Day 72: An Afternoon with Strawberries

I am very excited for warmer weather.  Mostly because I am so stinkin' tired of apples, oranges, and pears.  I need berries, and melons, and stone fruit!
Anyway, I am trying to use up last summer's fruits that I have been hoarding in frozen and preserved forms, so I busted out a bag of frozen strawberries.  We had smoothies the other night, and I left the rest of the bag in the fridge to defrost for near-future use.

So..today I opened the fridge to find strawberry juice dripping down the wall of the fridge and forming a sticky fragrant pool on the bottom.  Sigh.  So, out the drawers came and I got to cleaning.  Good thing to, because this was happening in a dark corner:

These used to be zested lemons.  They still are, but in, uh, slightly modified form.

Back to the strawberries.  I made a quick jam with some Balsamic vinegar and pepper.  

I've already tasted it, and it's pretty good.  I still had some strawberries left, so it was time for strawberry muffins:

And here, friends, is a recipe:

Strawberry Muffins
Makes 12

1 ½ cups coarsely chopped fresh strawberries (If using frozen, defrost and drain.)
1/3 cup organic pure cane sugar
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup fruity olive oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Raw sugar, for garnish (I used a bourbon smoked sugar)

Preheat oven to 400˚.  Grease the cups of a standard size muffin pan.  Combine the strawberries and sugar in a bowl and allow to macerate while prepping the other ingredients.
Combine the flours and other dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.  In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, measure out the buttermilk and olive oil, add egg and vanilla, and whisk to combine.
Make a large well in the dry ingredients.  Add the buttermilk mixture and the strawberries and fold in just until combined.
Using a scoop, fill the muffin cups evenly.  Sprinkle the tops with the raw (or smoked) sugar.  Bake 15-17 minutes.
Cool for several minutes in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.  

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