If I gave you a tour of my kitchen, I could share a story about almost every item in it. My family has done a pretty fantastic job keeping it stocked with beautiful and unique pieces. There's the set of hand painted, ceramic serving dishes from my brother, who lives in Italy. Decorating our dining room is another painted ceramic bowl from my dad and stepmom's trip to Cappadocia in Turkey. I show off my collection of flavored salts and Italian olive oil tin on a gorgeous cutting board made from reclaimed wood that my mom bought for me from a local artist. He almost didn't get paid when my mom and I, totally distracted by our lovely conversation with him, walked off without giving him the check. Then there's my vintage copper tea kettle, a "just because" gift from my husband, who somehow found it on Craig's List for only $20.
Being the proud owner of so many unique and treasured kitchen items, when I saw this month's Recipe Redux theme was to tell the story of a kitchen tool that's been passed down through the family, I thought I would have tons of options. I started to sort through my kitchen, looking for inspiration. With each drawer I emptied, I got more frustrated. How do I not have a single hand me down? A hour and one huge mess later, I realized the only hand me down we have is a George Foreman grill that somehow came in my possession of after my sister-in-law moved to California (Hey Caroline! Were you wondering where that went??).
Exasperated, I walked over to the wet bar to pour myself a glass of red and grabbed one of our beautiful, crystal wine glasses....my grandparents 25th wedding anniversary wine glasses.
After my grandma passed away last year, the wine glasses were one of the few things I inherited. They're nothing super expensive or fancy, but I love their vintage shape and purple-grey tint. They were a gift from my mom, aunt and uncle for my grandparents 25th wedding anniversary. My mom remembers picking them out at B. Altman, a department store off 5th Avenue in New York and admits she mostly bought them for herself, since she was just getting into wine. My grandparents only served wine twice a year, on Passover and Rosh Hashanah. Born to recent immigrants from Eastern Europe and having lived through the Great Depression, they saw no need for fancy wine glasses and therefore served wine jelly jars before they got these. Yes, jelly jars. They were rustic chic before it was even a thing.
Although I was not happy to clean up the mess I made, I'm so glad this was picked for the Recipe Redux theme this month. Having recently made the decision to leave my well-paying, totally secure government job and take the leap into private practice, I've been stressing a lot about money. Even though we planned ahead, saved and are scrupulous with our budget, it's still pretty scary. Thinking about my grandparents drinking wine out of jelly jars was a much needed reminder of how blessed we truly are.
I often use wine and champagne glasses to serve desserts since they add a fancy flair to a dish that's otherwise simple. This dessert is easily adapted using other fruits and flavors. I'm thinking a pineapple and mint sorbet with a effervescent vino verde or a wild blueberry and ginger sorbet, since you know how I love that flavor combination.
Speaking of wild blueberries, I'm excited to let you know about the Feed Her Wild Side Wild Blueberry Giveaway! The contest will run through May 9th and just for entering, you'll receive a free Feed Her Wild Side Mother's Day cookbook. The cookbook features Mother's Day brunch recipes from bloggers including wild blueberry corn muffins with meyer lemon curd from yours truly! During the 3-week contest, three winners will be randomly selected and have the chance to win a collection of handcrafted Edgecomb pottery from Maine, a sapphire and diamond necklace or a wild blue Schwinn Beach Cruiser bike - perfect gifts for mom. The Grand Prize is a $1000 visa gift card. Head on over to their facebook page to enter!
Strawberry Merlot Sorbet with Coconut CreamServes 4-6
1 lb frozen strawberries
1/2 cup merlot or other fruity red wine
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 can coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
1 tablespoon natural sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the strawberries and merlot in a food processor or blender and blend until pureed. Scoop out into a bowl and stir in the chia seeds. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the coconut cream.
Open the can of coconut cream. Scoop out the cream into a large bowl, leaving the clear water behind. Stir it a bit with a fork, which helps to soften it. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and whip with a hand mixer for 3-5 minutes, until fluffy and light with soft peaks.
Scoop the sorbet into a wine glass. Top with a scoop of coconut cream.