What a beautifully hot day it was today. We had our annual Cemetery Sunday and for the first time in about 4 years we didn't need to have an umbrella in hand heading out to it. I always enjoy Cemetary Sunday as it's a chance to bump into some family members and neighbours who's paths we don't cross on a regular basis. Each year,as I grow older, there are many more names that I recognise on the list of who has passed since the previous year. It deeply saddens me that this year my Aunt Judy was included on this list. She was someone that I really cared for and for as long as I can remember she was always so giving of her time and kindness. This time last year she stood next to me without a care in the world. I suppose that's life and none of us know what is in store for us in the future. It's so important that we concentrate on what is good in our lives and try to forget about the negative. Personally I have so much to be grateful for and I like to encourage my kids to appreciate the everyday things, that we can so often take for granted.
Before heading out to the cemetery I picked a basket of delicious strawberries from the garden. I have been eating many bowlfuls of these with Greek yogurt and toasted hazelnuts, all drizzled with maple syrup . I have also made many jars of jam, so for something different I decided to grill them. I had half a tub of Boulaban Strawberry Ice Cream in the freezer, which I had picked up at Totally Tipperary and thought that these would go perfectly together. This is an ice-cream which is handmade in Tipperary using organic milk from Kate and Michael Cantwell's farm. They have won numerous awards for their ice-creams and sorbets and after tasting many of them it's not a bit surprising. They have a fabulous range of the most delicious creamy deserts in a tub. One of their range, which I can't wait to taste again, is their Bubble Gum ice-cream, it was like no ice-cream I have ever tasted. With one spoonful I felt like Violet in Willy Wonka when she got her hands on Wonka's three course meal gum. It was really an experience and so totally scrumptious. The Cantwells are a wonderful example of some of the hard working artisan food producers that we are lucky to have in Ireland, completely passionate about their product from start to finish.
This is such an easy dessert that it hardly warrants a recipe, but it is so yummy that I would be afraid that if I don't jot it down I will forget what a treasure it is!
Grilled Strawberries with Digestives & Ice Cream
2 tbsp Cointreau
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sugar
4 digestives, crushed finely in a plastic bag
ice-cream of your choice
sprig of mint
1. Preheat your grill to high. Hull the strawberries with a knife, cutting off a bit of the flesh too so you get a flat base and place them in a bowl.
2. Add the Cointreau and vanilla extract. Toss together, then place the strawberries on their flat bottoms in a snug-fitting shallow oven-proof dish, tips pointing up. Pour over the juices from the bowl and sprinkle over the sugar.
3. Place under a heated grill for 5 - 7 minutes until bubbling.
4. Serve with some ice-cream, a sprinkling of the crushed digestives and a sprig of mint.