Monday, August 22, 2011
Before It's Too Late: Wine-Soaked Strawberry Sauce
You know it's coming, right? That whole change of season thing, where the days get shorter and shorter, trees are painted yellow and orange, and I have to trade in my favourite summer dresses for tights and boots. It's coming, but it's not here yet. Which is a good thing. Because I'm going to hold onto summer for as long as I can. I give soft glares to those who say "Summer is over". No it's not. No. It's. Not!
This past Sunday saw me go for a little drive in my little car to the U-Pick Strawberry Ranch, where you may recall I got the strawberries for the oh so lovely strawberry shortcake back in July. Not so lazy this time, I got out of my car, walked through fields of tall, tall corn, and picked my own berries. They were luscious in their scent, and still warm from the sun, I popped a few in my mouth when no one was looking. Maybe it's stealing, but I rather think of it as quality control.
My Mom whipped up this strawberry sauce last month. Afterwards we sat on her patio and tucked into big bowls of vanilla ice cream with this gorgeous deep, deep red sauce lapped over it. One spoonful and I knew I had to tell y'all about it. Fruit and booze. Who doesn't love that? The strawberries are simmered in decent red wine (don't use the stuff that's been sitting on your counter for a week. And really, when does that ever happen?!). Crack some black pepper in the sauce, too - it deepens the flavour and you can tell all of your friends that you put pepper in your strawberry sauce.
I don't know about you, but these are days I'm clinging too; for I know that in too short a time the days of feeling the heat on my skin and the sweat dripping off my brow will be over, and frankly it makes me a little maudlin. So go pick yourself some strawberries while you still can; be sure to taste a few when no one is looking.
And don't let the summer stars fade without making a single wish.
Wine-Soaked Strawberry Sauce
1 cup cabernet sauvignon, or other decent red wine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
fresh cracked pepper
1 1/2 cups local strawberries, or organic if you can't pick your own
Stir wine with sugar and berries in a medium saucepan. Crack in some black pepper. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce to med-low and simmer uncovered until sauce reduces to a light syrup and fruit is very soft, about 25 minutes. Serve at room temp over vanilla ice cream. Somehow it tasted even better in my vintage tea cups. Makes about 1 1/4 cups. Adapted from Chatelaine.