first fruits

May 30, 2011 at 5:09 pm 18 comments

We picked our first strawberries this week.  Rather eagerly since the pigeons have stripped our redcurrants and gooseberries and I was determined to sample something from our fruit beds this year.  The dry weather and straw has done a fine job of keeping the slugs at bay so I think we’ll be enjoying a good harvest over the next couple of weeks.

Some of the too-hastily-picked strawberries were a little on the sharp side so I had nothing to lose by trying them with a dash of balsamic vinegar – something I’ve heard brings out the flavour but had never sampled.  Makiko’s blog post gave simple instructions to use the best quality vinegar you could afford and add a little more sugar if your strawberries were a bit tart.  I couldn’t leave them overnight (they smelt too good) but managed to let them sit for an hour at least.  Definitely a sweeter more intoxicating strawberry-ness about them.

And my vinegar of choice?  Hotel Chocolat’s Cocoa Nibs Balsamic Vinegar  (the little brown lump in the pictures is a cocoa nib not a squashed fly in case you wondered!).

other Hotel Chocolat reviews
Christmas come early
Valentines Selection
Easter Nibblatrons
White chocolate Peepsters box

Entry filed under: allotment tales, in the kitchen, reviews.

how goes the work? pictures with words wednesday

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jacqueline  |  May 30, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I just adore strawberries. This is a happy time of year for me. That balsamic sounds great!

  • 2. peggy  |  May 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    They look scrumptious! We are picking ours too but I must try to source a good quality balsamic like yours.

  • 3. Janet/Plantaliscious  |  May 31, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Scrummy. We’re not getting many strawberries per plant, as they are all small and we don’t have many yet, but I have been eating them from the greenhouse for weeks now, and have just started fighting the birds for the outdoor ones. I really must try that balsamic vinegar trick.

  • 4. anenthusiast  |  May 31, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Lucky girl! They look scrumptious. Nothing, nothing, nothing like a Summer English strawberry.

  • 5. Tom Hayward  |  May 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Don’t you just hate it when there’s a fly in your vinegar!

  • 6. Choclette  |  May 31, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I just knew you were getting the taste for chocolate! Your strawberries look fantastic. We’ve grown a few in a pot this year, but the pesky pigeons have taken our only ripe one so far, so I don’t hold out much hope. Interestingly we used to grow masses up at our old allotment and no problems from pigeons whatsoever!

  • 7. Nip it in the bud  |  May 31, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Jaq – so good I’m having to ration it!

    Peggy – can’t wait to pick some more tomorrow – we had a good downpour yesterday so I have high hopes

    Janet – lucky you getting an early start in your greenhouse. The birds don’t seem to spot our strawberries – perhaps the nettles and thistles that keep coming up alongside them put them off?

    anenthusiast – you can almost taste the sunshine and fresh air of a beautiful British strawb

    Tom – I would!

    Choclette – our strawberries are the only thing the pigeons seem to leave alone – redcurrants and gooseberries all gone as would the cabbage and kohl rabi be if I didn’t have them covered up

  • 8. Everlovin' Dad  |  May 31, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    When we see you Wednesday , can I have mine without
    the vinegar………………………………….please.

  • 9. nina - tabiboo  |  June 1, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Ooohhhh – strawberries.

    The pidgeons keep pecking away at our kale! Grrrrrrrrr.

    Nina x

  • 10. chiotsrun  |  June 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I so love strawberries and balsamic – my fave is Oliver 25 year aged balsamic. It’s perfectly sweet to pair with strawberries. Truth be told I eat it by the spoonful!

    We also like to make strawberry ice cream and drizzle a little balsamic on top – heavenly!

  • 11. Everlovin' Dad  |  June 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Back to the plot again with you , dear daughter, and with
    strawberries without that vinegar business. Lovely.
    Now, do you think you could find a small tree or the like that
    could produce cream to go with the strawberries?………………………………..please.

  • 12. Poins  |  June 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Your strawberries looks so tasty. I never thought about to try strawberrys with vinegar, sounds a little bit disgusting 😀

  • 13. Bilbo Waggins  |  June 3, 2011 at 6:52 am

    How absolutely yummy. Would go well on home-made scones (I’ll make the scones, you bring the straws!)

    I might have just two ready to eat this weekend but we’re a couple of weeks behind you by the looks of things.

  • 14. Johanna GGG  |  June 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    have seen a few salads with strawberries and balsamic vinegar included – maybe they are intended for unripe strawberries – though perhaps not for cocoa nibs – sounds an intriguing vinegar

  • 15. greg becker  |  June 5, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    thank you, another nice tip from the nip, excellent for summer tea parties, although I always say strawberries are wasted on squirrels.

  • 16. Nip it in the bud  |  June 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Nina – net, net and net some more to keep the pesky birds off the greens

    Susy – sounds like a fine vintage vinegar. I love sour flavours (hence the chutney addiction), might find it hard to persuade G to pour some vinegar on his ice-cream though much as he enjoyed it on the strawbs!

    Dad – glad you enjoyed the strawberries – fair exchange for your mornings work I hope :o) As for the cream, a cow is most definitely not on the ‘allotment wishlist’ but a magic money tree to buy whatever my heart desired would be nice {wink}

    Poins – the proof is in the pudding as they say. Sounds disgusting, tastes divine :o)

    Bilbo – we still talk about your marvellous scones – don’t think I ever got the recipe did I? Such fond memories of our afternoon at Bag End :o)

    Johanna – it’s a fine way to vary the taste (would you believe me if I said that some people on our plot are sick of strawberries by the time the season ends. Strange but true!)

    Greg – strawberries maybe, but the cake is not wasted on squirrels. I did fancy the look of your tea party cup cakes!

  • 17. white chocolate heaven « Nip it in the bud  |  October 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    […] Hotel Chocolat reviews – Christmas come early – Valentines Selection – Easter Nibblatrons – Cocoa Nibs Balsamic Vinegar Share this:EmailFacebookStumbleUponDiggTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  • 18. pick your own at Over Farm | Nip it in the bud  |  July 12, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    […] especially as we’ve not grown our own fruit this year. We’ve had poor pickings from our strawberry bed at the allotment the last few years thanks to hungry slugs, choking nettles and more rain than sun. […]


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