Julie Anne Rhodes in Isabella Christensen

Munching on freshly picked strawberries during the peak of the season, is a pleasure everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime. The thrill of finding the beautiful ruby red fruit under all the greenery surrounding it, the almost flowery aroma hitting your nostrils just before sinking your teeth into the tender juicy flesh with its burst of slightly tart yet sweet flavor, and the crunch of the tiny seeds between your teeth… well it is one of life’s sublime pleasures. God must have been in a good mood the day he created strawberries.

Sublime creation: the strawberry

I never really appreciated the strawberry until, as a young teenager, I spent a summer with the Wunderlich family who lived on the edge of the Black Forest in Germany. Herr Wunderlich would jolt us awake at 7am every Saturday morning in July with Wagner blasting through the house. A signal for the family to get ready for a foray through the forest for the tantalizingly fragrant, succulent little strawberries… so sweet it was almost like eating candy. Any berries not already scoffed down on the way home, were made into an outrageously delectable strawberry jam for the winter months ahead.

Christina Estrada, Tara Palmer-Thomkinson, Julie Anne Rhodes, and Tamara Beckwith

During Ascot week, the famous English racecourse attended by the Queen who arrives daily by horse-drawn carriage, with it’s strict dress code of men in full morning suits and women in their fancy hats… strawberries and cream are a traditional treat. Strawberries also pair exceeding well well with champagne, and I adore the decadence of huge strawberry dipped in dark chocolate or perhaps gooey caramel; or the more unusual Italian dessert of balsamic glazed strawberries over vanilla ice cream, and classic crepes Suzette in France.

Burrata ice cream with brioche toasts, and Harry’s strawberries

The season used to be June through August, but new farming practices and a particularly wet winter this year have produced an early crop of the deliciously ripe jewels here in the US where we tend to fancy our strawberry pies, turnovers, ice creams, and milkshakes. I am also currently enjoying them sliced into my cereal with yogurt every morning, stealing them off my friends dessert plate at dinner, or fishing them out of my virgin cocktail at Providence last week. Au natural or in some fancy concoction, the possibilities are endless when it comes to this exquisite fruit.

Jan, Julie Anne, Karla, Miranda, and Grace at Providence

I aslo want to shout out a proper thank you to Lane at The Outside Lane, and Women Worth Knowing for writing such a lovely piece about me

Breakfast Jewel Parfait
This is not exactly culinary genius, but it’s my favorite breakfast when strawberries are in season. Thought I would share it with you anyway.

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces low fat yogurt
  • 1 cup Kashi honey flax seed Cereal
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 6 large strawberries, sliced
Directions:

1). Spoon 3 ounces of the yogurt into two separate bowls or champagne flutes. Top with 2 tablespoons of cereal each.

2). Layer 1/4 of the pineapple, banana slices, and sliced strawberries on top of the cereal, then another 3 ounces of yogurt each, 2 more tablespoons of cereal each, and a final layer of fruits.

3). Sprinkle a little dry cereal or toasted almonds on top for garnish.

Note: Keep a covered dish full of the cut fresh pineapple ready in the refrigerator, so breakfast comes together quickly and easily when groggy first thing in the morning.

Variations: Of course you can use any combination of fruits you prefer, or substitute any cereal of your choice.
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