Way back in the 80's, perhaps inspired by the culinary successes of a lady from just up the road named Martha, my mother and the neighbor ladies started their own cooking explorations. For my mother, a food-lover for whom cooking delicious meals was a snap, this meant some new ingredients (endive), retiring some standards (Chicken a la King, thank goodness) and taking up the new ideas and reinventions of cookbooks such as The Silver Palate and Martha's own Entertaining.
My favorite dish to emerge from Mom's new cooking was this pretty, pink soup. As a little girl the idea that something tangy and sweet (and the best color ever) could be called soup blew my mind. I requested it as soon as the strawberries were in the supermarket and snuck into the kitchen all summer long for a spoonful or two.
This soup is a great no-cook starter or dessert for a hot day. It's also a nice light lunch alongside a salad, and the perfect excuse to invite over those neighbor ladies. Just be sure to use the good china.
1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled and split in half
1/4 c. orange juice
1 c. 1% milk
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (about one half's worth)
In a blender combine the milk and lemon juice and let it sit for 5 minutes. Behold: you now have buttermilk!
Add strawberries and orange juice and blend it 'til smooth.
Serve chilled in perky, pretty bowls and cups. To be a little naughty, swirl in some sour cream.