I remember the first time we got a bottle of balsamic vinegar at home. It was the early 90’s and someone gave it to my mother as a gift. For two weeks straight my mom added balsamic to everything. Every piece of chicken had a balsamic glaze and every ounce of beef was marinated in balsamic vinegar. It was a bit much, but I did feel fancy coming to school with tomatoes drowning in vinegar while all the other kids had salad with ranch dressing.
Our supply of vinegar was running low and my mother was losing her shit. We had 1 tablespoon left and my mom was acting is if Days of Our Lives was getting cancelled. My dad came home with 2 pints of strawberries from Arthur Avenue and my mom decided to make one of her crazy concoctions. I saw the fire in her eyes; there was no way in hell she was going to let that last bit of vinegar go to waste.
I remember watching her, she felt so proud and worldly. She served it up for dessert and said “I learned this in Italy”. Usually my mom references Europe when she knows she fucked up somehow. For some reason Europe makes everything ok. “Italy?” I said. She looked at me and said “Yessss”. My friend was over for dinner and I knew my mom wanted to show him that she was better than his mom. She did live in Italy and I’m sure she learned a lot, but in my head I was trying to figure out what refugee camp serves balsamic vinegar. She ended up a refugee after escaping Albania and was waiting to get sent to Belgium. Maybe she had one of the luxury tents with a Viking stove and All-Clad kitchenware. —MySocialChef
Pints Strawberries – Quartered
Orange Zest – Peeled with a knife in large strips
Lemon Zest – Peeled with a knife in large strips
Ground Black Pepper
In This Recipe
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The longer it sits the better it tastes. Serve over ice cream or on it’s own. Remove the orange and lemon peel before serving.