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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's That Time of Year Again

The roses are starting to bloom (not for nothing is this place called the City of Roses), and the first local strawberries are starting to appear at the market. Not the best varieties, yet, but still exponentially better than the pretty-yet-woody California imports. The day before Mothers' Day my sister was in town, and for a family dinner I put together this trifle:

I used about three pints of berries, one and a half purchased pound cakes, six egg yolks-worth of pastry cream, a pint of cream (whipped and sweetened), diced roasted hazelnuts, chopped crystallized ginger, and homemade rhubarb-ginger jam. I made it last year without the pastry cream, and it was delectable. Pound cake + pastry cream, though, is just a tad rich. I think if I use the pastry cream again, I'll use a lighter cake, like the chiffon cake I made for the Burns Supper trifle, or even an angel food cake.

The benefit to making the pastry cream, of course, is to have leftover egg whites to make into almond macaroons, which I did.

The most spectacular of my roses aren't blooming yet, but when I get back from my weekend in Utard (gotta see those new nephews!) I'll start snapping. Too bad this blog does not include Smellovision (tm)!



Blogger Sarah said...

Do you know of any good pick-your-own strawberry places near you? I can't find anything down here on the South Coast and I'm ready to drive as far away as Portland for the right berry-picking experience.

(BTW, I'm Emily Schultz's little sister in Coos Bay and I've been one of your lurkers for awhile. I enjoy your blog!)

May 23, 2007 at 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah! I'd noticed some hits from Coos Bay and figured it might be you.

It might be too wet right on the coast for berries other than blueberries, but I'm betting you wouldn't have to come all the way up here. I'm in Utard, like I said, so I don't have all my links available, but when I get back I'll post a link with a list of farms by region. For sure you shouldn't have to go farther than Eugene.

And I almost never pick my own strawberries. I did it as a kid and hated it. Caneberries I always pick my own, because you do it standing up! One of my mom's friends from Salem has picked for us in the past, and I'm hopeful that we'll get her to do it for us again. She actually likes picking strawberries, and she's careful and cheap--a fabulous combination when it comes to fragile-but-insanely-delicious Hood berries.

May 23, 2007 at 10:36 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Lots of blackberries out here (gee, really, in Oregon?) and some blueberries inland just a few miles, but no one does strawberries. I bought some picked from a lady who picked them up in Tillamook, but they were expensive.

I love picking strawberries. Yes, you have to bend over, but the plants don't poke you and the berries make the most delightful snicking sound when you pop them off the plant.

I'll get your email address from Emily and send you an invite to my protected blog. You might like to see all my coast pictures.

May 30, 2007 at 2:12 PM  

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