Unlocking the Lockdown

  • Time: 30 minutes plus time in fridge
  • Serves: 4
  • Level: easy

A simple fool to knock up with strawberries and cream

A simple fool to knock up with strawberries and cream

What you need

400g punnet of strawberries

250ml double cream

6 tbs apple juice or other red berry juice

3/4 – 1 sachet of gelatine

3 tsp caster sugar – or more to taste

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Langues de chat (Lingue de gatto in Italian) or similar biscuits

Dad's Recipe Tales

At the time of writing, we in the UK, are about to enter another easing of the corona virus lockdown. Throughout the lockdown, Mr WDC went out as per guidelines, but decided to avoid entering shops on the basis that if he ever got in a puch-up with the dreaded lurgy, he knew who would come out worse.

But how did this decision affect WDC? Simple. Dad’s food-based regime was turned on its head.  In the halcyon non-lockdown days of plentyful supply, endless shopping and infinite choice, Dad would happily spend hours, or even days, researching, exploring, examining, choosing and browsing food. The corona virus stopped him in his tracks. No longer able to do his own shopping, he was forced to shop online or seek the help of others.

At times it’s been a bleak struggle. The happy, zoomy, smile-in-the-face-of-adversity approach to finding online, or deliverable food was shunned. Radios were switched off at the slightest whiff of items about cooking from store cupboard ingredients. The challenge of overcoming shortages of eggs, bread, flour – or even yeast – were, and remain, unwanted burdens. And although, there was some positives to be found online, the thought of blogging became as appealing as baking with blitzed porridge oats and chickpea water.

But WDC did not buckle; it is surviving and doing very well. In fact, for reasons that will be posted later, it is also doing some of its best cooking.

And so, after months of reclusion, after all the adjustments and modifications to routine, after gaining many insights and useful experiences, WDC is finally escaping the lockdown dulrums. We’re cooking again!




How Dad Cooked It

I don’t know why a punnet of strawberries got stuck in the fridge. But they did.

Perhaps a lockdown takes fun out of a food that is readily associated with sharing – strawberries certainly add to the communal happiness of crowds at Wimbledon tennis, they can cap a perfect summer’s day at a garden party or on a picnic with family and friends – somehow, it might just be a little indulgent to enjoy strawberries on one’s own. So I decided to turn them into a pudding to eat without too much guilt in front of the telly. I made my own langues de chat, a biscuit we used to buy easily in the old days – but now seemingly only available from specialist suppliers.

NB: 1 sachet of gelatine sets 1 pint of liquid (about 500ml). Add 3/4 – 1 sachet depending on how set you like your fool.

  1. Save a few strawberries for garnish, wash and shuck the remaining strawberries and whizz in a mini blender or similar. Sieve out the seeds. Take the apple or berry juice and heat it gently until hot but not boiling, add the geletine and stir until dissolved, add the sugar and stir until dissolved, then add the vanilla, cool and add to the strawberry puree.
  2. Whip the cream until it has stiffened but is still soft.
  3. Fold – or beat – the strawberry puree into the cream. Folding will give a ripple-like effect, whereas beating creates an even pink cream.
  4. Chill in fridge for four hours and serve with fresh strawberries and biscuits.

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