Thursday, June 3, 2010

In Strawberry Fields

I was in strawberry fields this morning as I went strawberry picking at a small farm about 40 minutes south of where we live. I've been to this farm for strawberry picking several years now, but didn't make it last year, so I was doubly looking forward to picking this year.

I've always thought of "U pick your own" on a farm as such a family event. Me picking as much as I can of whatever it is so I have enough for eating out of hand, making jams and pies, as well as some for freezing for the winter. My daughters picking enthusiastically for the first 15 minutes, then losing interest as they pick wild flowers, inspect bugs or animal prints in the soil, or just plain look for a shady spot to sit and wait for me to finish. Then my husband, our family photographer, dutifully following us wherever we go taking a hundred photos or more of our adventure.

This year it was just me and a friend.

No kids.

No husbands.

On one hand, it was kind of nice. We were the only ones in the fields for a while and we chatted away the quiet hour --or was it two? --as we picked.

On the other hand, it was so quiet! And I found myself missing my girls and my husband. I missed their "help," my husband documenting our adventure in photos, and most of all, I missed their company.

Even though I brought my camera with me, I barely took any photos. Too busy picking. :) Plus, the subject matter wasn't as much fun without my family in the shots. ;)

I came home with 11 pounds (5 kg) of luscious strawberries and 2 pounds (just less than 1 kg) of sugar snap peas that we couldn't resist picking as well. The sugar snap peas will be gone in a snap. ;) My youngest and I will eat them raw as a snack and if there's any left by dinner time tomorrow, they'll be tossed in a stir fry.

As for the strawberries... There's so much one can do with 11 pounds of strawberries, don't you think? Aside from eating them out of hand or in a bowl of cereal.

Over the next few days, there will be some serious strawberry goings on around here. I will definitely be making homemade strawberry jam. I'll set aside a good chunk of time over the weekend to mess up the kitchen with that task. Hopefully I'll process enough so that I have several jars to give as gifts for Christmas. In the meantime, I'm thinking of something quick and easy like chocolate covered strawberries for dessert tonight. I'd also love to make strawberry shortcake or perhaps a fresh strawberry tart with almond cream filling tomorrow. Oh! I also have some rhubarb from my organic co-op, so maybe I'll make a strawberry rhubarb sauce for ice cream. Speaking of ice cream, how could I not make homemade strawberry ice cream, too? I'll freeze any remaining berries for smoothies.

As if there would be any remaining berries ...

So sweet and fragrant. Can't you just taste it?

Do you ever go strawberry picking?

What's your favorite way to eat strawberries?


  1. OMG strawberry heaven? So when am I coming over to eat some?

  2. How simply yummy..

    What a fun day and such a great family event..

    even without the family this turn - what a haul..

    happy eating...


  3. Ah strawberries! They are the best. In my younger days my friends & I would go pick & then have a strawberry daiquiri party. It was a nice annual ritual for a while there.

    BTW, did you change your feed settings? The whole post didn't show up in my reader. Just wondering.

  4. Well you still got some very nice pictures, Christine :) But I understand why you'd miss your family with you.

    Wow, that's a lot of strawberry goodness!! I've only went a couple of times, but perhaps this year... Hmmm.

    I like to eat fresh strawberry... unmodified LOL. Once they're mush, you've lost me ^_^;

  5. KB.. You'd better make it soon. They're going to disappear fast!

    Hey!! The next time you come over, I can say a published author visited me at my house! ;) Congratulations! :)

    E.H.> It is quite a haul of berries. They smell and taste as good as they look too...

    Phyl... Strawberry daiquiris!! What a great idea. I made strawberry daiquiris from scratch once before several years ago and it was delicious! Maybe I'll add that to my personal strawberry festival. Thanks for the suggestion. ;)

    Hey! How'd your quilt do in the auction?

    I did change my feeds setting. I went in to check on my comments set up because someone emailed me saying they had trouble leaving a comment using OpenID and I ended up fooling around with settings. I'll change it back. :)

    Hi nath! Thanks for the photo compliments. I did get a few good shots, but they're all the same. Of berries. LOL. That last one I took using my new macro lens that my husband and daughters gave me for Mother's Day. I love a good close up. :)

    Once they're mush, you've lost me ^_^;

    Strawberries eaten fresh, unmodified sure is what nature intended, right? The healthiest way, too! I had um... *ahem* ... quite a few like that while I was picking. What? It was quality assurance! ;)

  6. Oh - I haven't been strawberry picking in years! I need to take my younger kids :) When the teenager was tiny, we went one year and put him in a "portacrib" - at the end of each row we'd move him to the next row and work the berries up and down the row and come back and move him over to the next row.

  7. We have a strawberry plant in the garden, but we're only getting two or three at a time off of it. You're making me crave strawberries. When we lived in CA for the first time ever we had strawberry rhubarb pie and it was awesomely delicious.
    Will you be posting any of your recipes?
    Sorry you missed your family, but maybe they'll go with you next year?

  8. I went strawberry picking last year with a big bunch of relatives. Before that I hadn't been strawberry picking in years...

    It was great even though I couldn't eat them while picking. I'm a little bit allergic and tend to get some symptoms if I eat them. I might have eaten them if I'd remembered to take allergy medicine in the morning... Stupid me! (I usually freeze them before eating, well, it takes the sweetest taste away but I'm used to it).

    I like to eat strawberries with vanilla ice cream...

  9. Oh my good lord, how I wish I was right there, right now!

    You know, there is a strawberry farm around here somewhere (my ex used to take the kids there years ago). I think I should find out exactly how far from me it is...

  10. I wish there was somewhere to go strawberry picking near me - they look delicious!

    I do love summer fruits, I have to admit - strawberries and cherries especially.

  11. I can practically smell them just by looking at the pictures. Love that smell!

    We had a strawberry patch when I was a kid. Sadly, I wasn't smart enough to appreciate getting fresh strawberries from the backyard. LOL

  12. Hi everyone! Sorry for the late reply to your comments. Boy, it sure has been busy around here!

    Patti... That visual with the portacrib at the end of the berry rows is darling! Whatever works, right?

    Brandy... Just one strawberry plant in your garden? If it does well, you should plant a dozen more in the fall for next year! Then maybe you'd get a pint every few days for a while.

    I AM planning on posting some of my recipes. I just posted a recipe for chocolate covered strawberries. Well, more like instructions...

    I LOVE strawberry and rhubarb together. Mmmm!

    Maija... That's too bad you have a minor allergy to strawberries. :( They're one of my favorite fruits!

    Azteclady... I wish you were here right now, too! Oh .. you mean on the farm? Or at my house where me and my berries are? ;-)

    I hope you look for that strawberry farm near you. I love going to U PICK farms. It's like comfort food for the soul. :)

    Hi Li! :) ... I LOVE cherries, too! Their season is even shorter than that of strawberries, so we go crazy for them when they're available.

    Leslie... The strawberries smell magnificent. I inhale deeply every time I open the refrigerator. So much more fragrant than the ones we get at the supermarket.

  13. Seriously, I just adore your blog and reading about your adventures. I love the pictures. I almost ate the screen. My strawberries do NOT look like that. :)

    And the peas...oh the peas. i would get in trouble when i was a kid for eating the peas out of the garden. :) How could that be a bad thing?

  14. YUM! It's the middle of winter here, so no strawberries for a while. I'll just have to live vicariously :)


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