One of the best things about this time of the year is U-Pick Strawberries. It’s the only time of the year when I know every berry in my fridge is a good beery. You know what I’m talking about. You’re at the store, you spot the strawberry packages, they look good. You pick one up, inspect it. Pick another up, inspect again, turning over, checking the berries on the bottom. Finally, you think you have a good one.
You get home, unload all the groceries then open your pack of berries only to find 4-5 of your precious berries are bruised, beaten or only half ripe.
This doesn’t happen with U-Pick. Every berry is hand selected by me or my personally trained pickers (aka the kids.) It takes years of training to be one of my certified pickers. Biggest is not always the tastiest. Look for good color all over. Firm but not hard. Oh, and yes, absolutely taste test in the field. I encourage taste testing many berries as you pick for “quality control” purposes. And really, there is something to this. You can test a berry in one row and it can be the perfect sweetness, then move a few rows down and you might find the berries have turned tart. It’s not just that I want the kids to get a belly full while still in the field, honest.
We’ll try to pick every weekend during the season. Usually each person will pick a gallon of berries. Depending on who goes with me, I’ll have anywhere from 5-10 pounds of berries each trip.
I’ll freeze them, make jam, make syrup, add them to every meal I can. 2 out of 3 of my kids will go for strawberries over chips so they’re also the perfect anytime snack, score one for Mom!
Not only is it strawberry season, it’s also warm enough to be Ice Cream season!How better to celebrate spring than incorporate the two.
inspired by Niki’s Sweet Side
I’m sharing at some of these great parties.