This summer I plan on posting recipes using local summer fruits and vegetables. Back in the late spring I started my first raised bed garden. With the idea of keeping it simple I planted tomatoes, several varieties, peppers, strawberries, herbs and an eggplant. The tomatoes have done wonderfully, the eggplant nothing yet, the peppers have produced a few and same with the strawberries. The herbs are doing well and I enjoy using them often. I yearn to incorporate these juicy, tender, fragrant fruits and veggies into every meal. With my garden producing and the farmers markets and close-by peach orchard in full swing this should be an easy theme to stick with.
Grasshoppers are my biggest challenge in keeping the garden healthy. I do not want to use any pesticide but the dang pests are trying their best to win and take over the garden. Later today I will be spraying with an organic solution of garlic, onion, baby shampoo, oil, etc.. to deter those nasty insects. I’m sure we are overrun by them since we had such a mild winter. Any of you having this difficulty? Leave me a comment sharing your method for getting rid of grasshoppers and other garden pests and winning your battle.
It’s pretty toasty in north Texas. I thought an ice-box pie might be just the thing to help us cool off. Refreshing, creamy and delicious is how I describe the one I’m sharing with you today. It is a Strawberry Ice-Box pie and the twist is pretzels make up the crust. It sounds an unlikely duo but the creamy sweetness of the filling is a perfect match to the crunchy saltiness of the crust. Your taste buds will be pleasantly surprised. I borrowed this recipe straight from Southern Living’s June issue. It is pretty, tasty and easy but the one thing I must tell you now is it shouldn’t be called ice-box pie but instead freezer-pie. I followed the directions to a t and froze the pie for 8 hours but when I tried to leave it in the refrigerator for any length of time it began to melt. I decided to store it in the freezer, removing it for about 15 minutes prior to serving, a better method.
My man Dan and I worked for about 14 hours over the last couple of days on Honey Harvest 2012. My bees have done a marvelous job this year and gave me almost 21 gallons of pure honey. Just sit on that for a while and I’ll share more about being up to my elbows in honey in the next few days.
Before I go, I invite you to leave a comment telling me what your favorite summer fruit is. It seems I have readers from many states and countries the world over and am curious to hear what makes you drool when the temperatures soar. Be so kind and comment…who knows I might just take your favorite and whip up something mouth-watering!
Strawberry-Pretzel Ice-Box Pie
- 2 cups finely crushed pretzel sticks
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. strawberry gelatin (1/2 [3-oz.] package)
- 2 cups whipping cream, divided
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 3 ingredients; firmly press on bottom, up sides, and onto lip of a lightly greased 10-inch pie plate. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).
- 2. Process strawberries in a food processor until finely chopped, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
- 3. Beat condensed milk and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. (Use the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer.) Add strawberries; beat at low-speed just until blended. Transfer to a large bowl.
- 4. Beat 3/4 cup whipping cream at high-speed until soft peaks form; gently fold whipped cream into strawberry mixture. Spoon into prepared crust. Cover and freeze 8 to 12 hours or until firm.
- 5. Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups whipping cream at high-speed until foamy; gradually add granulated sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Spread over pie. Freeze 1 hour or until whipped cream is firm.
JUNE 2012 – SOUTHERN LIVING