April 21, 2010

Strawberry Fields

We loaded up the kiddos and headed to the country to pick the fruit from these beautiful little flowers...

Some friends of ours came to visit us for a few days, so we brought them along too.

Emma was so excited about picking the berries.

The girls starting picking right away.

And starting filling up their very large bucket...

The morning was beautiful, and it wasn't too hot~yet!

I was so impressed. I had never seen so many strawberries before in my life. There is something kind of neat about seeing your food before it hits the grocery stores.

Emma hopped between rows choosing berries for her bucket.

I think that I enjoyed the trip just as much as they did.

They took a break from picking for a quick photo.

Then, they were back at work picking these little beauties.

And, still trying to fill that bucket.

The strawberries were easier to photo. They always cooperate and don't move all that much :)

Emma made it pretty close to the top...

And then started running the rows.

She ran.

And ran.

We took the berries to be weighed, so that we could pay for what we had picked.

Let's just say that by the end, I was convinced that Emma could have been a farm girl in a previous life. She ate just about as many berries as she picked and had a wonderful morning at the farm.

The only question I had was, "What's a girl to do with 12 plus pounds of strawberries?"

So, we made jam. Yes 12 jars of jam! I have to admit that I was a canning virgin, but I have wonderful memories of my great-grandmother's jellies, so I decided to give it a shot. I used this recipe and was pleased with the results. I only wish that the jam was a bit chunkier....notes for next time.

Rob held Carson while I did all of my strawberrying...

Then, I made strawberry lemonade popsicles and strawberry daiquiris. I used this recipe from Cooking Light for both of them. I just didn't add the rum and the ice to Emma's popsicles :) We have an extra batch of this in the freezer too...will it be popsicles or daiquiris?

We still had strawberries left, so I made a Strawberry Almond Cream Tart. I followed the recipe, but took some I just had a baby shortcuts. I didn't make the crust. I used a store bought reduced fat graham cracker crust instead. I used the whole block of cream cheese and went for the fat free version. And, I didn't toast the almonds. It was delicious and pretty low in calories, so you should give it a whirl. It is my favorite dessert at the moment, and Rob and Emma loved it too! I have an extra batch of the strawberry topping in the freezer, so another Strawberry Almond Cream Tart is in our near future.
We all ate our fair share of fresh ones too... So for now, we are strawberried out. Although, I would love to go pickin' again.

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