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Summer Strawberries

July 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
strawberries

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For as long as I can remember, strawberries have been my favorite fruit.

I was born on an Indiana farm where my parents planted a huge strawberry patch, and I remember helping myself to the juicy red gems with the abandon enjoyed only by small children. As an adult, my strawberry-lover reputation preceded me, inspiring one of my friends to give me a single strawberry plant for my birthday one year, and thanks to my husband’s green thumb, that one plant has grown into an entire strawberry patch in my backyard. During spring days, I look out my kitchen window and admire its leafy green tangles dotted with little white flowers that promise to bring sweet summer strawberries.

In the kitchen

The bright beauty and tantalizing flavor of strawberries aren’t its only notable benefits. The berry has higher vitamin C content than an orange and offers significant levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants to help fight free radicals. Other vitamins found in this crimson berry include vitamin K, manganese, folic acid, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin B-5.1 For skin care, strawberries offer exfoliating benefits and can help control oiliness and acne, as well.2 Although strawberries can be acquired year-round, they are best between April and July when they are in full season.3 A delicious component of many desserts and salads, strawberries also complement meats in many entrées and can be used in soups, beverages and appetizers, as well.

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Quick Facts: Strawberries

  • There are approximately 200 seeds on the outside of each strawberry.4
  • One acre of land grows about 50,000 pounds of strawberries, which equals the weight of four elephants.4
  • Strawberries were regarded as an aphrodisiac in provincial France, so newlyweds were traditionally served a soup of thinned sour cream, strawberries, borage and powdered sugar.4
  • Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’ssecond wife, had a strawberry-shaped birthmark on her neck; some claimed this proved she was a witch.4
  • Legend has it if you find a double strawberry, break it in half and share it with the object of your affection, and you will soon fall in love with each other.4
  • The strawberry represents absolute perfection in the Victorian language of flowers.4

Recipe: Grilled Duck with Strawberry and Fig Sauce

From Executive Chef Jim Palmeri of Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York

Makes four servings, 650 calories, 5 grams of fat

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup shallots, sliced

3 fluid ounces of port wine

2 tablespoons dried figs, chopped

2 ½ cups fresh strawberries, halved

1 cup and 2 tablespoons chicken broth

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless duck breasts

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

Preparation:

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat; add shallots and cook until soft.

2. Add port wine and figs; simmer for one minute.

3. Add 1 ½ cups strawberries, 1 cup chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper.

4. Continue to simmer until strawberries begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Strain solids from sauce and discard.

5. Return remaining sauce to saucepan and continue to simmer until approximately 1 cup remains.

6. Combine cornstarch and two tablespoons of cold chicken broth, and add to sauce mixture. Simmer until thickened, then remove from heat.

7. Preheat grill to medium and coat with oil.

8. Season the duck breast with remaining salt and pepper.

9. Mix one tablespoon of sauce with one tablespoon vinegar and baste duck.

10. Grill 4–9 minutes per side, until internal temperature is 150 degrees, basting twice.

11. Remove meat from grill and let rest five minutes.

12. Chop remaining strawberries, then slice duck and serve it with the sauce. Garnish it with strawberries and basil.

Treatment How-to: Wild Honey and Strawberry Manicure

From The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Wyoming

Treatment duration: 80 minutes

Treatment cost: $90

Products needed:

1/2 cup organic strawberry seeds

1/2 cup organic wild liquid honey

Organic coconut oil

Shea butter

Polish remover

Base coat

Polish

Top coat

Quick dry

Cuticle remover

Supplies needed:

4 hot towels

Extra dry towels

Nail brush

File

Birchwood stick

Nippers

Pusher

Nail clippers

Hindo stone

Equipment needed:

Manicure bowl with hot, soapy water

Towel warmer

Step 1: Analyze nails, and discuss length and shape of nails with client.

Step 2: Remove old polish

Step 3: File nails on first hand, and check free edges for any roughness. Place hand in manicure bowl with hot, soapy water.

Step 4: Repeat step on second hand.

Step 5: Apply cuticle remover to all 10 fingers. With a metal pusher gently push back cuticles, and clean under nail edge.

Step 6: Remove dead cuticles and any hangnails with nippers on each hand.

Step 7: Using a nail brush and soapy water, gently brush under nail and around the cuticle. Dry client’s hands.

Step 8: Add a small amount of coconut oil to the strawberry seeds and make a paste. Gently work over the top and underside of the hands and wrap them with hot towels, which should remain on for 3–5 minutes.

Step 9: Put honey in the towel warmer.

Step 10: Remove strawberry paste by wiping with the towels that you used to wrap the client’s hands. Make sure all of the seeds are removed. Wash your hands and bring honey to the station.

Step 11: Using half for each hand, massage warm honey into the client’s hands. Wrap hands with hot towels.

Step 12: Remove hot towels after 3–5 minutes and make sure to remove all honey.

Step 13: Use approximately ½ teaspoon of shea butter for each hand and arm, starting at the elbow and working down by massaging each arm and hand.

Step 14: Clean nails with polish remover to remove all shea butter from nail bed.

Step 15: Apply to all 10 nails: base coat, two coats of color, top coat and quick dry. Make corrections with a birchwood stick soaked in polish remover.

Step 16: Thank client and escort her to the front for check out.

Step 17: Clean, disinfect and reset station.

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