It’s officially strawberry season here in Oregon, and I am thrilled.
I went out to Sauvie Island last week to do a little strawberry picking at Bella Organic. Sidenote from a Portland newbie: Did you know Sauvie Island is actually an island in the Columbia River? I had no idea. Obviously, this makes sense, but I’d never put much thought into the name. It’s only about 20 minutes outside of the city, but it’s like a breath of fresh, country air. I drove by horses, cows, and so many farms. Apparently Sauvie Island is quite the agricultural hot spot. Who knew? Also, for anyone living in Portland, it looks like a pretty cool place to ride your bike.
Anywho, I took advantage of a perfect June day (70 degrees and sunny) to pick as many strawberries as I could find. And after picking berries for around 2 hours, I officially understand why berries are so expensive. Picking strawberries is hard. My legs and back were aching from being crouched on the ground. I’d liken it to doing squats for 2 hours. My legs were burning the next day.
Every time I do a U-pick, I imagine all of the farm employees laughing at all of us suckers who are paying to come do the work ourselves. But for a girl who dreams of one day having a huge garden (or maybe even a farm) where we can grow our own food (which totally clashes with the dream we’re living right now of being cool city folk who can walk everywhere and have zero green space), this was pretty great.
I made it off the farm with about 8 1/2 pounds of fresh strawberries and a pretty intense Chaco tan. And guys, we’ve already eaten all 8 1/2 pounds of berries. Most of them went into our morning yogurt and granola, or were just eaten by the handful while standing over the sink. But a few of those delicious berries made it into these strawberry parfaits with homemade bourbon whipped cream. That’s right. Bourbon whipped cream. Get excited.
If there’s anything that can make you feel fancy in the kitchen in 5 minutes or less, it’s making homemade whipped cream. It is easy peasy, but so delightful. And because I’ve been missing my old Kentucky home something fierce these past few weeks, I thought bourbon would make a lovely addition to this light, fluffy, incredible goodness. I mean, look at that whipped cream.
We can hardly call this a recipe because you’re just piling things together in a bowl. We have a layer of vanilla wafers (I love the ones from Trader Joe’s with flecks of vanilla bean), followed by a layer of sliced strawberries. And then you top those with the lightest, fluffiest, bourbon whipped cream in all the land. By the way, the bourbon is totally optional, but is highly encouraged. Obviously, you can add more or less of any ingredient you please. The measurements in this recipe are just what fit in my little mason jars.
The only advance prep required for this dessert is popping your mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for 15 minutes before you get started. Weird, I know, but it ensures that your whipping cream stays nice and cold while it gets whipped into a light and fluffy dream. I used my KitchenAid mixer and whisk attachment, and did all of my berry slicing and wafer crumbling while the cream whipped itself. Perfection.
The best thing about this recipe is that it requires ZERO use of the oven. And when it’s 95 degrees outside, that’s the kind of thing we can get really excited about.
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon bourbon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 14 vanilla wafers, broken into pieces
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- Put your mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for 15 minutes to get them nice and cold. Once they are ready, whisk together the whipping cream, bourbon, and sugar at high speed until it reaches the consistency of whipped cream (about 5 minutes). It should look nice and fluffy.
- Divide the vanilla wafers and strawberries between 2 cups or bowls. Top with whipped cream and serve immediately.