Saturday, May 19, 2012

Daniel fast, Day 14: Strawberry Goosh For Summer

Breakfast was different today.  I had roasted and salted sunflower seeds and a banana.  Lunch was grits and beans.  Supper, well, that was fun:  I learned how to do oven-baked potato chips, and I ate two small spuds' worth of them.  I also had pintos, the last little bit of guac, a few sunflower seeds, and a few fresh, just-picked-today strawberries.  T went to a strawberry farm, and he brought home a good quantity of them!  

And the first thing he wanted to do with them was make strawberry goosh.  He practically sailed through the door, carrying them in a flat pallet box hoisted high on his shoulder, headed straight for the kitchen, and he didn't stop until we had a blender full of this marvelous concoction.  To understand why he was so insistent, you have to understand the history and the procedure of strawberry goosh.

Strawberry goosh actually started one weekend last summer as a Sunday lunch idea on my part.  I had bought two pints of strawberries, and we had some for dessert.  I also thought to make some lemonade, but I didn't get around to making it before sitting down to lunch.  I remember the lunch being good without it, I just don't remember what lunch was, other than the strawberries.  Having the strawberries for dessert made me think that I might like to try strawberry lemonade, and I determined to have it for supper.  I started with my basic lemonade, which I make with one part bottled lemon juice, one part natural sweetener (sugar, agave nectar, or equal half-parts of the two), and six parts cold water.  I put in the lemon juice and sweetener, mix well, then add in the water, mixing as I go. To make it nice, I will sometimes add vanilla to it, and lately I also add root beer flavoring, just a little of each flavoring.  You gotta try it :-)!  Well, to get back on topic, on this particular evening I'm describing, I put the lemon juice, sugar, and two parts water, all by cup measure, into the blender, as well as about a dozen medium-to-large strawberries, stems removed.  I blended this thoroughly, poured it out into an 8-cup measuring bowl, then added four more cups of water.  The resulting beverage was quite tasty.  

Later that evening, T came over, and he was thirsty.  "Got anything to drink?"  I offered him a red party cup of strawberry lemonade.  He tasted it—then proceeded to drink his way through the rest of what what was left in the 8-cup measuring bowl!  Yup, he enjoyed it that much :-).  He was contrite and offered to make more, following my instructions.  Except that he put a whole pint of strawberries in!  And then he spotted my raspberries, declared, "Mmmmm!  Raspberries!  I like raspberries!" and he threw those in, too!!  I gotta give it to him, the resulting beverage was considerably thicker, and it was delicious.  Well, it couldn't have been more than a couple of days later, after I'd had the chance to go for more strawberries, that he decided he wanted more of "that strawberry stuff", but there wasn't any more.  So I made it again, using the whole pint as he had done—and it went down nearly as fast as before.  The next time, maybe a few days later, that he went to make the beverage, he decided to add a tray of cubed ice to crush in the blender along with the lemon juice, sugar, and strawberries.  So strawberry goosh was born.

We drank may pitchers of strawberry goosh all through the summer.  To some we added oranges, and I seem to remember peaches getting added once.  And every time, it was the same response:  "Strawberry goosh!  I love strawberry goosh!  I don't know what I'm gonna do when we can't get any more strawberries to make it."  What can I say?  The man loves strawberry goosh!  So now we have gotten through the winter, spring is here, and now we have strawberry goosh!

Yes, I said "we".  The instant he got it made up tonight, he asked if I wanted any.  Of course I answered no. What else was I gonna answer?!  I'm doing a Daniel Fast, after all.  He knows this.

He knows this, but, "No?!  Aww, come on!  You've gotta have some strawberry goosh!"  And he was not taking "no" for an answer.  So, for peace' sake, I agreed to a taste.  He was satisfied to pour me enough for a couple good swallows.

I see by this, and by the Cherry Berry Chiller incident at the restaurant, that I'm only going to get through the last seven days of this fast if I can avoid taking any meals with him wherein there are any special treats that he decides he must share with me.  Strawberry goosh is "our" special treat; we practically created it together, we drank it together, and I wonder if on some level he associates it with me somehow.  Maybe so, maybe no.  For sure I taste a lot of strawberry goosh in my immediate future.  Before then, however, I need to complete this fast.  Once I have completed it, then I can enjoy evenings over strawberry goosh, and other things, with a whole heart and a clear conscience, having done what my Abba bade me.  Pray with me, y'all!

Oh!  I almost forgot to tell you how to make the potato chips.  Okay get your mise en place, which, as I told you once a long time back, means get your mess in place.  You'll need some baking potatoes, olive oil, coarse salt, some paper towels, a cookie sheet, a mandoline or some other way to thinly slice the potatoes, and your oven heated to between 450 and 500ºF.  I set mine to 475ºF.

Make sure to clean the potatoes, especially if you don't plan to skin them.  Skinned or not is all up to you; me, I didn't.  Lay out sheets of paper towels and slice the potatoes 1/8-inch thick.  If you're using a knife, you want to be able to see the knife through the slices as you cut them.  Lay the slices on a sheet of paper towel and place another sheet over the slices of potato to pat them dry.  Oil the cookie sheet, place the potato slices on it in a single layer, drizzle on more oil, sprinkle on some salt, and place the sheet of potato slices into the oven.  Let them cook for 15 minutes or until light-medium brown.  Remove promptly and allow to cool.  It may require doing it a few times before you finally figure it out, but having tried this, I'm definitely making my own chips from now on.  Even the ones that didn't crunch up completely tasted good!  And I bet I'll get some nice potato sticks out of this, too!

Until next time . . . :-)!

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