Monday, June 22, 2009

Owego: Strawberries in the Coolest Small Town

I spent Friday night in Owego, NY, which was voted's "America's Coolest Small Town."
Stay tuned for the October issue of Budget Travel, which is apparently going to feature Owego on the cover.
Technically, I grew up in the larger "town of Owego" (I guess the village I am from is like a suburb?!). Owego proper (a.k.a. village center) is very charming, especially with the architecture, river and shops on Front Street. Also charming is the annual Strawberry Festival.
The last time I went to the festival -- which is part street fair, part music fest, part junk food fest-- I was in high school. And while it's true that the festivities do attract the teen set, there is also a lot for families and adults of all ages.
In addition to the requisite daiquiri, you can find junk food galore -- from deep fried french fries and oreos to spedies (an area specialty) and roast pork.
But my favorite treat of the night was a pint of just-picked berries, a steal for $4, and so perfect that it would have been a crime to do more than eat them plain with a little sugar or slice over shortcake!

The Owego Strawberry Festival may be over, but luckily, there are still a few weeks left of strawberry season before it's on to blueberries.

Fresh Strawberry Daiquiri For One

Everyone has their own strawberry daiquiri formula, so feel free to modify the sour (lime) and sweet (simple syrup) to suit your tastes. But be sure to use the less-than-perfect berries for the drink, and save the better specimens for garnish!
1 c. fresh strawberries
1/2 c. ice
1 oz. rum
1/2 lime, juiced
Splash of simple syrup
Pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender and whirl until desired consistency.
Garnish with a fresh strawberry and whipped cream.

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