Its all in the pink.
They say summer doesn't start in Seattle until July 5th. This year it started the day before and we were blessed with a marvelous 4th of July to spend in the company of friends and family and to watch the fireworks from near or far. The weather is supposed to stay warm and sunny for the foreseeable future. For this my tomatoes and raspberries are grateful.
In praise of the soft fruits.
This also means that the berries are starting to ripen at a pace that makes it hard to keep up. I will admit that it is hard to not drive by the berry stands in Anacortes and not stop for Skagit Sun Hoods or Sakuma Farms Shuksans. I have many raspberry plants bearing fruit from now until September. Our marionberries and blueberries are starting to color up too.TH and I will make our annual pilgrimage to the blueberry farm sometime soon. It also means finishing up the berries in the freezer that we vowed that we would get through by February because we would eat them every day. We made a good dent in the berries this year, but I could make 16 pies this week and we would still have berries to eat. The dent might be more like a ding. Now, it is the race to the end of the fruit and smoothies are the vehicle of choice.
The real deal - Superior Dairy Products strawberry and chocolate shakes
In 2008, TH and I attended the Vernacular Architecture Forum Meeting in Fresno, California. The meeting was awesome. We toured Fresno and the Central Valley farms saw worker's housing, ethnic neighborhoods and ate some amazing food. That is what is so amazing about the VAF meetings - they don't just focus on the buildings, but on the social and cultural factors that shaped the communities and landscapes of settlement. One place we visited, Hanford, California had the requisite things in a settled agricultural center - mills, town common, courthouse, commercial district and a great little ice cream shop and diner called Superior Dairy Products that good VAFers flocked to after touring the town. There TH and I had shakes made with buttermilk instead of milk. The tangy and thick buttermilk added a dimension to the shake that I can't really describe, but it worked. Guess what? It works in a smoothie as well. At Superior, you can have them add ground walnuts to your shake. While I did not partake on that trip, I am now adding ground almonds and they are delicious. This smoothie is the best thing to do with the lingering 3/4 quart of buttermilk leftover from your famous pancake batter.
Buttermilk Smoothie - where wayward fruit and lost buttermilk meet
Makes 1 12 oz smoothie (can be doubled)
We use a old stick blender, but if you have a nice vitamix/waring/smoothie maker, by all means use it.
1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen fruit (I use mixture of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
8 oz of lowfat buttermilk
1 T almond meal or ground walnuts (optional)
1 T ground flax seed (optional)
1 T maple syrup (optional, but good if you want things a little more sweet than tangy)
1/2 t vanilla (optional)
Place fruit, buttermilk and any or all of the above ingredients in a 1 pt wide mouth mason jar or your blending vessel of choice. If you like things icy, then start your blender/hand blender/vitamix and blend until smooth. If you like things a little less refreshing, let the mixture sit for a bit to soften up. Go check your email and walk you dog. Then return to your smoothie making and blend until smooth.