While the rest of the nation is celebrating that fantastical thing called summer, wearing shorts and flip flops and lots of sunscreen, those of us in the Bay Area are sporting winter sweats and wool sweaters. I kid you not, I wore a thick cashmere v-neck to a party the other night and I was freezing. And though we are known for cold summers, this one has been worse than usual. I have one tomato approaching the color pink and it’s almost August.
There was an exception to the cold weather, precisely during the three days it took me to paint our uninsulated cathedral bedroom ceiling, while perched atop a ladder, with four – count ‘em, four – coats of white paint to cover the faux-painted Tuscan orange that made me feel like I was waking up on the inside of a pumpkin every day. The heat was unbearable, made the paint dry on the roller as I lifted it from the paint bucket, and lasted until the moment I finished the ceiling portion of the project. But I’m not bitter at all. And I’m almost re-hydrated.
The good news is this: strawberry season is stretching on indefinitely. Our backyard blackberries may not ripen until October, but we pick shiny red strawberries from the garden daily, and they arrive in our CSA box every week without fail. So this recipe is for our strawberries, and for those of you who actually have a reason to eat a popsicle without needing a hot chocolate chaser.
The thing I love most about these popsicles is the way the tart buttermilk complements the sweet berries. I’ve made it clear how I feel about overly-sweet fruit desserts, especially where strawberries and sugar are concerned. This frozen treat finds a balance, even if our weather rarely does.
On another note, today celebrates Round The Table’s second year! Last year on this date: No-cook Strawberry Ice Cream. (Which was too sweet for me, by the way, but everyone else loved it!)
Strawberry Buttermilk Popsicles
adapted from Southern Cooking
2 cups fresh strawberries
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup, minus 2 tablespoons sugar (or 7/8 cup sugar)*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Process strawberries in a food processor or blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides. Pour the resulting strawberry puree through a mesh strainer into a large bowl, pressing with back of a spoon. Discard solids. Add buttermilk, sugar (*use a full cup of sugar if your strawberries are not sweet or if you simply prefer your treats sweeter!), and vanilla to puree; stir until well blended. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for about 4 hours or overnight.