First Gather the Ripest Strawberries...

I absolutely love when certain foods come into season, but perhaps nothing causes me to salivate so extremely as ripe strawberries. This batch was so juicy that when my daughter tasted them she asked what I had done to make them so sweet - incredibly, nothing, I replied. I did, however, go on to make a fabulous dessert dish for a friend's daughter's post wedding family lunch today. Here's the general recipe:

Combine a mixture of berries together - I used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries for a great mix of flavors, color, and textures. Add equal parts brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Luckily I had on hand some fabulous pear balsamic vinegar from A Perfect Pair that my sister gave me last Christmas and that added a nice tart-sweet flavor. For my lunch I had a huge bowl of mixed berries, so I added 1/2 cup each of the vinegar and the brown sugar and let the berries macerate for a couple of hours, gently stirring them occasionally to let the juices out.

I served the berries over a lemon pound cake I had made and topped them with a mixture of part mascarpone cheese, part whipped cream, sweetened with a bit of powdered sugar. The crowd cheered, if I do say so myself!

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