The weekend. I have the best weekends around here these days, with my clan all around me and friends and wine and long bike rides beside the canal (my legs are utterly shattered today, ugh; must move around more) and lemon sorbet and strawberry pie, and a cold, sweet watermelon and an enormous steak cooked for me by my boy on his own birthday. I eat steak roughly never, and can hardly make a dent in one, but it was tender, both literally and figuratively. My boy will cook his mom a steak, and you can cut it with your fork. There were hours spent in the sun with a book (more Ann Patchett, who will teach you how to write if you listen) and a still-small but new and interesting crochet project. I worked on the black and white quilt top, then went out to spent an hour cleaning in the attic, where I came across a bag of muslin fabric scraps inside which was a half-pieced block from the very same black and white quilt (what?) and the entire still-folded piece of backing fabric, which has spent thirteen years sitting out there waiting for me, which I don’t remember having, and which revealed itself on the exact day I needed it. Slightly miraculous, but it’s been one of those weeks. I made the jersey knit skirt without the mathy pattern and then wore it and it was perfect, and I felt the full strength of my own ability to know what I want. The doctor fixed the brakes on the car. The cat had a bath, to which he submits with controlled rage, but which fluffs him up like a baby bunny. We basked in the full-on summer-ness of June. These days of breakfast outdoors and eating barely-ripe cherries straight from the tree are what I dream about when the snow is blowing against the kitchen windows and we huddle miserably against it. I am full to overflowing.
You’ll want this pie recipe. Believe me. Make it now, when the berries are good.
Strawberry Honey Pie
1 1/2 quarts strawberries from the farm, roadside stand, or your garden
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon honey (or 1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, if you must)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 baked 9” pastry crust.
Make your favorite pastry crust, and bake it empty. While it cools, wash, hull and mash enough strawberries to make 1 cup. Wash and hull the remaining berries and set them aside. Mix 1/4 cup honey and mashed berries into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and 1/2 cup water, and whisk it in to the berry mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cool. Beat the cream cheese until smooth and add 1 tablespoon honey. Spread the cream cheese mixture into the cooled crust. Fill with the remaining whole berries, arranging them in circles, and then pour the cooked berry mixture over the top. Refrigerate 3 hours, or until well-chilled. Devour.