Strawberries!

A few days ago I noticed Jane Richmond posted some photos on Instagram of strawberry picking. Despite the fact that we live almost on opposite ends of North America, it reminded me to check out my local fields to see if they are picking.

It is a tradition in my house that I take my kids out to pick our own strawberries. We go to a pretty large field, so it usually involves a wagon ride out to the area where we pick. I’m not sure if the kids like the wagon ride or the strawberries better — it may be a tie.

The kiddos were much more productive than previous years as they decided to see who could pick the most. Within about a half hour we had a bit more than I was expecting….20130626-092203.jpgIf you were wondering, this is what 10lbs of strawberries looks like.

Thankfully, they are incredible. Delicious. Perfectly ripe. Perfectly sweet. I kind of almost don’t mind that I have eaten strawberries almost exclusively for 3 days.

Knowing I had a few more than I needed, I shared a few with our neighbors and a friend who dropped off some hand-me-downs for my daughter.

I also made a batch of shortcake using this Smitten Kitchen recipe. I have no photos of it because honestly it was eaten too quickly. I highly recommend it though! I did add the optional lemon zest & it really made these special — they are simple & rich & just a great pairing with really good fruit. Oh, and in place of heavy whipping cream I cheated & used Reddi-Whip… because I could.

The big tradition for us with our strawberry picking though is that we make strawberry ice cream. In the past, I’ve always used the generic recipe that came with my ice cream maker. This year, however, I was equipped with my Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream cookbook. I was introduced to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream last year while in Columbus, Ohio last year with Alisa from Firefly Fibers for the big TNNA summer convention. I bought the cookbook immediately and have been in love ever since. The ice creams are super rich and kind of time intensive, but I kind of like things that are rich in quality and take time sometimes. I tried the Milkiest Chocolate in the World as well as the Buckeye State & Black Coffee flavors last summer — they were absolutely delicious. Seriously, once you start making Jeni’s at home you may never want commercial ice cream again. I pretty much needed an intervention to stop making the homemade ice cream in order to keep my cholesterol from needing to be measured in exponential quantities.

But these strawberries are my special treat and together with my kids we set out to transform some of our fresh picked strawberries to a quart of Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk Ice Cream.20130626-092210.jpgIt is kind of messy & time intensive, but in the end…20130626-092219.jpg… so worth it.

I ended up adding probably half again as much strawberry puree as the recipe calls for simply because the milky-rich flavor was not going to be strawberry-y enough for my kids. The recipe calls for you to roast quite a bit extra of the strawberry mixture though, so it is very easy to just add extra to suit your taste. I adjusted the mixing/cooling period accordingly, but it all worked just fine. And finished ice cream… it’s 100% scrumptious.

The leftover roasted strawberry puree I drizzled over the strawberry shortcake, too. For the record, I highly recommend that, too.

You would think that after 3days of eating almost nothing but ripe strawberries I would be sick of them. On the contrary though, I am thinking about taking the kids picking again.

Do you use Instagram? A lot of the photos I use here are taken on Instagram and then uploaded to my blog later in story form. If you want to see more of my photos or get a sneak peak of what’s coming here on the blog, follow me on Instagram! My username is — you guessed it — knittingsarah!

4 responses to “Strawberries!

  1. My husband would die (happy) if I brought home 10 pounds of strawberries. Sadly, strawberry season is pretty much done here. The raspberries and blackberries are getting underway though; yum!

  2. Oh my goodness, the distant scent of summer to those of us in the middle of winter!

    • I know the feeling! For me, it is always seeing photos of warm sunny days in grey icy January as I dream of a sun that feels, you know, warm.

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