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Verses from my Kitchen: Berry Trifle and Summer's Curtain Call

August 15, 2011

Berry Trifle and Summer's Curtain Call

I've watched summer unfold in front of my eyes and have witnessed sunsets that paint the sky with hope and I continue to romanticize about the last long hours of August as the sun retreats sooner and sooner each night. It has been an incredible summer. Long hot days, family memories, celebrations and a fistful of forget-me-not moments with my wife.

It isn't over yet but I can see small changes as each new day starts with a soft light dew on the ground and ends with a mellow lemon-coloured sun collapsing half an hour before it's mid-July peak. There are still more moments in store, but looking back and looking ahead I'm left with thoughts of a life renewed. A love renewed.

It's been one of the best summers of my life. The weather hot and sunny and bright and each day was loaded with potential. We shared milestones as a family and our foray into photography has been incredibly rewarding and enlightening. Each weekend morning I awoke with the excitement reserved for small children knowing my wife and I had two days to put our stamp on the world. And we did.

We are now firmly entrenched in our new community. We have get-togethers and barbecues seemingly every weekend. We spend time watching our friend's children grow before our eyes. We help each other out every chance we get, and those chances happen more than you'd know. It's the best of the best. And it happens where we happen.

My wife tackled photography head on this summer. I've sat back and enjoyed watching her growth, and seeing her happiness grow with it. I've seen her passion ignited and I'm now able to witness firsthand how much fun she has shooting memories for people. We make a great team, but mostly because she makes a great photographer. And a partner. In work, in life.

There have been late night parties with friends near and dear, and quiet evenings spent inside with that familiar summer breeze pushing through the open window and over us as we enjoy the evening and our life together. It's been everything we could ask since we we moved cities and joined a community. Joined forces.

The last few weekends have had us appreciating the season even more. We've been busy with photography shoots and weddings, including one this weekend. We woke up fingers crossed that the weather would continue with the pattern of warm, sunny and no spot of rain. Even as the skies opened up momentarily later in the afternoon, we were showered with warm rain and tears of joy from up above for the newlyweds.

One of the very best things that transpired this summer were the connections made with new friends in our new surroundings. This past weekend an annual community BBQ occurred and I was happy to help out. It was what I badly wanted when I lived in the big city. A chance to connect. To feel connected. 

My wife and I spent that afternoon meeting new people and helping out. She took some pictures and I helped out with the barbecue. I would peek up from time to time and see families spending time together and children playing games and laughing. There was life and love and memories forming in front of my eyes.

When we got home that afternoon I was searching for something sweet to share. I had some food during the day but still had room for something extra. I had some fresh berries from the market the day before so I made this dish. Easy, quick and absolutely delicious.

I grabbed two glasses and brought one to my wife upstairs, editing away on another batch of photos. I sat outside and listened. I could hear the bells of autumn calling. A cooler breeze, less backyard noise and some of the leaves falling away helplessly. I enjoyed the dessert, the perfect summertime treat, and watched the sun retreat sooner than before.

Summer was made for moments and memories like this. I've watched with delight as it unfolded before my eyes. We still have some time left but we're already looking forward to fall. And a new fistful of forget-me-not moments with my wife.

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!

Summer Berry Trifle

  • 300ml or 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 40 grams or 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 20 grams or 2tbsp. cornstarch
  • 75ml or 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 100 grams or 2/3 cup strawberries
  • 100 grams  or 2/3 cup blueberries
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. icing sugar
  1. Using a medium-sized saucepan, add in the milk, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of superfine suga and bring to a simmer over low heat. 
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the cornstarch and remaining superfine sugar. Once the milk is simmering, pour it into the egg mixture. Stir constantly to prevent scrambling, and once fully mixed, strain the mixture into a clean pot. 
  3. Return pot to low heat and whisk until it thickens. Once thickened, transfer to a bowl to cool, and stir once in a while to prevent skimming over.
  4. Whip the cream until soft peaks forms and then fold into the custard. Chill.
  5. Using a large bowl, add in the berries, lemon juice and icing sugar and mash up. Keep aside two strawberries cut in half for later.
  6. Assemble the trifle by spooning some custard into the bottom of a glass followed by a layer of fruit mixture. Top with custard and fill within inch of top. Top with a bit of the fruit juice and two strawberry halves and some blueberries.
  7. Serves 2.
  8. Assemble the trifles by spooning some of the custard into the bottom of a glass.


At August 15, 2011 at 11:06 PM , OpenID itsyummilicious said...

Mike, you are a master storyteller, and I'm 100% convinced that you could make warts on a witch look beautiful... if they were captured by your eye and your camera lens <3

At August 15, 2011 at 11:56 PM , Anonymous Bev Weidner said...

Beautiful post! I could inhale those blueberries. Like, right now.

At August 16, 2011 at 1:41 AM , Blogger Satrupa said...

Delicious n refreshing ..... :)

At August 16, 2011 at 8:54 AM , Anonymous Ken│hungry rabbit said...

I'm so glad you've established a connection in your community. Sounds like a fun day with good food and friends, not to mention a sweet ending with this beautiful trifle.

At August 16, 2011 at 1:15 PM , Blogger Rumana Rawat said...

Omg!!! the picture makes me hungry:)

At August 16, 2011 at 2:15 PM , OpenID knitstamatic said...

As usual your beautiful prose and stunning photographs have captivated me.

At August 16, 2011 at 4:38 PM , Blogger Kimmy Bingham said...

You never cease to put a smile on my face, "fistful of forget-me-not moments". The photographs in this one just jump off the page at me... especially that 3rd one down, it just jumps out at you. I'm so happy that summer has been so kind to you!

At August 16, 2011 at 5:14 PM , Anonymous Katie | GoodLife Eats said...

These look delicious and so beautiful - I love the photo of the berries in the bowl.

At August 16, 2011 at 7:38 PM , Blogger Rosemary said...

always looking for desserts that I can adapt for John as he is a diabetic and I can substitute splenda for the raw sugar.
I see a whole different side when I read your
stories. I rush through them to read the end and then I reread it slowly.
Love you Mom

At August 16, 2011 at 8:07 PM , Blogger A Thought For Food said...

I so wish we lived in a place that would host an annual BBQ. What a wonderful way to meet your neighbors!

And such a beautiful recipe, Mike! I just loved this!

At August 16, 2011 at 10:01 PM , Blogger Savannah McQueen said...

Ah....What a story. Good storytellers are hard to find! You are great.

At August 17, 2011 at 9:09 AM , Anonymous Amy @ Elephant Eats said...

I love reading your posts. You're so good at transporting me away to the scenes that you describe, and your photos are amazing :)

At August 17, 2011 at 11:10 AM , Anonymous RavieNomNoms said...

Such outstanding photos! I mean really, it just makes you feel like you can reach into the screen and take a bite..

At August 17, 2011 at 11:29 AM , Anonymous Alicia Sokol (Weekly Greens) said...

These photographs in particular are making me hungry! Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing and how lovely that you've been blessed with such a delightful summer and fully appreciate that gift. Here's to a glorious fall, too...

At August 17, 2011 at 12:04 PM , Anonymous Amanda said...

Your blog is like a good book... only made better by the stunning photography!!!

At August 17, 2011 at 12:35 PM , Anonymous Viviane Bauquet Farre said...

That was a very touching adieu to a very meaningful season - you have quite the poetic voice! Speaking of good memories, I hope you remember that dessert you've made because it looks absolutely delectable! Have a great Autumn!

At August 17, 2011 at 8:13 PM , Blogger SweetSavoryPlanet said...

What a beautiful trifle! Summer doesn't end for me until the end of September. Fresh corn and peach usually are still plentiful even though the beautiful berries of summer are fading. My freezer is full of carefully packaged treats for those special moments!

At August 17, 2011 at 10:00 PM , Blogger Lizzy said...

Just beautiful...my bowl would be licked clean, too~

At November 8, 2011 at 4:11 AM , Blogger Bruce said...

Thanks for ana amazing trifle recipe
Christmas Trifle Recipes

At November 22, 2011 at 1:41 PM , Anonymous mathilde said...

This sounds delicious, i'll make it soon =)
Thank you for sharing


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