Few things mark the beginning of summer quite like a local strawberry harvest. This morning we arrived as the pick-your-own orchard opened to gather three flats full, with jam and smoothies in mind. I've also been considering a strawberry rhubarb pie, and will check at the farmer's market tomorrow for the rhubarb. The stalks in our local grocery store looked thick and heavy, and The Joy of Cooking suggests young, tender smallish stalks.
As I was rinsing and slicing berries -- poor things that they are (lucky to have survived the pounding rain the last couple of days) -- a lovely kitchen still life emerged.
As I separated a few favorites I realized that is the essence of summer in that cup. The scent and flavor of every family cookout I can recall, traditionally ended by biscuits and berries with cream.
The girls have been coming through "sneaking' them all day. Tonight we'll put on a good soundtrack, crack open a cold Magic Hat, and pull out the canning things. Tonight we jam!