Friday, May 25, 2012

Strawberries, Farmers Markets, Plus A "Quick Coffee Fruit Torte" Recipe

It’s Memorial Day Weekend and that means the unofficial start of summer. A time to be outside enjoying the warmer weather, having fun, cookouts, and remembering our veterans. As May comes to a close there still is one more honor that we have to salute to and that is the “Strawberry . The month of May is National Strawberry Month. This holiday is when we can celebrate the love of strawberries and be aware of the value this small sweet fruit has to offer. We also have to say a big shout out to our local farmers markets, which has brought us their very best, fresh, safe, sweet fruits, and vegetables that are grown here within our local neighborhoods.

It is so important to buy local every season. The local greenhouses, farm fields and vineyards are what make our neighborhoods so special. We have to invest into our own community which is vital for each of our regions to thrive. There are 5 reasons to buy at your local farmers markets.

1. Know that your food comes from a safe environment. Strict polices and regulations are put into place to keep our food safe and free of all pesticides, so buy organic as well.
2. Small farms and family owned. Growers often come from generations of farmers who have lived and worked in local communities. 3. Taking care of the land and protecting the environment by helping to develop new ways to reduce our carbon footprints, water usage, recycling, and be active environmentalists. 4. Good for economic reasons, which create sales tax, income tax, and real estate tax. Businesses add a lot of tax for each state. 5. Jobs and employment helps support hundreds outside those on the farm. Machine manufacture, equipment, dealers, suppliers and produce distributors.

Now, let’s get back to one of my favorite berries, which is the strawberry. The Garden Strawberries are the most common name known and was first bred in France in the year of 1750. This fruit is known for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture and its sweetness. It can be either eaten as preserves, pies, ice cream, milk shakes, and yogurt. Strawberries are also known as the romantic picnic foods. They can be added to cream and also dipped in chocolate. You can also use them for cake decoration and fillings. The strawberry is an excellent source of vitamin C and 1 cup equals 45 calories. Strawberries are an easy plant to grow, and can be grown almost anywhere in the world. The best time to plant strawberries are in the middle of Spring. Strawberries can also be grown in clay pots, and will still produce fruit. Some farmer’s markets or farms stands will allow you to pick your own strawberries. Harvesting your own food is not only a family affair but also connects you with where your food comes from, the Earth.

I remember a story when I was about 22 years old; I had some relatives that lived upstate on a farm. We had a fun summer that year with the family and the air just seemed to be fresher. One day my uncle took us strawberry picking in the local farms. I was so excited. Well, remember I lived in Queens, NY, and I had never been berry picking or even knew anything about farms or produce. As we are in the car and riding along to the farm, I thought I saw some strawberries in the trees. Here I am looking in the trees and not having any idea of how they grew. Needless to say that this city girl was laughed at by the family the whole trip. I had no idea that they grew low to the ground. It was one of the best days in my life, getting that close to nature and spending time with my family.

So, in honor of strawberries and farmers markets, I want to share this recipe with you. This is an easy and delicious recipe for dessert as you enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend. It is called “Quick Coffee Fruit Torte” from Quick Cooking Magazine, but I put a “berry spin” on it. Hope that you have fun, be safe, and treasure your family time.

Quick Coffee Fruit Torte

1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1-1/2 teaspoons of butter (unsalted)
2 bananas sliced thin
1-1/2 pints of fresh strawberries, sliced (save a few whole ones)
1 frozen pound cake (10-3/4 ounces), thawed
1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Grated Chocolate, optional

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and coffee. Bring to boil; cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in butter. Cool slightly.
Split cake into three horizontal layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate. Brush with about 1 tablespoon of coffee mixture, spread with 1 cup of whipped topping. Next place sliced bananas and sliced strawberries on top of whipped topping. Repeat layers. Brush remaining coffee mixture over cut side of cake layer; place coffee side down over topping. Spread the remaining whipped topping over top of torte. Garnish with grated chocolate, whole strawberries and chill until served.
Yield: 6-8 servings Prep/Total Time: 20 minutes
Till Next Time………..

Copyright © 2012 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved.


  1. Hi, The name of your blog caught my eye . . . there is nothing I like better that having lots of family together for barbecue and hanging out. That torte, looks might good, I might just have to send my wife over to your blog and take a look. I am your newest follower, please accept my invitation to visit and follow my blog too. Steve

  2. Hi Steve, Thank you for following my blog and my family stories. So happy that you enjoyed reading. Yes, this torte is fantastic. A great recipe for your family gatherings. Thanks for the invitation to your blog. I will be thrilled to accept. Please feel free to check out my blogs posts from other months and you may find some other delicious recipes. Enjoy the rest of the Holiday Weekend. Dottie :)