In view of my much vaunted Tesco Plastic Carrier Bag Anti Bird System, I thought I would post a photo of this year's fantastic crop on my Stella cherry tree. Yes, this is the total crop, not an example of a choice fruit, not one of the biggest fruits, but the complete and utter total crop. It's all I was able to find when searching this morning,.. Oh no , tell a lie, the total crop is more like double that at least......
Hmm, well of course it's my own fault, for not keeping an eye on proceedings, and being too busy doing other things, but it's a disappointment, since there were very many more fruits on the tree before the birds got to them. By way of excuse, here is an example of a mere fraction of
my strawberry crop for this year -
so it's not all bad news. Even the Tesco carrier bags can't be expected to do the job on their own, and I should have a) put out more of them, and b) kept a more careful watch on them. So where I had been intending to offer you a lovely recipe for the famous and delicious French cherry pudding Clafoutis Aux Cerises, or in my case Au Cerise, I felt that a single cerise in a large plateful or Clafoutis was going to be a bit heavy on the carbs. I was going to offer the recipe, not because I particularly love it, although it's nice, but because it reminds me of the yorkshire version of it that we used to have as children, which was I suppose Clafoutis Au Rhubarb. My dad used to make a Yorkshire Pudding, strewn with chopped rhubard just as it went into the oven then sprinkled with sugar as it came out, and served with cream or more likely evaporated milk. In fact my dad was quite a fan of batter in general, quite apart from the compulsory Yorkshire Puddings, he often made us apple or banana fritters, - just chunks of fruit dipped in batter, deep fried and sprinkled with sugar, - I think he felt it was good value and filled up three hungry children at little cost, (he was a Yorkshireman after all) the rhubarb being doubly beneficial being a garden crop that was effectively free.
Anyway, to gloss over the lack of cherries, and concentrate on my surfeit of strawberries, I feel I could effectively drown my sorrows with a Strawberry Daiquiri, a delicious if old style summer drink that I thought of when looking for ideas on what to do with strawberries besides ice cream, jam, and well, just eating them. I came across Hugh Fearnley's recipe for Strawberry Granita - as strawberries don't keep very well, you can use up some less than perfect ones (chuck the mouldy ones though) by making his Strawberry Granita and using a scoop of it to make my Strawberry Daiquiri thus ..
1 cup of Strawberry Granita ( basically you put some sweetened strawberry puree in the freezer and when it's nearly frozen solid you scrape it up with a fork to make a kind of strawberry snow)
Half a cup of white rum
Juice of half a lemon or lime
An assortment of umbrellas and other vulgar 50s cocktail decor
If you use Hugh's proper granita you can just stir in the rum and lemon juice and that's all you need to do, apart from drinking it, or if you're using frozen strawberry puree just whizz it all together in a food processor,and tip into suitably 50s style cocktail glasses.
Drink through a straw whilst putting your feet up and enjoying some old Fanny Craddock cooking programmes, ( don't worry you're not required to actually eat any of Fanny's gruesome confections, it's entirely for amusement) or if you're not up to that, Marilyn Monroe in the Seven Year Itch would do as well. Perfect summer entertainment. But then, as must be apparent by now, I am very easily amused.