What is the best thing about a Florida winter?
Yes, the weather dips way down into the forties at night. Five times. During the day we suffer through the sixties, seventies, and maybe a couple of days we’ll hit the eighties. Blue skies and palm trees and cocktails by the pool. Winter is grand.
What really makes a Florida winter sublime? The strawberries from Plant City. For your reading and eating pleasure, here is a short story and a family recipe I will share with you.
Shortly after hubby and I became engaged I was invited to visit his grandmother “Grammy” in Florida. I brought my mother with me, and when we arrived at her beautifully appointed home in Lakeland the mouth-watering smell of dinner almost knocked me over. After two helpings of a scrumptious pot roast, we cleared the table and she presented dessert.
“The third crop of strawberries is the best,” she said. “These are only the second. I hope you like it. I call it Strawberry Glacé Pie.”
Like it? I’m a pie girl. I stared at this layered creation of perfectly sliced strawberries topped with Cool Whip. (Grampy had worked for Swift’s, so only company products entered their home.) Somewhere in my stuffed stomach I found room for not one, but two slices of pie. Past pie encounters receded in my mind… This was and still is the best piece of pie I have ever eaten. After we washed and dried her Havilland china I took a long and necessary walk.
Grammy was an amazing cook. She was raised on a farm in Missouri, and she knew how to do anything that would make a house a home. I believe she would be happy to know that her recipe is still honoring the bounty of Plant City strawberries we are lucky to eat picked fresh from the field.
Grammy’s Strawberry Glacé Pie
1 – 9 inch baked pie shell, 1 cup sugar, 2 quarts fresh Plant City strawberries, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ cup water, whipping cream
Rinse the strawberries thoroughly. Crush enough berries to make 1¼ cups of juice. Slice the remaining berries lengthwise, removing the green stems. Combine sugar and cornstarch in saucepan. Add crushed berries and water. Cook stirring constantly, and add lemon juice. Continue cooking until it thickens. Arrange sliced berries in piecrust. I go in a circle from the outside ending in the center. Pour glacé over the berries. Chill thoroughly and serve with whipped cream.
Grammy’s advice: It is best when prepared the night before so the sugar can sink into the berries below the glacé and the pie will hold together better.
Exciting business news — now you can shop with me online! I have been given a secure mobile number that interacts with Nordstrom.com through an app we call TextStyle. My secure mobile number is 813-452-4497. By completing a few simple steps you will be able to communicate with me before accessing Nordstrom.com, and can ask me questions regarding merchandise you are interested in purchasing. I can also send you photos or information regarding products you prefer that arrive in the store. It is a seamless way for me to deliver a superior shopping experience with the convenience of online shopping. Try it out and let me know what you think!