Sunday, April 15, 2012

Finally Strawberries!

The weather's been crazy the entire week. After an insane and unheard of pea-size hail that we had a couple of weeks ago, it really cooled off a whole lot. We had to pull our long sleeved t-shirts and even light sweaters out of storage again. Yeah, I know, I sound like a wimp. But c'mon, we had 80-degree weather at the end of March and even turned the heater off.

But finally it seems that the cold snap is over. Which means we can go pick strawberries. Yippie!
Once again we went to Porter's which is like the closest field to us. So close, in fact, that we can get there in about 20 minutes on local roads and, most importantly, it's totally on the way to a bunch of other things, like the Farmers' Market and a couple of great parks.

Of course, this being Saturday morning, it was pretty busy there. All the giant strawberries were gone from the pick-your-own field. But there were still tons of smaller ones. I asked M if we should pick one or two baskets. His response was "let's pick three!". So we picked up two empty baskets, chose a lane in the field and got to work.

Or rather I got to work and M started running up and down the lane with his basket. In all this running and having fun he did pick about a third of the basket. So maybe his approach was better than mine (getting straight to work and not taking any time to enjoy what's going on).

After we finished picking strawberries and went to pay for them, M said "I think this place has something yummy we got last time" (a year ago!). I played all innocent and asked "oh yeah, what?". "I think it was ice-cream last year" was the response. Yup, it sure was delicious locally made ice-cream. Now, they sell ice-cream from a regular freezer, like the one you'd find in someone's house. In other words, the freezer has no window in it to see what's inside. Nor does it have a picture of what's in it. Just a sign and M can't read yet (not in English anyway). So I was really amazed at his memory (this is from a boy who has a hard time memorizing the letter "Ы" no matter how many times we go over it).

But we did buy an ice-cream and shared it. And it was delicious! We just sat there enjoying the whole experience, savoring ice-cream while inhaling the sweet smell of ripe strawberries. M, never short on words, proclaimed "Mama, I wish we could stay here forever and even live here!"

Needless to say, we are already planning our next outing to the field. What am I going to do with all the strawberries?

1. Eat them, of course!
2. Make strawberry smoothie, strawberry rhubarb crisp, and strawberry mousse.
3. Strawberry chips are delicious and much better than potato chips too.
4. Strawberry sauce (kind of like apple sauce) to freeze.
5. Strawberry candy (larger chunks of strawberries dried until they are dry-ish, but pliable, like fruit leather)
6. Strawberry jam (yes, it's really-really good!)

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