Gentlemen Prefer… Strawberry Blondes!

So strawberry season is upon us. These sweet treats have been zipping up I-75 from Florida for a while now and Middle Georgia’s very own crop is coming! Places such as Lane’s  has a strawberry patch and, well, if by chance one finds themselves pickin’ in the patch, one might as well stay for ice cream!

Sip and Savor is out ya’ll!!  Book signings and some touring is about to commence so I wanted to combine my favorite spring berry and spring berry drink with an excerpt from the book. Some of these photos are in the book but there were just so many lovely shots we couldn’t include them all. My sister Maggie photographed this book and we had a ball! Working with siblings can be quite fun and she has photographed my wreath book due out this fall!

Here’s my Strawberry Blonde recipe and whipped cream too. Since spring is upon us, let us enjoy the fruits of the season!

Strawberry Blonde

What a perfect name for a lovely drink! Taking the fiery redness of strawberries and blending it with the calming color of cream, one will find the most beautiful pink drink to serve your friends and family. When strawberry season is at its peak, this drink is fabulously delicious. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and you have strawberries and cream in a drink!

They say gentlemen prefer blondes… well, this gentlemen will take this Strawberry Blonde any day!

2 cups of strawberries, tops removed
1 cup of milk (I use 2%)
3 cups of heavy whipping cream (for drink and garnish respectively)
¼ cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of good vanilla

Blend strawberries, milk, 1 ½ cups of cream, sugar, and vanilla together until fluffy and smooth. Add ice to the blender for slush.

The Farmer’s Whipped Vanilla Bean Crème Fraiche… Whipped Cream, Ya’ll

So whipping cream is delicious. It, like butter, just amazes me how many things can come from milk. It’s life’s first beverage. It’s a must on every trip to the grocery store. It’s milk! If you haven’t hooked onto organic milk and cream yet, you are missing out! The lactose free milk is about the best glass of anything you’ll ever drink! I digress…

Whipped cream is simply divine. The science of physically changing a liquid into a solid is astounding, but what is so amazing to me is the taste. With a scant bit of sugar, some good vanilla, and the inside of a vanilla bean pod, you can have the best of dessert toppings in a matter of minutes.

I inherited my great, great Aunt Irene’s “whipper,” a wiry paddle that takes the strongest of arms a long time to whip up a batch of this heavenly topping. Want a workout? Trust me, you’ll burn off the calories you’ll consume by whipping cream by hand. Use an electric mixer for time and bicep’s sake. It’s a fun tool to have though and I treasure it and my memories of her. I can only imagine how many times Aunt Irene or her cook Ida Mae whipped cream with that “whipper.” They deserve sainthood for such a feat… Ida Mae more so I’m sure!!!

There is a bit of art to whipping cream. Here are a few of this Farmer’s tips and my recipe… master this and you’ll have so many friends and family wanting a finger licking taste, you’ll have to give out numbers!

  • ALWAYS use a metal (copper or stainless steel) or glass bowl. Ceramic is fine too. Plastic wont cut it.
  • ALWAYS use cold cream and GOOD vanilla beans and vanilla extract. This is one delicacy youll truly taste the vanilla and you want the best.
  • I use my vanilla sugar (vanilla bean pod infused sugar) for that added richness and depth of flavor.
  • Whip, mix, whisk until the cream forms soft peaks and just looks right It shouldnt be runny in the least after mixing and can be stored in the fridge for a few days. It will get runny on a hot piece of pie, but thats perfectly apropos!

The Farmer’s Whipped Vanilla Bean Crème Fraiche

  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream or crème fraiche Whipping cream is more of a liquid and crème fraiche can be more solid. Use more sugar if using crème fraiche and a scant less for whipping cream since it is slightly sweeter.
  • Tablespoon of good vanilla
  • Scant teaspoon of scraped vanilla bean pods inside. We eat with our eyes first, so seeing those vanilla bean specks is a visual appetizer of the glory divine to come.
  • Scant tablespoon of vanilla sugar. Cooks note I dont like heavily sweetened whipped cream. I love the taste of whipped cream by itselfthe sugar just sweetens the pot, literally! Add more sugar if you prefer, but, trust me, the actual taste of whipped cream on its own is delicious!
  • Beat until it begins to form soft peaks that can stand on their own and no longer runny!
  • Serve with just about anything and it will be delicious Im sure! Enjoy!