Strawberries are a taste of summer

Whenever I tackle a task, it seems I go overboard. This was no exception.

I thought that picking strawberries would be a fun activity for me and my daughters. Turns out only one thought it would be fun. Our neighbor joined me and Emily, and we set out anticipating all the fine dishes we could make with strawberries: strawberry shortcake, strawberries and ice cream, strawberries on cereal, plain strawberries, strawberry jam, strawberry pie. . . you get the idea.

With directions in hand, we set out for the patch with a detour to get cash at the bank. I figured I would get $10 worth of berries so I took out $20 to be safe. As we hadn’t done this together ever, I really had no idea how much we’d pick. Although I had never been to this patch, I felt I knew where I was going because I had a vague idea of its location.

We traveled along, visiting and having a fine time. It didn’t take long though for me to get lost so our neighbor used her Smartphone to get us to our destination. Thankfully she was with us, or who knows if we would have ever picked any fruit. Soon we reached the farm.

After they gave us a special box for picking, we claimed an area. I figured we would just fill up the container. I should have asked questions. I am known for asking lots of questions. Alas, I just went to picking. The aroma of berries was delicious.

When the box was weighed it turned out that Emily and I had picked over 12 quarts of strawberries. I still had no idea how great this quantity was. I was worried about having enough money. I am happy to report that I did have enough—I emptied my entire wallet of any money, but I had enough. Yikes. That could have been embarrassing. Maybe it was as I counted out my change, but I just wanted to have enough.

Once past this dilemma, we headed home. The scent of strawberries filled the car.

Once we got home, I decided we should wash the berries and freeze some. Emily prepared the freezer bags. I filled the sink with berries and water. The entire sink was full. Gulp. Hey, that’s okay. We love strawberries. Just think of all the things we can do with them. When we finished we had 42 cups of strawberries!

To celebrate, we had strawberries and ice cream with our supper. It was delicious. I soon learned that frozen whole berries can last six to eight months and fresh in the refrigerator, one to two days. Oh boy. Now what. I froze most of them. Strawberry shortcake was on the menu now.

Last year, we did the same thing with picking wild raspberries. A friend called and reported a healthy harvest awaiting us. I wanted to share this experience with the girls as I had done this with the boys. We picked a gallon. Of course, we made jam and froze some of those, after we had them with ice cream and with cereal. It always seems I overdo it, but somehow we soon devour it all.

I never seem to know how much I am really getting when I have to pick it myself; but hey, it makes fun memories.

I hope you enjoy this fresh strawberry pie recipe!

1 pre-baked 9” pie crust
6 cups fresh whole strawberries washed and hulled
1 cup water
¾ to 1 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon juice

Mash one cup of the berries. Arrange the rest in the pie crust. Simmer the mashed berries with the water in a saucepan for three to four minutes. Combine the cornstarch and sugar and add it to the cooked berries, continuing to cook, stirring constantly until the syrup is thickened and clear. Add the lemon juice and cool slightly. Pour the berry-syrup over the whole berries in the crust. Chill thoroughly and serve with whipped cream.

Have you ever picked strawberries or raspberries? What is your favorite fruit?

4 thoughts on “Strawberries are a taste of summer

      1. Thanks for the recipe, Michelle. Your blog brought back some memories, both good and bad. When I was a child I lived on a large farm where my dad was a hired hand. This farm, along with many other crops, had two large strawberry patches. My mother always sorted and packed strawberries, which meant we children had to be had to be in the patch picking berries. We used a carrier with eight quart-size baskets. We were paid 50 cents for a full carrier. Note the word full there. Since I was not yet ten years old during some of those summers, it took me a long time to pick a carrier full. Partly because some of the berries ended up in my mouth instead of the baskets, and partly because I habitually smashed some hidden under leaves at the edge of the row, and partly because my siblings and I would sometimes have a strawberry fight (if my mother wasn’t watching). But, I love strawberries. If not my favorite fruit, they would certainly be among them. Thanks for the memories!

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