Strawberry Syrup and much to celebrate (part 1)

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The Scoop:

I’ve been talking about it pretty frequently over the last few months, so it feels strange  to say that another marathon has come and gone.  I spent last weekend in Pittsburgh for the big race and for an even bigger reunion.  I was a college cross country runner and during my career came to know my teammates more as family than as friends.  The strange thing about college friends is that after spending nearly every day together for four years, graduation comes and suddenly you find yourselves scattered around the country (or in our case, the world).  The great thing about my teammates though, is that no matter how much time passes, we find a way to pick up right where we left off.  And since we’re family, there is nothing we love more than sharing life’s big moments with one another.

And this time around… Well let’s just say there was a lot to celebrate.

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I haven’t quite found the words to talk about my race experience just yet, so instead I want to take a minute to tell you about all the other fantastic things we had to celebrate.  First, there was the reunion of friends, some of whom I have not seen in nearly 3 years, as life has split our group in many exciting, yet drastically different directions.  Then there were the milestones of the last few years.  New jobs, new cities, new degrees, new loves, new homes, and a recent engagement.  But the most important thing  person to be celebrated was baby Grace.

That’s right, my dear friends are pregnant with a baby girl and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to the team!

cropped1Since we were in Pittsburgh, Small One volunteered to host a pre-marathon dinner for the team, which we decided to combine with a surprise baby shower for the parents-to-be.  Although Christina’s mom is throwing her an official baby shower later this month, we girls wanted to do a little something to celebrate this monumental time in her life.  We spent all afternoon preparing for dinner and the shower, laughing and catching up as we baked, cooked, wrapped, and decorated.  Opportunities like that are few and far between these days but there is just something so sweet and simple about spending time with the girls women who know you better than most.

Today’s strawberry syrup is kind of like that.  It’s natural.  It’s sweet.  It’s perfectly simple.  It’s all the best things about strawberry, without any added junk.  Similar to spending time with good friends, strawberry syrup is exactly what you need this season. collage1

The Goods:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz container of strawberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbs sugar

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:

  • Large sieve

The Deets:

Wash and hull the strawberries, then halve or quarter them with a sharp knife, depending on how large they are.  Combine the cut strawberries, the water, and the sugar in a medium saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium low, and simmer the strawberries for another 30-40 minutes.  Every 5-10 minutes, carefully crush the berries with a potato masher.   As they cook down, they will become very soft and will mash easily  After 30-40 minutes, the berries will no longer be intact and the syrup will be quite thick.  Let it cool for about 15 minutes before straining it through a large sieve into a bowl.  Use a wooden spoon to help you press the mixture through the sieve.  Some of the seeds will squeeze through, but the majority of the pulp will be left behind.  Store syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use.  I know this is a lot of work for only about 1/3 cup of syrup, but trust me when I say that it. is. worth. it.

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Homemade strawberry syrup is perfect when served over pound cake or ice cream, but I recommend saving a couple of tablespoons to for tomorrow’s recipe, Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting.

The Inspiration:

Original Recipe.

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To sweet berries, sweet memories, and sweet friends.

XOXO,

Tall One

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