Berry Summer Fun

posted Jan 26, 2016, 12:22 AM by Amie Ridley   [ updated Jan 26, 2016, 12:28 AM ]
Its summer again, and for our girls that means berries, berries, berries.  So inspired by that, here are a few (mostly) strawberry themed foods and crafts for your summer enjoyment.

Crochet Berries

These little cuties were made from a strawberry pattern in the fun book "Tasty Crochet" by Rose Langlitz 

However, I have a new found love of changing the scale of crochet projects by messing with the wool ply and scale.  So to get these lovelies to be more berry sized I used a 4 ply cotton/acrylic blend and a 2.5mm hook.  I find that the 50% cotton/50% acrylic blend wears really well for kids toys, and these have been well and truly tested in my daughters toy kitchen.

Strawberry Ice Blocks

Yes, that is a sideways shot that I haven't bothered to fix.  It's late, and I am wanting to get back to looking through books for new sewing projects.  But that aside, this is so simple, and is the equivalent of last summers yummy watermelon granita (see "Watermelon!" post).

So what do you need?
2 Oranges
Iceblock Moulds

Our Iceblock Moulds are 50 ml each, and we have 6 so I was needing to make 300 ml liquid for this.  You may have to calculate accordingly but it's a pretty forgiving mix.

Juice the 2 oranges and put into blender.  Hull the strawberries and put into blender until they are about 400 ml capacity (liquifying them will reduce the quantity slightly).  Blend!  Once you have the liquid pour it into the moulds and place into freezer.

Once frozen, eat and enjoy!

Here is sideways Miss 2 and Miss 5 enjoying theirs while sitting outside to avoid red drippy liquid on the carpet!

I didn't strain the liquid so it had a slight texture to it, but the girls and I didn't mind.  You could strain yours if you wanted to but you would probably need to start with more strawberries and maybe another orange to get enough liquid.  

It's not a fussy recipe, so experiment and enjoy.

Almost Instant Berry Ice Cream

This was one of those 'I can't believe that actually worked' moments.  It's fun, easy, and delicious.  And has a bit of a back story...

Our girls love frozen berries, and it's been so hot they have been asking for them every morning with their Weet-bix.  I noticed that when you poured the milk over it froze around the berries...  Then one evening, while wanting a nice cooling snack in the unbearable, muggy heat, I poured some cream over some frozen blue berries, and it made a nice kind of frozen, creamy, purple mush.  This got me to thinking... 'I wonder if you can blend frozen berries with cream and make a kind of instant ice cream?'

And guess what?  YOU CAN!

So... how do you do it?
We used a ratio of 4 parts berry to 1 part cream (for 4 people we used 2 cups of berries and 1/2 cup of cream).  

Initially I tried this in our little food blender, but it did that thing where the bottom bit blends and the top bit doesn't.  So in the end I just popped the lot into a metal bowl, and mushed it together with a fork.

Now, this is not smooth, sweet, ice cream.  But it is lovely, tart, textured, and creamy.  I don't have an overly sweet tooth and I loved the tartness of the berries.  And the girls really liked it too.  They wolfed down 2 cones each!

We made raspberry and boysenberry ice cream, and I would recommend the smaller berries for this.  The surface area for cream to freeze on seems to be the important factor.  And the longer you mix it, the smoother it gets.  I'm pretty sure if you had a bigger food processor than us you could blitz it in there to get super creamy if you wanted.

We also had a bit left over that we popped back into the freezer.  And boy does it freeze!  It was solid... but after a little resting out of freezer time it was still lovely.

Strawberries and Camembert Cheese

This is one of those ideas that was passed on from a friend, to my Dad, to me.  And it sounds strange but is absolutely delicious. 

Camembert Wedges in Strawberries.  It's a simple as that - slice nearly in half a ripe, red, strawberry.  Cut a slim wedge of creamy Camembert and insert into strawberry.  Eat.

Mmmmmmmm - and it's very nice with a blue Brie too!

Just one word of warning - it's not something you can prepare too far ahead of time as the enzymes in the strawberry do start to dissolve the cheese.  But it's a great, speedy addition to a summer cheese board, or fruit platter.  Or a cheesy fruit platter if you will...

And I just love the pineapple board - another treasure from our local Op Shop.  Gotta love an added bit of tropical fun!