Strawberry Cooler was the first course of the all pink meal. Now, I did not intend for color to be a theme. If the meal had any theme it would have been cold food. Since the temperature has been hovering around 100 degrees for the last couple of days, and the air conditioner, God bless it, can only lower the temperature about 20 degrees, the last thing I wanted to do was turn on the oven.
I love cold soup. My mother used to run all the leftover vegetables lurking in the refrigerator through the blender with a cup of milk and serve it for lunch on hot days. If one is lacking in energy on a hot day, as so often happens, you can even run a can of Campbell's cream of chicken soup and a cup of milk through the blender, add a little curry powder and bingo, there's your first course.
I was actually going to make Strawberry Cooler for us, but then Bob suggested inviting Jackie and Bill, our friends from the frame shop, over before I went to Massachusetts. So it was a no-brainer. It is very easy to make, and even forgiving of wandering attention. I had gotten to the part where you cook it. The directions are quite specific. "Heat, stirring, u ntil mixture comes to a boil, then cook one minute."
At that point the phone rang. It was Son, calling to discuss the logistics for Bob's birthday when we have our traditional sail on the Chesapeake Bay. The conversation went from there to baseball, where we discussed Nationals' star pitcher Stephen Strasburg's problems with pitching on hot days and who was hitting and who was not. By the time I got off the phone, the soup had cooked for considerably more than a minute. I gasped with horror as I smelled it on the stove and rushed to take it off the heat. Fortunately when we ate it Saturday night, it was fine. So, while I don't reccomend leaving it on the stove and forgetting about it, it does not seem to do the soup any harm.
Everyone seemed to love it. Bob set out heavily gold rimmed bouillion cups that made a lovely contrast between the dark red of the soup and the gold on the rim. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it. It is kind of sweet. You might reduce the sugar and see how that works.
4 cups strawberries
1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoo n lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
sesame wafers ( I dispensed with the sesame wafers.)
1. Reserve several berries for garnish; place remainder in an electric blender with the orange juice.
2. Blend until s mooth and strain into a saucepan. Mix the cornstarch with a little of t he strained mixture and add to remaining mixture in the pan. Heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil, then cook one minute.
3. REmove from heat and add the sugar, lemon juice and buttermilk. Chill thoroughly . Serve in chilled bowls, garnished with reser ved strawberries and wafers. Makes four to six servings.