Fourth of July Potluck

It’s so easy to lose track of time in Seattle in July. The sun starts shining at 4:00 in the morning, and if your eyes can handle it, you can squint out a last few minutes of light on your porch at 10:00 at night. Somehow you can make it on 5 hours of sleep and be ready to do it all over again the next day. Who needs Seattle coffee? The sunshine’s enough for me. It’s seriously like a drug. (Huh, maybe that’s why we need the rainy season. Can you imagine if we were running on 18 hours of sunshine all year round?!)

Our monthly foodie potluck is just too much fun. This month’s dinner theme was wildly appropriate: red, white, and blue. We all soaked in the Seattle Summer juju on Tikvah’s deck, drank lots of wine, and ate some amazing delicious food.

The rules were that you had to have at least two of the three colors; extra credit if you got all three in a single dish. It’s harder than you’d think. Blue isn’t a very popular color in natural food. I was overly zealous and had plans for three dishes (because in the summer, who needs sleep!). I made a blueberry “ketchup” that was supposed to go on a sockeye salmon filet. It was one of the worst culinary bombs I’ve ever experienced. Note to self: blueberry ketchup tastes as terrible as you’d expect.

I also made a beet hummus (recipe and details to come in a later post), which pseudo-flopped. It tasted delicious, but instead of being the deep red color that you should get from beets, mine was decidedly… flesh colored. Not really very appetizing. But we waited until it got dark then ate it.

Lastly I made these stupid-easy-but-ridiculously-adorable strawberry creamies. They were delicious, but I felt sort of lame bringing them to the table in such distinguished culinary company. There’s no hiding that a monkey could make these. But they were yummy enough to be gone by the end of the night.

Also on the menu was a strawberry and spinach salad with Thai dressing that was to die for, a red-white-and-blue potato salad, tomato and mozzarella salad, and strawberry cream filled cupcakes – all delicious.

But the star of the night was Sarah’s tomato and goat cheese crostini. O.M.G. This was quite possibly the most delicious thing I’ve eaten to date. In. My. Life. And it should have been – the tomatoes spent upwards of three hours roasting, then overnight marinating and flavors melding. Wow, this was a seriously amazing bite of yumminess. Luckily it’s summer so even though she didn’t start the three-hour roast until after 10:00 PM, it was no big deal. (Still perhaps a case study in reading a recipe in its entirety before starting to cook.) Once I wrangle the recipe from Sarah I’ll post it right here. For now you’ll have to make do with these Strawberry Creamies. Enjoy!

Strawberry Creamies

Click here to print this recipe.
Makes: 24 pieces
Time to prepare: 15 minutes

2 pints strawberries (or about 24 medium to large sized berries)
1 pint blueberries
8 ounces creme fraiche
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Rinse and hull strawberries, cutting out the stem to create a little well in the middle of the berry. Cut the bottom 1/16″ of the berry off so it stands upright.

Whip the creme fraiche in the electric or hand mixer, until creamy and fluffy, much like the consistency of whipped cream. Gradually add the sugar and the vanilla.

Place the whipped creme fraiche in a plastic sandwich bag, and snip off one of the corners to create a pastry-bag. Gently pipe the creme fraiche into the strawberries. Top with a blueberry.

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