New Site: www.hophunting.com

Well Folks, life takes many turns and twists. My life has gone the direction of hosting pop up/supper club dinners here in Eugene with a group of ladies, and writing about beer and food pairings for a local online newspaper. It only makes sense to have a site centered around beer and food, hence the new name.

You can find me at:

www.hophunting.com

www.eugenedailynews.com

and our supper club at:

http://fooddrinkprovocateur.wordpress.com/

Summer Daze, and Strawberry Red Haze

Me: Where are the rest of the strawberries? I had a brand new container in the fridge I asked no one to eat.

Daughter and Husband: I don’t know!

Me: I know I had another one, I washed them this morning. I was going to make more shortcake after dinner. Where did they go?

Daughter: (breaks down bawling) I ate them! There are two left in my room! I couldn’t help it, I just love strawberries. I LOVE STRAWBERRIES!! Bwaaaaaaaaa! (chaos ensues).

finishedshortcake

Pie, jam, ice cream, salads. There are a million ways to use strawberries. Now is the time to do so here in Oregon. Local strawberries are popping up all over the place, and they are gorgeous and red and ripe and wonderful to just pop in your mouth and eat. Or in a bowl with a bit of cream on top. And hidden very well in the very back of the fridge so said child can’t eat them before you have a chance to do anything with them!

Strawberry Shortcake is fairly straightforward. I buy shortcake, heavy whipping cream and strawberries. A quick dessert done in five minutes. A dessert that evokes feelings of Home and Happiness any any of us. It is the most traditional of sweet dishes.

Sometimes we like to mess with tradition and it doesn’t work. Sometimes it does. I had a half of a growler full of Ching Ching beer that was no longer drinkable, and given that it tasted like rhubarb and cherry and was slightly sour, I reduced it down to a thick syrup and drizzled it over the shortcake.

Laceys-simmer-post-e1398306097962

Total hit! It was the eye raising “what did you put in this?” element that made everyone slow down and eat a little more slowly so we could savor the experience and complex flavor.

Reducing liquids are a labor of love. They take constant attention to ensure they don’t scald or get too thick to fast. All in all, I poured half a gallon of beer in the pot, and by the time I was done (45 minutes later), I had about 1/3 of a cup left! I could have stopped earlier, but I let it get very thick. It is amazing. I could eat it like honey, just dip my (clean) finger in and scoop it up. Delicious!

To see what else I did with the syrup, and for more information about the amazing Ching Ching beer, please go here.