Cool, creamy, and lusciously fruity, this refreshing strawberry milk is just the thing for the hot days of summer! Like that pink milk you remember from childhood, but a hundred times better. Whip it up in no time and have it chilling in the fridge for when the craving strikes. (Skip to recipe.)

two glasses of strawberry milk with berries and pitcher

We’re living in a heat wave – unprecedented temperatures here in our cool northern climate. And I am melting! I feel like if I sat still too long, I’d turn into a strawberry-pink puddle on the floor. With 39°C (102°F) for several days in a row, now that it’s only 32°C we feel like it’s cooled right off! But we’re still sleeping in the basement where it’s a few degrees cooler, have fans blasting in every room, and are living on salads and cold foods for every meal. Nobody wants the oven turned on.

During these sweltering hot days we’ve been sipping on this luscious and cooling Strawberry Milk. It started when I bought a few punnets of the most sweet and delectable strawberries at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago, whizzed them up with milk and a bit of honey, and it brought back those childhood memories of that bright pink powder we’d stir into a glass of milk to turn it into a Pepto-bismol pink drink with a chemically produced flavour we believed was like real strawberry milk. We were only able to convince mom to buy a box of the lurid pink powder a few times throughout our childhood, and felt we’d scored big in the gourmet department when we did, enjoying glasses of ‘strawberry’ milk whenever the pink-milk urge struck. This worked until we’d used up the whole container and had to wait eons before we could convince mom to buy it again.

Artificially flavoured strawberry milk powder was something I couldn’t bring myself to buy for our kids, but this . . . this I could happily serve to anyone who needed a shot of cooling lusciousness on a hot day. It’s like drinking a cool glass of melted strawberry ice cream, gently pink and bursting with fresh strawberry flavour, yet rich and creamy at the same time.

strawberries tumbling out of the punnet

looking into the blender to see the frothy pink bubbles

pretty pink bubbles

All you need is a blender and a bowl of sweet, fresh strawberries and you can be a kid again, sipping strawberry milk on a hot day while laying in the grass and finding shapes in the clouds.

glass of pink strawberry milk and strawberries around it

And as a kid, you wouldn’t be worried about what this horrendous heat wave was doing to the garden. (Skip to recipe.)

 

A Peek at the Early Summer Garden

The extreme heat is really hard on our plants. By late afternoon many plants are drooping and tips of leaves are getting crunchy.  We’ve lost some of the smaller transplants and others are really suffering. We usually collect rainwater for any watering (greenhouse and flowerpots) and mulch the garden with grass clippings. But with this heat, we don’t want to remove the grass clippings and we’ve used up all the water in the barrels, so now what?

greenhouse with two blue barrels beside the door

the rain barrels are almost empty

Now we have to use our well water, which is high in sodium, so we only use it to water plants in extreme emergencies. Well this year is it. We’ve get a soaker hose laid along the rows and we turn it on to water one or two rows every evening for a few hours and then a few more rows in the slightly cooler mornings.

collage of garden pictures

we’ve got the hose hooked up and have the soaker hose laid along the rows, to try and save some of the plants to keep them alive until the next rain. it’s getting dire

By the end of the day, the potato plants are usually drooping. After a watering, they are now surviving the heat . . . just. A few are already blooming, so it’ll be time for new potatoes soon!

rows of potatoes in the garden

fava beans and blooming calendula

the fava beans (broad beans) are blooming, and here’s the first calendula blossom

The edges of the corn leaves were starting to curl and dry up, but luckily a watering brought them back to life.

broccoli plants under a net to keep the caterpillars out

We’ve struggled to grow strawberries in our yard, trying them in several different spots, over the years, including in a raised bed and right in the garden. They never produced more than a handful of berries each summer. This was going to be our last attempt – if they didn’t grow here, I was done with strawberries.

We planted them in this flowerbed two years ago and last fall covered them with a layer of cedar chip mulch. Crossing our fingers! They’re looking really good this year, and we’re tentatively hopeful that this might be a spot they’re happy in. Look at those beautiful red berries coming on – I see more strawberry milk in our future. Nothing beats the sweetness of strawberries eaten warm from the sun, right while you’re standing in the berry batch!

strawberry patch with chicken coop in the background

the strawberries share their new space with this lovely pink peony

collage of strawberry plants

our first sweet strawberries peeking out

Speaking of strawberries – there’s still time to sign up for my next cooking class. Learn how to make this delicious, classic German fruit flan – a fresh and fruity treat that’s extremely popular all over Germany during strawberry season. Check it out here.

German Erdbeerkuchen, a lovely flan topped with fresh strawberries

If you want to learn how to make this delicious, classic German cake, I am teaching it in an online class this Wednesday – still spots left to sign up. It’s an airy sponge base, a creamy custard layer, and these fresh glazed strawberries on top. So light and fresh and tasty.

Looking for some more strawberry deliciousness?

It’s strawberry time, and it tastes like summer!

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: Use the sweetest, juiciest strawberries you can find, for the ‘strawberriest’ milk. This is where you can happily use those slightly overripe berries before they go to waste.

You can also use frozen strawberries here. Measure them by weight, or use a generous heaping 2 cups of frozen sliced berries, or about 3 cups frozen whole berries.

two glasses of strawberry milk with fresh berries tumbled beside, horizontal

Strawberry Milk

  • 2 cups (300gms) sliced fresh strawberries, gently packed
  • 2½ tablespoons honey (or ¼ cup organic sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (480ml) milk (or plant milk of choice)

Add the strawberries, honey, lemon juice, and vanilla to a blender canister. Blend on high speed until the mixture is a smooth purée.

Add the milk and whiz once more to combine.

Refrigerate until well chilled, at least two hours to blend the flavours, but it’s even better when chilled overnight. Stir before serving.

Makes ~4 cups.

Guten Appetit!

 

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