silence, spring and strawberries March 15, 2012

The snowy white blossoms peeking over the fence between houses. The lone crocus springing up in the middle of our slightly overgrown yard. Petals littering our front steps. These are the first signs of spring I’ve seen. They’re really the only signs of anything I’ve seen in the past few weeks. With the time change, I’ve gone from going to work when it’s dark and coming home when it’s dark to at least being able to see peeks of sunshine and the warm weather that’s quickly set in here. Being inside all day when the world around you is coming to life messes with your head a bit – making the days seem just a bit longer, those dark hours a bit more so.

I’ve been wanting to sit down and write a list of some of the things I’ve been reading and bookmarking but, well, I guess that might be what Pinterest is for these days. I’ve been meaning to sit down and gush enthusiastically about the workshop I’m helping out with in Charleston with two really amazing ladies. It’s sold out now, however – amazing since it’s months and months away. I love Charleston and I love the people I’ll be spending those days with. I hope I’ll see you there.

When I started my blog what seems like decades ago, I was sort of skeptical that people would want to make recipes they found here – why I don’t know. The kind notes and emails submitted through the site about things I’ve whipped up making other people happy? They fuel my fire and tickle me to no end. I read them all whether I have time to send a few words back. The unexpected offshoot of all of this is developing recipes for other folks – businesses and produce growers and the like – on days when I’m not in the studio.

As a kid, my dad’s favorite dessert was angel food cake or pound cake with sugary strawberries – you know, with that syrupy liquid poured over it all? There’s a place for that, of course…but as I’ve said a multitude of times here, I don’t have that much of a sweet tooth. So when the folks at California Strawberry Commission asked if I’d create a recipe for their blog, I saw it as an opportunity to work on a not-so-sweet version of the dessert I grew up eating. I do so love the play of sweet and savory and there’s no better example of that than fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Throw in a dash or two of black pepper – also a great friend to strawberries – and it’s a grown-up version of an iconic dessert. You can find the recipe for this Black Pepper Spongecake with Balsamic Whipped Cream and Strawberries here.

Oh and about that list of things I’ve been loving and lusting? Here are just a few of them:


Kulsum at JourneyKitchen Mar 15, 2012 10:03 am

I can’t tell you how much i love happyolks. Its just so calming! And I love this beautiful cake. Fresh and vibrant.

Kristina @ Mar 15, 2012 11:03 am

I am lusting after this cake and your cake stand.

[…] read Tami’s post about Silence, Spring and Strawberries and then make her […]

Epicurea Mar 15, 2012 01:03 pm

what a beautiful promise of spring! can’t wait until strawberry season begins here!

It’s nice to see my wild strawberries in prosecco jelly among the things you would like to do. It’s a very simple, refreshing dessert. I hope you will like it. This cake, on the other hand, is sooooo beautiful!

merry jennifer Mar 15, 2012 04:03 pm

That is such a beautiful cake, Tami. You are sweet to include me in that list. You’re definitely on MY list of most-loved people. xo

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar Mar 15, 2012 05:03 pm

This is such a pretty cake! Lovely.

Nicole Franzen Mar 15, 2012 09:03 pm

super yummy and pretty! Cant wait till Strawberry season here. I think I will try to go pick my own in Long Island this summer. xx

The Frugal Hostess Mar 15, 2012 09:03 pm

That dessert looks and sounds like heaven. Cannot wait to try it.

Miss T Mar 16, 2012 12:03 am

Gorgeous. As usual.

Lauren at The Holy Kale Mar 16, 2012 07:03 am

I love that you have the ability to make such beauty! This cake is perfect for heading into the spring, and as a woman who also works inside all day, sometimes the best thing that we can do is cook our way into sanity.

And just as a response: Your recipes and thoughts are ALWAYS worth reading :) Don’t let that mind of yours tell you otherwise.

My Little Expat Kitchen Mar 16, 2012 08:03 am

Any kind of strawberry cake is good in my book yet this one looks particularly appealing. Your photographs are so beautiful.
I can’t wait to get my hands on some strawberries. Spring is here, isn’t it?

myfudo Mar 16, 2012 08:03 am

This is an interesting recipe…Can’t wait to try this!

Angie@Angie's Recipes Mar 16, 2012 09:03 am

So beautiful!

DessertForTwo Mar 16, 2012 09:03 am

I love this old fashioned dessert with your new spin!

sarah Mar 16, 2012 04:03 pm

This cake looks amazing. I’ve been dreaming up some stuff with balsamic whipped cream as well – but black pepper cake? Fantastic.

And, I adore happyolks. One of my most favorite places. :)

Kasey Mar 16, 2012 04:03 pm

It’s amazing just how much of my cooking inspiration comes from blogs, yours included of course! Some of my absolute favorite recipes were ones I found reading wonderful food blogs. Though I do have a major sweet tooth, this cake sounds like it would satisfy both sides of the spectrum. Oh, and I love everything on Happyolks, too :)

kale @ tastes good to me! Mar 16, 2012 05:03 pm

I’m with Kristina, I want that cake stand!

marla Mar 17, 2012 11:03 am

Love Charleston too! The workshop will be a BLAST!! Beautiful spring cake :)

Rachel Jane Mar 18, 2012 06:03 am

I just adore strawberries. Both visually and their taste – they are my fav.
Those prosecco jellies are incredible!

Melissa | Dash of East Mar 18, 2012 08:03 am

I am also lusting after this cake and cake stand. And the hunger pains for Georgia strawberries just hit again – Thanks Tami ;)

The Teacher Cooks Mar 18, 2012 09:03 pm


Magic of Spice Mar 20, 2012 02:03 pm

Congrats on the workshop :) And what a gorgeous cake this is!

Strawberries remind me of warm, balmy days…their colour is just so brilliant, and when they are sweet, they are oh-so-delicious! this cake is just gorgeous!

Paula- bell'alimento Mar 26, 2012 12:03 pm

Happy Yolks and this black pepper cake with balsamic whipped cream & berries makes me very happy : )

Chemical Peel Apr 2, 2012 03:04 am

Awww it looks so delicious! My daughter will love it.. But I must share this picture is really fantastic…

Winnie Apr 3, 2012 06:04 pm

How did I miss this? Beautiful.

Danijela May 25, 2012 05:05 pm

Beautiful post. I am a strawberries fan so this cake is just perfect, if you ask me.

Christa Kelso Jun 1, 2012 11:06 pm

Just found your blog through spoonforkbacon. I LOVE IT! Such a clean simple design & some really great photos.
Keep it up!

[…] combination of flavors. The Black Pepper Sponge Cake recipe was created by Tami Harderman, of Running With Tweezers, as a guest post for California Strawberries. Check out both sites for some amazing […]

[…] Commission for asking me to develop another recipe for them. The last one I worked on, this Strawberry Black Pepper Cake, was a huge hit and one of the most popular recipes on my blog. Their site is full of great recipes […]

Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen Mar 14, 2013 08:03 am

Oh wow what an absolutely gorgeous looking and sounding cake, I love your photos!