Hot Strawberries and Cream

Strawberry Margaritas

Strawberries--those luscious red, juicy little nuggets are calling to us from every fresh vegetable stand and from the fields. Kids love the adventure in our local U-Pick patches. If yours are anything like my three and Uncle Louie, they eat more than they pick, so we really get our monies worth!

Now the question is what to do with these flats of berries. We like making jelly, but one of my favorites is a Hot Strawberry Topping for ice cream. It's time to invite the relatives over for a good old strawberry social. To feed 12, you'll need:

3 pints                 cleaned strawberries
6 TB                    saltless butter
6 oz.                   strawberry schnapps
3/4 ea.                 lemon, juiced
3/8 cup                 sugar

Slice up your strawberries. Melt the butter in a large skillet and toss in the berries. Let saute two minutes. Remove the butter then pour in the schnapps. There are several different fruit flavored schnapps I use in cooking--blueberry or peach for chicken and for ice cream desserts, I like strawberry, peach and blackberry. They add a wonderful unique flavor. Cook the strawberries in the schnapps just 2 minutes. Finish with lemon and sugar. Simmer for another minute.

Let it cool down a little then ladle it over a big scoop of good vanilla ice cream (the old-fashioned natural kind made with milk, cream, sugar and real vanilla....not the articificial kind with cellulose gum, polysorbate 80, carrageenan, whey and corn sweeteners).

If you still have strawberries left over, there's always Strawberry Margaritas. My boss uses an old Cincinnati trick for making them smooth and velvety--Corona beer to finish it off:

1-2 cups               cleaned strawberries
1 6 oz. can            frozen limeade
1 can                  tequila
1/2 can triple sec
pitcher of ice
4-6 ounces corona

Using a heavy duty blender that can handle ice, put in the strawberries and limeade. Using the now empty limeade can, fill with tequila and pour in, then to the half way mark with triple sec and add that. Add ice until it's almost full and give it a whirl. Add the coronoa while it's whirling until it's nice and frothy. If you're into salt, dip your glass upside down into some fresh squeezed lime juice then into the salt. Pour in your mixture and decorate the edge of the glass with a strawberry. And as always, a good cook appreciates nature and what it has to offer.