What a weird week. After the chill of Mothers’ Day, we moved into high heat and humidity for Victoria Day (the unofficial kick off weekend of summer and gardening in Canada). Then we had some unstable weather, with storms. Today? The furnace has been running, we’re in long pants, and my toes are trying to convince me that they need socks (I refuse to give in).
Inspired by the warm weather, I did a lot of grilling on the weekend. We found a great place to get local drug, antibiotic and hormone free meat, and picked up two steaks. One was a nice, dry-aged sirloin, shared by the kids. The other was a 2″ thick beauty of a bone-in, dry-aged prime rib steak. My husband and I shared it. Before I could get a picture. It was gorgeous, though. Really gorgeous.
I also made burgers. We have lovely Angus ground beef in the freezer, and it makes great burgers. Didn’t photograph them, either. I will, at some point. Mainly because I want to showcase a wonderful, creamy sauce, made with caramelized onions and smoked paprika.
There were local spicy/sweet mesquite sausages, too. No pics of them, either.
So what did I photograph?
Well, the salad pictured above, for one. It was a mix of Ontario cucumbers and tomatoes (hooray for greenhouses), green olives, mini-bocconcini cheese, asparagus and fresh from the garden chives and basil. While I could have used my Italian dressing mix, I opted for a simpler preparation, with a drizzle of red wine vinegar, a little grapeseed oil, salt and pepper. That allowed the flavour of the herbs to come through. Asparagus is one of our favourite veggies. The kids love it. We eat it often while it’s in season, and for this salad I sauteed it in some coconut oil and then finished it with a splash of water to steam it until it was just tender. I could have grilled it, too.
I also got this less than stellar pic of a strawberry honey sorbet that we enjoyed. Inspired by this post by Nealey Dozier at The Kitchn, my images didn’t turn out looking nearly as great as hers. In fact, there’s a funky hue that makes me cringe to see it. I wouldn’t post it at all if the sorbet wasn’t so delicious. And since strawberries aren’t quite in season yet (any day now, assuming it warms up again), I used frozen, organic berries, which makes this a year-round treat.
Strawberry Honey Sorbet
adapted from The Kitchn
1 bag frozen strawberries, thawed (organic if you can find them)
1/4 cup local honey
1 tablespoon rum (optional, but it helps keep the sorbet from freezing into a brick – you could also use something like crème de cassis to bump up the berry flavour)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Place the strawberries in a blender and blitz them until smooth. If you have a fine mesh strainer, it’s best to use it to remove some of the seeds. My strainer was not fine enough. My sorbet was a bit…. crunchy. Whisk in the honey, rum and lemon juice. Taste for sweetness. Since cold dulls it, you want it to be sweeter than you’d expect. Add more honey if necessary. I used some coconut palm sugar. It doesn’t blend into cold things well. Cover the mixture and chill it.
Once it’s cold, turn on your ice cream maker and pour the puree in. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When it’s ready, put the sorbet into a freezer safe container and freeze it for at least a couple more hours to firm it up. Take it out 10 minutes or so before you want to eat it if it’s gotten too firm.