I feel kind of dumb writing this (Hey hey, that’s never stopped me before!), but I’m doing it anyway because I’m not certain everybody in the world knows about it. I figured everybody did, but I asked Ben and he didn’t before I introduced him to the concept. It’s one of the best and easiest desserts in the universe.*
This is straight from my childhood. I can’t even tell you how many times my mom and I sat at our kitchen table in Arlington Heights and ate low-tech strawberry sundaes (this is the name I just made up) out of the plastic bowls we used (each one was a different color, which might explain my love of Fiestaware). (My dad is not a fan of sweets, except he’s more a fan of sweets than he is of anything involving tomato sauce [I know right?!] and used to eat plain noodles with sugar sprinkled on top when my mom made spaghetti.) There are plenty of fancier ways to make strawberry sundaes, but these are pure, simple, delicious, taste like summer, and are perfect to have in your dessert arsenal for times you want something good but don’t want to do much work.
- 2 pounds of strawberries
- 1/4-ish cup white sugar
- vanilla ice cream (I’ve been digging Breyers All Natural Extra Creamy Vanilla)
Rinse the strawberries and remove stems (or leafies as I want to call them because they never really have stems). Cut strawberries in half (or quarters if the berries are large or you prefer) and put them in a plastic bowl that has a cover. Sprinkle sugar over the strawberries (I always start with 1/3 cup of sugar but before I use it all I think to myself damn, that’s a lot of sugar, and stop when I’ve used approximately 1/4 cup), cover, and shake very well to distribute the sugar. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours (shaking occasionally if you feel like it — this is fun but not really necessary). You’ll end up with slightly soft, sweet strawberries and delicious juice.
To serve, scoop vanilla ice cream into a bowl and add strawberries and some of the juice. I still eat this the way I did as a kid. I eat the strawberries and then mix the ice cream and strawberry juice together until I have something approximating delicious, homemade, lightly flavored strawberry soft serve. So good. Enjoy!
(You can see a photo of tonight’s sundae here. It’s too bad to post but does provide a visual if you are so inclined.)
*Disclaimer: If I’m going to talk about best desserts in the universe, I have to mention my ultimate favorite best dessert in the universe. Do you have one of those? It’s like this: You’re at a restaurant and you don’t normally order dessert because holy crap restaurants give you so much food and by the time you eat like 1/3 of it you’re so full you know you’re going to spend the next few hours whining about how full you are and you can’t believe you ate so much (I used to refer to this as Indian-restaurant full, because the time I got the most full of my life was at a vegetarian Indian restaurant on Devon in Chicago) and you’re already thinking about getting your fat pants down from the attic, which you totally swore you’d never have to do again. Wait, where was I? You’re at a restaurant and you’re full but you sideways eyeball the dessert menu because you don’t want to order dessert but you have to see if your ultimate favorite best dessert in the universe is there because if and only if it is, you kind of have to order dessert because it’s, like, meant to be. My ultimate favorite best dessert in the universe is bread pudding. Is that a weird one? I love bread pudding more than any other dessert, real or imagined, in the world, and that includes other awesome desserts like cheesecake (our relationship really blossomed when I was pregnant — Denver peeps, the plain cheesecake from Pasquini’s is A++ would eat again), churros, banana won tons, and the best types of pie (such as strawberry rhubarb, French silk, and pumpkin). I’ve made bread pudding exactly once in my life, not because it’s hard but because it’s the kind of thing I really shouldn’t have around, because I’ll just eat the hell out of bread pudding until, well, I have to get my fat pants down from the attic. Maybe I should have a bread pudding party, where I could make a few varieties and invite people over to eat most of it so I can’t. That’s probably weird. I don’t think people are really this into bread pudding, are they? I should sign myself up on Meetup as someone interested in a group about bread pudding. There have to be more of us out there.