Celebrating the Sweet Strawberries of Spring ♥

My great-grandfather kept a strawberry patch of local acclaim in a sunny corner spot. In my mind, he bends low behind a white picket fence, wearing dusky dungarees and a buttoned-up shirt. His hands are gnarled with arthritis but he tends the plants with deftness. Some perfect day in late spring, he brushes soil from the first berry of the season, lifting it to the sun for visual inspection, then pop! it stains his lips as he begins the ultimate flavor test.

And so the three quick and easy strawberry desserts featured in this week's Kitchen Parade column are worthy of the very best strawberries, the ones plucked straight from the lovingly tended plants, the local berries found at the farmers market.

Yes, three recipes, all simple. A gorgeous strawberry banana chocolate -- yes, all three! -- crumble that roasts into fruity chocolatey goodness, each flavor distinct, the blend something beyond measure. And my variation of the classic strawberry fool, just berries and cream spiked with orange. And something so spare and sweet in its elegance, nothing but wine and strawberries and slim strips of lemon zest.

Ah, strawberries, we celebrate your sweet spring. Where's that strawberry column? Kitchen Parade, of course.

SO WHAT IS KITCHEN PARADE, EXACTLY? Kitchen Parade is the food column that my Mom started writing for our family newspaper when I was a baby. Today it's published in my hometown newspapers in suburban St. Louis and features 'fresh seasonal recipes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences'.

Where A Veggie Venture is 'pure food blog', full of experimentation and exploration, Kitchen Parade features recipes a modern cook can count on. All are thoroughly tested by a home cook in a home kitchen and many are family and reader favorites. All recipes feature easy-to-find ingredients, clear instructions and because I believe so strongly in informed food choices, nutrition analysis and Weight Watchers points. Want to know more? Explore Kitchen Parade, including Kitchen Parade's Recipe Box!

A Veggie Venture is home of the Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and vegetable inspiration from Asparagus to Zucchini. © Copyright 2007
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.