Who loves Strawberries? I bet nearly everyone put there hands up. Strawberries tend to be a world wide favourite. They are such a versatile fruit, eaten alone, with cream, added to muffins, cakes, made into jams, pureed and added to home-made ice cream am I hearing you say stop I am making you hungry? Yes? Well before I do what about Strawberry Frosting?
Strawberry Frosting,a favorite of most cooks and those that eat those delicious delectable cakes it adorns.
When I was a girl, I used to help my Grandad in his huge garden. He had hundreds of strawberry plants,as Grannie and I used to make dozens of jars of strawberry jam, enough for her 11 children and their families for all year, plus some to keep and sell some to the locals. However many pots of Jam we used to make, there was always enough to make delectable strawberry frosting to top her delicious double sponge cake.
Now thinking back, I am sure she used her double sponge cake topped with this delicious frosting as a kind of bride, to keep me working picking the sweet fruit and carefully cutting off the runners and placing them into a large flat basket, ready to plant in yet another bed.
Grandad used to say “we can get 3 years from one strawberry plant Margie, if we cut the runners off carefully. Now we never throw them away, you never waste anything, those runners we will plant in new beds; remember to waste a plant is to throw away money”
The strawberry beds were planned very carefully, they were rich with rotted manure from the rabbits, pigs and poultry plus sweet smelling compost. The beds were raised to allow good drainage as “they hated wet feet”. Also Grandad and I went and collected pine needles from under all the pine trees around the area, this was then used as mulch as strawberries love a slightly acid soil plus it kept things away like slugs and snails. When we planted the runners they were planted well apart, not only so they could spread, but also to let the air get around them, so they would not attract mould. Birds were a problem, so we made scarecrows, plus netting used to make chicken runs was curved over frames to stop them taking more than fair share. This once again let the air flow through.
Come afternoon tea time, Grannie used to come to the garden and tell us to “Wash Up” and we used to stop and have a large mug of tea and a huge slice of her double sponge, filled with fresh cream and sliced strawberries and topped with a layer of the thickest strawberry frosting you have ever seen. The smell alone was mouth watering; you could smell the strawberries used in the cake when you walked near the table. If I close my eyes I can still see the table and remember the smell.
“Now Margie, tomorrow, we will make 4 dozen pots of strawberry Jam, I have the jars ready …” Grannie would say, but that is another story.
For delicious Frosting Recipes you must have these books in your cookery book collection
Until Next Time