This morning, as I entered the container garden plot to check upon my precious plants, I spotted a chipmunk at the perimeter. He looked at me, and I at him, and then I plucked a strawberry and tossed it to him. It was not quite ripe yet–one I had been eyeing for days–and had suffered from the jaws of some unseen predator during the night, which gnawed away the tip of this once beautiful berry, marring its perfection. The chipmunk cautiously checked out my gift, then gratefully stuffed it in his cheeks.
I am trying to grow strawberries this year because of the locusts that live with me, otherwise known as my children. They devour fresh produce in short order, always eating up what I intended to use for something else. I had to fight with them for one pound of strawberries out of the 7 containers of berries I bought this week. I thought the garden would be the answer to this problem.
It’s not. Something is eating my berries. I don’t know what–that chipmunk is certainly suspect, but I’m giving him a pass for now. I don’t think the culprit is an insect, though I’m having plenty of other problems with them right now anyway. Regardless, I go to bed at night and the berries look fine in their window boxes perched on the porch railing. I go out in the morning and find the ripe and almost-ripe berries ravished, a path of destruction left behind, mocking me. They don’t eat the berries in their entirety–no, that would make it less noticeable. Instead, they leave them still attached to the plants, and ever-so-methodically, chew off the ends of each berry I had my eye on the day before. I think it’s time for berry nets.
Enjoy that strawberry, Mr. Chipmunk! It will be your last!
That final pound of strawberries that I managed to keep from the jaws of my own pests? I made ice cream with it. I figured it would prolong my enjoyment just a little bit so I can hold on to the taste of summer, even if just for a few days. There better not be any teeth marks in the container tomorrow morning!
- 1 lb fresh strawberries (in season!), hulled and cut into slices
- 1 Tbsp Pinnacle Cake-Flavored Vodka (you can use plain vodka)
- 1 cup vanilla sugar
- 1 cup Cabot Greek Style Lowfat Plain Yogurt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- In a large bowl, combine the sliced strawberries, vodka, and sugar, stirring til the strawberries are evenly coated. Cover and leave on the counter for about an hour, stirring periodically.
- After 1 hour, combine the strawberry mixture with the yogurt, heavy cream, and lemon juice in a blender. Puree until you reach desired consistency. Pour back into the large bowl, cover, and put in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- When ready to make ice cream, set up your machine and add the mixture per manufacturer’s directions. In my case, I have a Cuisinart 1.5 Qt maker and after pouring in the mixture, it took about 25 minutes to freeze to soft-serve stage.
- Transfer to an air-tight container and freeze for another four hours or more to set fully.
You can also serve these over Waffled Ice Cream Planes for an extra special treat!