Molly Gibson, Roger Hamley & me.
If you’ve ever read the British novel or seen the mini series, Wives and Daughters, written by Elizabeth Gaskell in the turn of the 20th century, you can probably picture the likable character Roger Hamley. In the beginning, he’s overlooked and in the shadow of his older brother Osborne who is praised for his looks. But as it turns out, Roger is the son whose character shines. He quietly and humbly studies and works hard and makes his family proud. He also regularly picks the most stunning bouquets of wildflowers for the women in his life, Molly Gibson being the most appreciative of them. The book & movie quickly became one of my favorites lately (Pride & Prejudice will always have first place!) and I’ve watched it atleast five times in less than as many weeks late at night when my pregnancy insomnia strikes. Cam has no idea what he’s missing! (I’m laughing outloud.) As if I needed any more kick to fill our home with flowers, all those beautiful English garden roses and bouquets Roger picks along with having a little girl! bouncing in my belly, inspired me to fill our whole house yet again with vases big and small of wonderfully smelling camellias and my weekly $7 David Austin roses. All the better being that it’s Valentine’s week. The tables throughout our home and my posts this week are all sprinkled with roses and camellias. I rarely ever give Cam a chance to bring home flowers, so he turned to the next best. Chocolate.
We have so much good chocolate in our house right now that I found myself asking, what goes with chocolate? Other than the answer for a true chocoholic (everything!), the farmers markets cleared it up. Early Springtime local berries have just returned, making my baby’s eyes light up and his chubby little hands reach out every time I push him in his stroller past the stands of bright strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. Strawberries! That’s what goes with chocolate! So this afternoon after my Croatian class finished was a busy but glorious one. With my little helper John Shea, who likes to stand on a bench next to me at the counter and stir make-believe concoctions in a big red mixing bowl with his favorite whisk (absolutely adorable) while I cook and make sure he doesn’t fall off, we made a new soup with fresh herbs and chicken (recipe coming soon!) and dipped the strawberries we picked out at the market into warm chocolate for dessert.
A special treat this week.
5 Tips For Delicious Chocolate Covered Strawberries
1. Choose ripe, juicy strawberries that are ready to be eaten right away but not soft or mushy.
2. Wash the strawberries and make sure they are thoroughly dry and at room temperature. If they’re still damp or wet, the chocolate won’t stick.
3. Choose a high quality chocolate to melt. I used Guittard milk baking chips – they’re incredible!
4. The easiest way to melt chocolate is to place the pieces or chips in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave. Stop the microwave every 30 seconds to stir until they begin to melt, but remove completely before all have lost their shape. Continue stirring until the chocolate is smooth. The residual heat from the bowl will continue melting the chocolate without burning it. It’s like making scrambled eggs – you want to remove the eggs from the heat just before they’re done as the pan will continue to cook them through and it’s easy to let them get overdone. The last thing you want is overdone, chalky chocolate! I don’t add cream or butter, I like to keep the chocolate pure as is.
5. Dip the strawberries and place on a parchment paper lined flat surface. Let them cool and harden in the fridge for atleast twenty minutes and eat immediately 🙂