As I was neglecting my children this morning (not really, they were watching Curious George on PBS), I discovered the strawberry patch was officially opened for business starting today. As you probably have been able to tell, I have been totally jonesing for some strawberries....serious cravings. I enjoyed the citrus of the winter, but since it is now spring in Central Texas, I need strawberries. I was relieved that no playgroup got planned this week, sped up the morning routine and told the kids we were going to pick strawberries.
M was quite excited. She remembered picking strawberries from last year. J was just happy to go somewhere in the car (he is so much like a little puppy!). We made the hour plus drive to the Marble Falls Farm (the one in Lexington, which we actually prefer, isn't open yet). We were one of 3 or 4 cars there. It was wonderful. I would go to Marble Falls all the time if it was always that quiet. We picked our strawberries--M helping very well, J learning about the color red, taking two bites out of many, many strawberries and then putting them in the basket, and wanting rides in the wagon. I wasn't sure how well I would do, being 34 weeks pregnant and all, but I am pioneer woman! :) I picked more strawberries than I intended to, which is always the problem.
If you only eat grocery store strawberries, you need to venture out to a strawberry patch this spring (or a farmer's market) and get some freshly picked strawberries that haven't been shipped to your locale from the far away reaches of California (unless you live next to a strawberry farm in California). There is really no taste comparison. These berries are red the whole way. J's shirt was filthy from the strawberry juice running down his chin onto his shirt (which is why he wore a shirt that was already stained). They aren't too hard and the flavor, oh the flavor, is worth waiting months and months for. Pick strawberries, bring home more than you know what to do with and look for posts in the next few weeks (as our house gets taken over by strawberries) on how to freeze strawberries and make strawberry jam.
We are having a salad tonight topped with strawberry vinagrette dressing to go with our pizza. Also in our near future (the next 2 months of strawberry season) is homemade strawberry ice cream, strawberry panna cotta (Italian custard), strawberry bread, strawberry shortcake (as a meal---Curtis is still getting used to that one, but it's a strawberry season staple at my parent's house). Plus, there is always the benefit of strawberries for snacks--M made her own snack this afternoon--a bowl of fresh picked strawberries.
Aaahh...strawberry season. How I love thee!