Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This is why I'm hot

...and why my house smells like burning! I try to branch out, try something new, and look what it gets me - half a loaf of charred bread, and a kitchen full of smoke.

Earlier this week, the Burlington Women for Change held a wonderfully in-season strawberry pot-luck dinner meet-up! I waited until the last minute to see what other people would bring, in the hopes of contributing something original, and balance out the table. By the time I got around to picking a dish, there was already chocolate-covered strawberries, strawberry rhubarb pie, spinach & strawberry salad, strawberry shortcake, and strawberry margaritas on the menu. Yum!

Close friends and frequent guests of mine know that I love baking and cooking, but only from an established list of items. I have no problem experimenting when it's just for me, but when it comes to subjecting others to my cooking, I like to know I can deliver. Peanut butter cookies...banana bread...quesadillas...deviled eggs...bruschetta - BRUSCHETTA!! Is there such a thing as strawberry bruschetta?! To the internet!!

Turns out there are several different dishes that go by that name. Now to pick one that fits my time frame, budget, and skill set. And the winner is:

Strawberry Bruschetta (allrecipes.com)

  • 24 slices French baguette
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup white sugar, or as needed
  • Preheat your oven's broiler. Spread a thin layer of butter on each slice of bread. Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  • Place bread under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, just until lightly toasted. Spoon some chopped strawberries onto each piece of toast, then sprinkle sugar over the strawberries.
  • Place under the broiler again until sugar is caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Seems simple enough, doesn't it? That's what I thought, too. Having made tomato basil bruschetta many times before, I was confident that I could pull it off.

And then the burning started. Ohh, the burning!

I was able to salvage the pieces from the edges of the baking sheet, but at least half of the loaf was a lost cause. Luckily I had regular sourdough bread, which I quickly threw under the broiler (and of course UNDER-toasted).

I spooned the sliced berries on top and sprinkled with sugar. Out of fear of ruining the entire project, I didn't leave it in long enough to carmelize the sugar. Plus I had to pick up a fellow group member so the sheet got to sit in traffic with me for a half hour. Basically it was served as slightly soggy toast with whole fruit and sugar! Perhaps not fancy enough to earn the name bruschetta, but at least it was tasty and well-received!

Coming up on the Women for Change calendar, I'm hosting a discussion of Gloria Steinem's recent local speaking engagement, and the media coverage that followed. And later in August, Bridgette will teach us her favorite German board games - much more strategy and collaboration than the games I grew up with!


Jessie said...

Oh my. But the salvaged pieces looked great! And very creative, never would have thought of strawberry bruschetta myself.

Lou said...

I'm just glad I wasn't the one hosting! I was able to leave the kitchen a mess, and just present the pretty ones :-)