Somehow I have been too swamped the entire strawberry season to be able to pick strawberries and then have an an entire day to dedicate to putting them up. A friend let me know the season was quickly winding down thanks to the recent heat wave, but my weekend was completely tied up with soccer. (Oh soccer, I already have such a long list of reasons why I don’t like you, to which this got added, but my daughter loves you, which really sort of trumps. And we won’t get into how I resent motherhood for making me a better person and overlooking these things I hate simply because she loves them.) Monday morning, after I put Edie on the bus, I started calling around the local pick your own spots. Turns out the season ended Saturday, of course. The day I spent the entire day on the soccer field. Grrrr. I widened my search to a few places “over in the valley”. The beauty of living 20 minutes from the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley is that they are always little bit behind the growing season from us (And a little cooler in the summer!). Turns out, their berry picking season is still going, so I packed myself up and hit the road for Middle River Farms.
It was, in short, the best berry picking experience. The rows were marked where the last person had left off, so you knew exactly where to start. They had someone in the field, directing you where to go. The prices were half of what we pay on this side of the mountain. And all for an extra 15-20 minutes of driving time. They were still less than 55 miles from my front door, qualifying as local. The berries were much larger than the ones Edie & I had picked here a few weeks too. So many things about it to make me happy.
At any rate, I picked a quick not quite 15 pounds, brought them home, sorted and dealt with them. I froze some whole, chopped and stewed and froze some for yogurt, and kept some for a nice strawberry salad for dinner last night and strawberry shortcake for breakfast this morning.
No, I don’t make jam. I’ve tried, several years in a row, and it was a disaster. I may try again one of these days, but I was not in the mood to fool with it yesterday. And yes, we enjoy strawberry shortcake for breakfast. Sub plain yogurt for the whipped cream, and voila, breakfast.
Although the chocolate sponge cake may have been a bit decadent.