Savoring the Seasons: The Remarkable Strawberry
The Recorder, June 21, 2016, by Mary McClintock. Ahhhhhhhh …
That’s what you would’ve heard if you were in my kitchen this morning (and yesterday morning, the morning before that, tomorrow morning, and …). That’s the sound of the first strawberry of the morning. It’s remarkably similar to the sound of the last strawberry of the evening — “just one more before bedtime.”
I’m still in the “eat them fresh” phase of the season, but I can see that “ooohhhh, there are many ways to enjoy strawberries” time coming soon. This amazing balsamic roasted strawberry compote is a new way for me to savor strawberries.
Thanks to Sarah Kanaby from Franklin Community Co-op and the new Tuesday Greenfield Farmers Market for sharing this great recipe. Just Roots in Greenfield is one of the Tuesday Farmers Market vendors and it’s bringing berries to the market. Just Roots is also one of several Franklin County farms offering pick-your-own strawberries, including Warner in Sunderland, Atlas in Deerfield and Upinngil in Gill.
You haven’t heard of the Tuesday Greenfield Farmers Market? Stop by Tuesdays from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the alleyway of Sears Avenue off of Main Street in downtown Greenfield. The Tuesday Farmers Market is in partnership with Greenfield Community College and the Franklin Community Co-op.
I asked GCC interns running the market about how it’s going. Liz Suozzo said, “I love the sense of community — the vendors, interns, and customers!”
Braeden Leinhart said, “I am enjoying the positivity and cooperative communication between all people involved in the farmers market. It has been a learning experience and is coming together with more fluidity each week. Set up has been fun and everyone’s optimistic spirit is enjoyed.”
Learn more at the Tuesday Farmers Market at: tuesdayfarmersmarket.wordpress.com
If you enjoy strawberries, you’ll love the Strawberry Ice Cream Social happening at River Valley Co-op. Dig into local strawberry ice cream sundaes with Franklin-County-made Bart’s Homemade ice cream, while you cheer for the Franklin County Community Development Corp. as it receives an award from River Valley Co-op.
What’s on your strawberry menu this week?
I’m not sure whether strawberries are on the dinner menu at the Franklin County Community Forum on June 29, but the agenda of that meeting, with Congressman Jim McGovern and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, is dear to my heart. The focus is “Help Us End Hunger,” and everyone is invited.
As Congressman McGovern says, there is plenty of food to end hunger now; what’s missing is political will. He works tirelessly in Congress to build that political will and we can help. The congressman is the honorary co-chair of the local Task Force to End Hunger, an initiative of the Food Bank of Western Mass, which is hosting the forum. Come to the Forum and visit McGovern’s website at: mcgovern.house.gov/EndHungerNow and the task force website at: www.foodbankwma.org/special-initiatives/task-force-to-end-hunger to learn more about this crucial work.
Yes, we can end hunger now!
Yes, we can make sure everyone has enough healthy food to eat!
This week we’re eating …
BALSAMIC ROASTED STRAWBERRY COMPOTE
By Sarah Kanaby, Green Fields Market/Greenfield Tuesday Farmers Market
This deeply flavored, slightly savory compote makes a great topping for ice cream, yogurt or a more sophisticated shortcake.
2 pints of strawberries, cleaned and hulled
1/4 C. good-quality balsamic vinegar
2 T. buckwheat honey (or, your favorite dark varietal — we’ve been loving the buckwheat honey from the Tuesday Market from Frost Pocket Farm)
Preheat your oven to 375.
Combine all ingredients in bowl and then spread berries on parchment-lined sheet pan. Roast for about 30 minutes or until berries are soft and bubbling. Serve warm over ice cream — or cool and store in glass container for up to 2 weeks. If you want to play up the tartness, try using pomegranate molasses instead of honey as the sweetener — this compote is also great with a little fresh basil added to the mix.
Local food advocate and community organizers Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer for Greenfield Community College, brand promoter for Goshen-based local food company Appalachian Naturals and writer-editor for More Than Sound. Send column suggestions and recipes to: firstname.lastname@example.org