I know it’s cold outside for most of us but spring is in the air n’est-ce pas ? Valentines day is just around the corner and for me that means SPRINGTIME! Whoopieeee! I actually dislike most of the “springtime” stuff that one sees in the stores around this time of year. I don’t like mass produced holiday gifts like stuffed valentine dolls and prepackaged gift baskets. (Almost) All of the Valentines candies put me off completely and there is something sickening about the thought of spending (or having someone spend) $100 for a dozen sad roses. Don’t get me wrong, I dig valentines day and all, but it’s the way we tend to think about celebrating it that puts me off. A store bought card, a bouquet of flowers and the obligatory dinner out? These things do not reflect the love that I feel. Romantic love is fresh and exciting. It sparkles and dances. It refreshes and renews your spirit after a long day roughing it out in the real world. Nothing says love and springtime to me like fresh strawberries and growing things in gardens. Little buds popping out on trees, bright green grasses leaping up from the ground. Poppies, ranuculus and jasmine
vines beginning to curl upwards to the warming sun. I’ll take a simple day outside with the ones I love and a fresh strawberry ANYTHING over whatever you could find being pawned off as a “love offering” at a RightAid store. Spring is coming and love is in the air…it’s just not found at the check stand of a grocery store.
In a small bowl put 2 pints of fresh cut up strawberries (mixed berries could work nicely too if you can get your hands on some beauties) and sprinkle them with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Let them sit in the fridge or on the counter for about an hour to let the juices start to come out. Just before serving get out another good sized bowl and mix 1 cup very cold, heavy whipping cream, 3 Tbl powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Using a wire whisk or a hand mixer beat the cream until soft peaks form.Be careful not to over whip it or you will get butter. To serve just put an amount of berries and syrup into the bowl and top with a nice dollop of whipped cream. There you have the perfect and most simple expression of springtime in a bowl.