In addition, I brought home some beef cubes for kabobs later this week,smoked kielbasa, a ham hock to use with my black beans (which I still need to cook up),  and 2 flats of strawberries for my once-a-year strawberry freezer frenzy (more on that later).

stir frySince my kitchen is in disarray due to my painting project and I am the only one home this evening, I needed dinner to be quick and easy.  First stop, the  Fresh Fork kielbasa.  Stir fry meals offer great flexibility with ingredients and flavors, so I opted to try a kielbasa stir fry tonight.  I sliced 1 smoked kielbasa into bite-size pieces and fried it in a skillet with a little oil.  Then I added a chopped green onion, half of a zucchini sliced thin, a finely chopped garlic scape from last week, and a little bit of carrot.  After stir frying  until the veggies were tender, I served this over a bed of basmati rice and added a salad of fresh lettuce greens topped with fresh strawberries,  finely chopped pecans and a drizzle of strawberry poppyseed dressing.   Dinner in 15 minutes – presto! Now if I could just get my painting project done as fast…

kiebasa rice dinner

 

Fresh Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

It seems like summer has finally arrived when the first strawberries of the season appear.  I brought home 2 quarts of fresh picked strawberries with my weekly Fresh Fork Market bags Wednesday and wasted no time in making one of our family favorites: homemade strawberry frozen yogurt.  The ease and flavor of this recipe makes it my go-to frozen dish, especially with its versatility to adapt to peaches or other fresh fruits in season.  ice cream maker

My oldest son was diagnosed with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes at age 14, which necessitated an immediate change in our family’s food choices and a drastic change in my cooking habits.  Eleven years later, my son lives on his own but we continue to follow many of the same healthy food habits we learned at that time.  One of my small appliance purchases not long after his diagnosis was a Cuisinart 2 quart ice cream maker. We are an ice-cream-eating family and the Cuisinart allowed me to make delicious frozen treats my son could eat.  So here’s the recipe for Strawberry Frozen Yogurt, adapted from the original recipe found in Fantastic Foods With Splenda by Marlene Koch:

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, stemmed, washed and halved, partially frozen on cookie sheet 15 min.
  • 3/4 cup Splenda Granular*
  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt *
  • 3/4 cup 1% milk

*I prefer to use a natural sweetener, or I will use vanilla yogurt instead of plain, such as the Snowville Creamery Vanilla Yogurt from Fresh Fork Market.  When I use vanilla yogurt I will stir in about 1/3+ cup sugar instead of the Splenda.  You can experiment to get your desired sweetness level with the sweetener of your choice.

To make the frozen yogurt: combine the yogurt, milk and sugar/natural sweetener in large bowl; add the berries that have been ???????????????????????????????partially frozen. (Sometimes I use 2 cups previously frozen strawberries and then stir in the remaining 2 cups fresh strawberries as the mixture freezes in the ice cream maker.  The frozen strawberries speed up the process in the ice cream maker.)  Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Serve immediately or place in containers and freeze for later use.  Ours never makes it to the freezer – we always clean out the bowl as soon as it is done!   This makes 6 (1/2 cup) servings.

???????????????????????????????I served this with a few Fresh Fork Market strawberries as a garnish.

This frozen yogurt will disappear right before your eyes!

I hope to share our family’s favorite strawberry pie recipe next week if I can get more  strawberries from Fresh Fork.  This  pie recipe includes a cookie-like crust you can make right in the pie plate = no rolling pin needed.  Now that’s easy!