Color Therapy

Do you want to know what my favorite color is? No?
Well then, pull up a chair and I'll tell you all about it.

My favorite color is referred to as the color of love. It is a strong, sexy color. In some cultures this color is associated with good luck, energy, fortune, creativity and joy. And -as if you needed a bigger hint- some of my favorite fruits are intensely painted this color: Tomatoes, Cherries, Watermelon and Strawberries!

What was that? This color is also symbolic of blood, you say? Do I sense a hint of hostility here? Well, there's really no need to see red.
And because I believe blood should be on the inside, I will get right to the point, and tell you what my favorite color is: Black!

You may cease fire.
Just making sure you were paying attention. At least, I'm the first to admit I suck at placating my blogging audience. All right, so red, RED! is my favorite color. Now you can all sleep at night.
By the way, do you know what's red, white, and scrumptious all over?

Crème Fraîche Ice Cream Topped with Homemade Strawberry Jam. Word.
Incidentally, the candied roses are easy enough to make and will be featured in a future blog entry.

Crème Fraîche Ice Cream

Zest and juice of one lemon
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2/3 cup granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 cup crème fraîche

Before you begin, have ready a strainer, and a bowl resting in a larger bowl that is filled with ice.

In a medium-size saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and lemon zest. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and add to the cream mixture, along with the pod.

Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and let it sit 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk sugar and egg yolks together until mixture forms a ribbon when whisk is lifted. Gradually beat in hot cream mixture. Return to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Do not let mixture come to a boil, or it will curdle. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Stir in the lemon juice and crème fraîche. Cool the mixture quickly by putting the custard in the bowl immersed in ice. Once cooled, cover and chill custard thoroughly. Freeze in an ice cream maker following manufacturer's instructions. Makes 1 quart.

Now -to me- homemade Strawberry Jam had always been something I simply purchased and stored in the back of the refrigerator until it spoiled, and the mold grew big enough to break out of my fridge to freedom. I never ate that stuff, and I reckon I bought them only because I got lured by the pretty little jars they came in.

It wasn't until my sister in law (whom I shall only refer to as "Karen" [her real name]) shared a jar of her homemade Strawberry Jam with me that made my tastebuds stand up and take notice. Needless to say, but say I will, I knew I had to try my hand at preserving these lovely little jewels of Summer. Thank you sister "Karen" for your inspiration!

Strawberry Jam

3 pints ripe strawberries, rinsed well and hulled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 cups granulated sugar

Add strawberries to a 3-quart pan set over moderate heat. Crush strawberries with a potato masher, but try not to purée the berries. Mix in the sugar and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes, or until the mixture has started to thicken. Skim foam from surface and spoon jam into sterilized jars. Seal according to manufacture's directions. Makes five 6-ounce jars.


  1. Wonderful recipes and presentations, as always. I love strawberry jam a lot! My dad groes strawberries in his small garden back in Azerbaijan, and they are simply out of this world - organic, no additives:) So delicious! Your jam just reminded me of them. Yum yum yum!

  2. Hey dear friend.

    You know, Strawberry Jam doesn't last long around here. But I have to tell you, I'm a little green, because I'd love to be able to grow my own strawberries like your dad. I live on a little over ten acres of nothing but clay soil and it's a heck of a challenge to work with. :-Þ

  3. Marysol, your recipe and photos are great - don't worry about us, the audience! :)

    What a delicious dessert. I love how you presented it.

  4. dishesdone8/6/08

    Sol, came by to see what's cooking! You have a such a great way with words, and presentation! Both exciting and delicious! Color me green...with envy! I would love some jam and ice cream!

  5. These sounds lovely! Looks quite pretty too!

  6. Me, worry?
    Patricia, I never worry when you drop by; your comments have always been very kind. Thank you!

    Hey Dishes! There hasn't been much cooking going on, and if the mercury continues to rise, I'll have to succumb to a diet of nothing but ice cream. Woe is me.

    Thank you kindly My Sweet & Saucy!

  7. Crème Fraîche Ice Cream must be 'as good as it gets'! What a delicious blog you have here ... I shall return (after I grab a bite to eat).

  8. Joey, welcome! I'm a big fan of your blog as well.