Saturday, May 23, 2009

West Virginia Strawberry Festival

Last weekend I went home to see my mom and celebrate the amazingness that are strawberries.  We mainly avoided the festival itself, though the craft fair and quilt show were pretty darned awesome.  I got some West Virginia made foodstuffs like hot mustard relish and hot pepper sauce and tomato basil garlic pasta and garlic fettucine.  Hell to the yeah.  Anywho, the real and true main event was the strawberry feast that we created once we got home from town.  

Mom and I spent most of the afternoon picking, prepping and cooking.  The first thing we churned out was this wonderful strawberry avocado salsa:
wouldn't you like a bite?

This was basically salsa with the tomatoes replaced by strawberries.  It was so easy!  Strawberries, avocado, red onion, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice and zest.  The avocado added a nice creaminess to the whole deal and it was a lovely combination of tart and sweet.  There's nothing like a fun variation on salsa.  Plus, it's tricky because the strawberries look just like tomatoes.  Go make it and trick someone.  They'll love you for it.

Meanwhile, a pizza crust needed to be made up for this pizza my mom found a recipe for...  strawberry goat cheese pizza.  Obviously, goat cheese is not an option for me, so I made the cashew goat cheese from this past issue of Vegetarian Times.  Normally, I'm not a huge fan of that magazine, but I picked it up specifically for the vegan cheese section.  The cheese itself turned out pretty tasty.  I'd say it was really awesome, if not for the fact that it was a greasy mess.  It's dangerous to have in your fridge, guys.  It's yummy (though not really spectacular), but for a one ounce serving...  well, you probably don't even want to know how fatty it is.  However, it's a nice treat and yummy and just fine in moderation.  Anyway!  Rant and review aside, look how freaking awesome my pizza crust turned out.
just call me papa jessica

I found this crust recipe in Mom's Moosewood New Classics cookbook.  It was really simple and had a nice flavor and good texture.  Now, time for toppings!
strawberry strawberry strawberry

The pizza was topped with dollops of the cashew cheese, sliced strawberries, spinach from Mom's garden, and pistachios.  It was a good pizza, in theory, but Mom and I both thought something was missing.  The original recipe called for arugula instead of spinach, which would probably add a much needed peppery aspect.  Then, I rinsed the pistachios because the cheese I made was so salty, but that made them a little soggy instead of crunchy.  Still, I enjoyed it, and when I had a slice for lunch the next day, I added more of the cashew cheese and it was truly delicious.  Sometimes you just can't skimp on the awesomeness factor, even if it isn't that good for you.
prettiest pizza contest winner

We ate the pizza with some fresh picked asparagus from the yard, which we tragically overcooked until it was a complete mushy mess, but still the best tasting asparagus I've had all season.  Oh, and daquiris.  Strawberry, of course.  And a salad all made from stuff from their garden.  
spring garden bounty

Mom's radishes, green onions, and lettuce are all ready and roaring so far.  Which is more than I can say for our own garden!  If only there was direct sunlight on the porch.  Sigh.  Anyway, I enjoyed our lovely little salad of home grown veggies and greens.

For dessert, Mom whipped up these lovely little poppyseed shortcakes.
scones in disguise

They really were very scone-like.  Not that I'm complaining.  I love scones.  Aren't they pretty though?  Naturally, we piled them high with loads of sliced strawberries so I got to have strawberry shortcake after all (since I couldn't get any downtown this year at any of the sales).
...i didn't eat the ice cream.

Have you guys ever had Rice Dream Organic ice cream?  It sucks.  But the shortcakes were lovely with the strawberries and the perfect end to our meal and day!

In the morning, we took a break from strawberries and made blueberry pancakes.
a quiet respite

Blueberry cornmeal pancakes from Veganomicon, to be exact.  Because honestly, I think we were both strawberried out.


Anonymous said...

Best. Idea. Ever. I'm totally saving this page for that strawberry avocado salsa! MMM!

That pizza looks amazing as well.

My mom tried the Rice Dream and she said it was horrible! I'll be staying away for sure =P

Love blueberry pancakes...although I don't know if I could ever be strawberried out (or any berry for that matter). I ate 1/2 a huge container in one sitting!

be'ershevaboheme6 said...

that strawberry salsa looks AWESOME. I am definitely going to give that a go in the very near future...

Anonymous said...

strawberry salsa rules! But strawberry pizza? I've yet to try that one myself - but I'm sure it's great, the arugula would be a good addition.
How cool that you got to spend such a nice time with your mother doing so many fun and tasty things!

veggievixen said...

wow, i have never had avocados with strawberries. but it sounds fantastic. and the pizza...mmm! i love strawberries and spinach together.

so delicious is the best brand of vegan ice cream. some of their flavors are made with coconut milk. so good!

yummy pancakes!!

Jes said...

OH my, strawberry salsa and strawberry pizza?! This sounds amazing!

VeganCowGirl said...

So creative!
Strawberry Avocado are a genuis!!! Beautiful idea. Have to try it.
Thanks for such a tasty post.

aTxVegn said...

Such great ideas for the strawberries, especially the pizza!

A_and_N said...

wow thats strawberry MANIA! i could never have imagined strawberries on a pizza :) i also loved the idea of strawberry salsa. I guess its tart flavor could add a new dimension to the salsa. Nice!

jessy said...

hooray for a super fun weekend with your momma! i never would have thought of salsa with strawberries ‘n avocado – it sounds like a super tasty combination – and it looks stellar! my parents have the veggie times cheese issue and i can’t wait for them to pass it along! i want to try them all! i’ve gotta say that’s the most glorious pizza crust i’ve ever seen, Jessica – it’s perfect! i’m glad you enjoyed it even though it seemed to be missing somethin’. you & me both on the mushy asparagus. i was sautéing some up last week and i kept it covered for too long – oooh man, it was pretty darn icky. hooray for some garden yummies though – and the poppy seed shortcakes look deeeelicious! your momma = the best! aw, i kinda like the organic rice dream ice cream! it does have a weird texture to it, but i drizzle on some maple syrup and add a few walnuts and it makes me most happyfaced! sorry you didn’t like it! damn, now i want blueberry pancakes! mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

KB said...

Wow, I definitely need to start getting more creative with my food! I mean, strawberry pizza?! So different, but sounds SO good! :)

Sal said...

i love the idea of strawberries in salsa, that sounds outstanding!! And on pizza too - awesome!!

emily said...

i can't remember how i found your blog but i've been reading it for a while now. that pizza has inspired me to comment--it looks amazing!

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Susan said...

Nice to see another Sunny Buck native talking about food. I write for a food blog out of Charleston, WV and posted a tidbit about Allburgher's today at

I was at Strawberry Festival, too but just for an evening - too many soccer practices and games for my daughters to miss to stay for the weekend this year.

Erin said...

Wow, that all looks amazing, especially the strawberry salsa. I love that idea!

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