Taking Life One Step At A Time

Taking Life One Step At  A Time

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Berry Bounty

I figured out why I don't decorate my kitchen in a fruit or veggie theme. It's because I would have a fit and destroy it each year when that particular food is in season. Take strawberries for example ...

A couple of years ago, we planted strawberry plants in our garden. Of course, the first year you plant, you really don't get anything. Last year we got a few small berries, but this year we expected a rather good bounty. What we didn't count on were the many critters who also like berries and who tend to get to the fruit before we can seeing as how they live outside and all.

We have tried spraying and placing netting over the plants, but something was still getting to them. So, when the realization hit that we really wouldn't be growing many of our own strawberries, I decided to buy a couple of flats to make jam. On Monday morning, I headed to our local veggie/fruit stand and purchased 12 quarts of gorgeous, locally grown strawberries. And I was quite excited to get going on the jam. But then, just as I began hulling and slicing, a friend called. Turns out, her strawberry patch was thriving and she wanted us to come and pick as much as we wanted. Well, who can pass up an offer like that!

Now this woman was not kidding when she said her strawberry patch was a bit out of control! Her patch was at least the size of our entire garden just covered in plants. There were no rows to walk through. So once I had picked along the edges, I had to carefully place my feet inbetween plants and try to pick. Several times I ended up with my legs as far apart as I could get them, bent at the waist plucking off strawberries and putting them in my container. I would stay that way until my legs began shaking and then do an odd sort of balancing act to get out of the patch. Did I mention that my hamstrings are so tight that I cried in the shower this morning when I tried to shave?! Yeah, it's that bad.

However, when all was said and done, I came home with another 9 quarts of strawberries. On top of the 12 that I had purchased. And despite the poor pickings in our own garden, Josh came up with another 4 quarts or so. Suddenly I had 25 quarts of strawberries!

I spent 5 hours making jam that night. 20 pints of jam. And still I had at least 12 quarts left. What to do? So, today I made a killer strawberry/blueberry crisp, we've had strawberries on cereal, plain with lunch and dinner and even for dessert. And I froze 21 cups of berries for use in pies and such later on.

Strawberries ... I love the fruit, but frankly, I'm sick of them! And very thankful that I only do this once a year.

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