I bought the first issue of The Food Network Magazine and have been hooked ever since. Though it's no "Fine Cooking" or even "Bon Appetit" I find myself happily reading through all the articles and bookmarking many recipes. For some reason the recipes seem "doable" for lack of a better word. Clear instructions, ingredients I can find, the recipes seem uncomplicated and usually something I can whip up after work.
One of the regular columns in the magazine that has caught my eye is their "calendar". It's a list that concentrates on one food every day for a month (hot dog toppings, garlic, eggs, avocados, and cranberries have been recent ingredients) And though I have thought it might be cool to make something say, with an avocado every day for a month, well...I mean really. Who can eat hot dogs every day for a month? Cranberries? Well...cheese. Bacon. I could do those for a month. And even avocados! But the time suck that would come from having to use one ingredient every day, the planning, nah, not something I can do.
But then came along the June 2011 issue of The Food Network Magazine, and I think I lost my mind. I decided maybe I'd give this same ingredient every day thing a try. Yes, the monthly calendar for June was all about Strawberries and it sucked me right in.
I love strawberries. Especially fresh in season from the Farmers Market strawberries. But I've gotten in a rut with them. I eat them out of hand. I eat them in my yogurt at breakfast. I eat them chopped up with some other fruit as a dessert after dinner. Pretty basic stuff. If I've used them in a dish, like Lemon Cream Cheese French Toast it's usually as an afterthought or strawberries were not an essential ingredient in the recipe. But to actually be a bit experimental with strawberries? Hasn't happened.
When I saw that the calendar for June was strawberries, I figured it was now or never to give this kind of challenge a try* (or maybe it was the crazy weather that seems to have decided winter needed to stay another few months and I was desperate for a touch of spring). Looking over the "suggestions" of things to make each day that included strawberries, nothing looked very difficult to pull off or seemed like it would take too much time to complete. Not every day is a recipe. Some days include tips on storing or using strawberries. Some reference recipes in the magazine or that can be found online. Most seem to be more of add this to that and blend in strawberries and bam you have a dish.
One thing that I did notice though after deciding to do this, is that not all of the recipes call for fresh strawberries. Some ask for strawberry jam, some for freeze dried strawberries. Though that's not a problem I would have rather worked with fresh strawberries in everything.
So the month of June will be an experiment. Using and eating strawberries in something every day.** I will attempt to make every dish that The Food Network Magazine lists on their "A Strawberry A Day" calendar. I will come to know strawberries and be one with them. 30 days of strawberries. It can be done. Here we go!!!
**I take no responsibility if I suddently get sick and tired of strawberries and stop this experiment in mid month. I reserve the option to change from strawberries to Nutella at any time.
**Before you bow down to my Strawberry Queenliness, be aware that I will cheat. There are days that I know I will not be cooking at all, much less trying to whip up a special strawberry something or other, so I'm letting you know now that some of these dishes will be made in a batch on one day to post later. I also will probably make the required daily dish the day before posting it to the blog since coming home from work, making a dish and posting it all in one night leaves little room for possible errors, say, like I forgot to buy an ingredient or I added an ingredient an hour after it was supposed to go in the dish, or I dropped the whole thing on the floor etc. I know myself and my cooking habits well....