Summer Infusion

Written by Anna-Marie Rautenbach, Eton College Instructor

berryOverwhelmed by the tempting aromas from the local farmers markets, I’m excited that summer has arrived (at last). From strawberries to peaches-and-cream corn you just need to taste, smell and indulge the feeling of freshness around you.

All of us feel tempted to fill our homes with the summer smell of fresh produce, and have to consider creative ways to preserve these in such a way that we have more than just memories. With a creative spirit you can now buy baskets full of your favourite produce and eat to your heart’s content. And all the leftovers….. make your favourite jam, relish or just toss a few berries in your salad.

Why not try an easy corn relish made with fresh cooked corn kernels, chopped bell peppers, onion, tomato, cilantro, spring onion, and marinated in lemon and lime juice?

Besides eating the fruit and vegetables fresh, berries are full of antioxidants that help your body fight aging. Why not prepare berry infused wines, coolers and spirits? Impress your friends with your own signature wine or coolers by adding a handful of your favourite chopped berries to the beverage an hour before serving. This will enhance the colour and taste by adding a twist of summer. Furthermore, by adding the berries to a neutral spirit (like vodka), and infusing for a few weeks you will be left with a delicious berry flavoured and tasting spirit.

And of course, no summer’s weekend is complete without a dessert special. My favorite is a berry-infused ice cream. Just add berry puree to your favorite vanilla ice cream (you could also add a dash of your signature berry alcohol spirit) and refreeze in individual servings (remember the ice cream stick). But don’t forget the sweetest temptation of all, chocolate! You could dip the hard frozen ice cream into melted chocolate to create a delicious ice cream delight. While speaking about chocolate, why not dip the fresh berries into melted chocolate?

Hope to see you soon at a local farmers market this summer!