Saturday, June 10, 2017

Today Is the Day

     Today was the day.  First day of strawberry picking and I was at the patch by 9 a.m.  I fretted about this last year because the pickin's for UPick are slim around here and I had to travel a lot farther than I was used to but I timed it today and this is what I discovered.  I left home a 8:55 a.m., got to the patch, picked 7.5 pounds of berries and was home again by 9:55.  I can do this! 
     We don't eat jam around here much.  A couple of years ago I gave freezer jam another go and ended up dumping it into batches of homemade strawberry ice cream.  I usually have one jar of jam going at a time and that's gifted to us by Friend Marge.  It's delish but it takes a year to eat one jar. Sometimes I slice a few and freeze them for ice cream toppings in January but again, this year I found those containers in the freezer and dumped them into ice cream while it churned. Daughter doesn't complain about that! 
     No, on strawberry day, and today was what will be one of many, we just eat them. 
     After a cold winter and occasional boxes of California or Mexico berries I circle this day on the calendar.  Grocery store berries aren't real.  They are styrofoam shaped and painted things that sound like an apple when you cut them.  You aren't supposed to hear a real strawberry when you cut it!  You shouldn't even need a knife when you clean and top them. In a pinch and because I was/am dieting I ate grocery store imitation strawberries more this winter than I have ever done in my life.  It was with high anticipation that today would finally come. These little jewels are going to be savored.

 As the day grew nearer, I baked some pie shells last week and put them in the freezer.
 We'll start with four and go from there. My pie shells are rustic looking.  I mean, come on, this isn't a magazine shoot and when they are filled you aren't going to see them anyway.

 Ta da!!  THIS is the highlight of my year.  You can take everything else away.  But I'll cut off your hand if you touch this.  When I am old and in a nursing home I will still expect to be wheeled out to the strawberry patch and allowed to pick so someone can make this pie for me.  Us.  I might share it with whoever wheels me out to the patch.  Maybe Elizabeth.  She loves berries, too.
Lunch.  This was PH's slice.  I had one, too.  There will be another for supper for each of us.  One year I made this pie and we ate the whole thing in one day.  It was our breakfast, our lunch and our supper. I heard no complaints.  When you can have the real something just once a year and for only two weeks of that time and there are no substitutes, you gorge.
     Any other fruits can be bought year round in grocery stores and they run close to the real thing we pick off the vine or plant or tree ourselves come summer.   Any other fruit but the locally grown strawberry.   I plan to go back and pick a bit more on Monday, certainly Wednesday and probably Friday mornings. 
     Picking for me is summer.  This is it.  The beach is wonderful, the flowers are beautiful, the weather is perfect and cookouts are fun.  But picking your own strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches and apples is time spent in perfection.


  1. As we would say with a Australian sarcasm ...."would you like some pie with those strawberries?" I agree there is nothing like the right fruit in the right season. I think when we stop and let our tastebuds tell us, they appreciate the simple joy of fresh. Jams are all well and good but these special fruits deserve your rustic pie bottoms and the sounds of contented munching.

  2. That looks so good. I would like to know how to prepare the strawberries for that pie filling? Nothing like a fresh juicy strawberry YUM! Enjoy!

  3. Ha Ha Denice, what a great post! Nothing like really fresh fruit... and by golly, those pie shells are not to be sniggered at - heaps of cooks can't do pastry very well, and yours look wonderful.
    The pics with the berries all piled up & glossy, they look amazing... enjoy every mouthful!

  4. Can't wait to pick with you tomorrow!