Monday, August 1, 2011

Kicking back

Thawing berries
These strawberries were destined for pie. But then my boyfriend and I *gulp* decided to buy and fix up the apartment across the hall and move in come September. So I cleaned and hulled the berries, tucked them into the freezer, and hoped I'd find the time to do something special with them in a few weeks. Five came and went. There was a kitchen layout to plan, contracts to sign, an old clawfoot tub to strip and re-finish, paint to pick out, and a seemingly endless array of supplies and fixtures to track down and grab ahold of. It's been messy and more than a little nerve-wracking, but things are finally starting to come together. The walls have long been patched up, the floors were sanded down and stained last week, and the kitchen cabinets are going in as I type--(at this point, I'm just the gopher for cold glasses of water, Band-aids, screwdrivers, etc.). I don't want to speak too soon--but it looks as though we'll have a new home, our first real home, in just a few short weeks.
Berry and riesling ice cubes
But about those berries. There's been an unrelenting heatwave here in Chicago. The short of it is--it's been far too hot to even dream of flaky, buttery crusts and unctuous, oozing fruit. So, when my friend, Adam, visited for the week and encouraged us to kick back a little, the berries hit the blender, along with some riesling, lemon, and sugar. And after a short spell in some ice-cube trays in the freezer, it was back to the blender with more riesling. Boozy strawberry slushies--nothing fancy, just perfectly summery and sippable.  
Strawberry slushie
Boozy Strawberry Slushies
Adapted from Bon Appétit, August 2011
Note: I have a feeling that these would be even better with lime juice in place of the lemon, along with a generous dusting of lime zest (I just couldn't be bothered to run to the store again). If you do try the slushie this way, hold back on the lime juice and zest until the second purée, as the juice tends to lose its flavour soon after squeezing.
2 cups hulled strawberries
1 750-ml bottle dry Riesling
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons sugar, depending on the strawberries' sweetness
Purée the berries, lemon juice, sugar, and 2 cups of the Riesling in a blender. Pour the berry mixture into ice-cube trays and freeze until solid. Chill the remaining wine in the refrigerator, covered. When you're ready to serve, purée the ice cubes with the remaining Riesling. Pour among six glasses. Garnish with basil or mint.
Above: the new living room as it was a couple of weeks ago.


  1. Ohhh congratulations! What an undertaking. Looks great though, and how exciting!

    Those slushies sound fantastic, I will definitely be trying them out. I think I'll go with the lime like you advised, I'll let you know how they turn out. :D

  2. Thanks, Amy. It has been very exciting! The living room is a real wreck in that picture, though. It looks much better now, but I won't consider it completed until it gets a fresh coat of paint. The wall-to-wall peach, baseboards, window frames, and all is a bit unbearable.
    Do report back on the slushies with lime!

  3. This is so great! Congratulations. It sounds chaotically lovely. Love the "ice cubes" and I know what you mean about the lime. Something about fruit responds very well to lime. Lemon is not quite the same. Now meat and lemon...but that's for another time :).

  4. Thanks, Oana. I hope that the chaos subsides soon. There will be about a week of frenzied painting and furniture-moving towards the end of the month, but at least we're just moving across the hall. All in all, everything will have moved a maximum of thirty, maybe forty, feet east. It should be the easiest move ever. *fingers crossed*