Strawberry Season

I remember once when I was a kid I was invited to go strawberry picking. (Laura, you must have been there, right?) We arrived that hot spring day and knelt by the short plants. I picked one ripe perfect berry and tasted it. My mind was completely blown. I had had no idea that strawberries could be so sweet and delicious and JUICY. This was the ultimate strawberry – the ideal I had never known. In my excitement I picked and picked and ate and ate. I was thrilled to bring home bright red strawberries for my family – an entire flat-ful.

My mom was less thrilled. She saw immediately that I had picked every strawberry at its peak ripeness, which is perfect for eating off the stem, but tragic for bringing home. She knew that it was only a matter of hours before these beautiful glowing balls of sweetness would dissolve into red mush and brown spots and fruit flies. Despite her irritation, I went to bed that night with new knowledge and happy.

In my naivete, I started to look forward to strawberry season every year, looking for that tart lush taste. But it never happened again. Years came and went and I became re-accustomed to dipping fresh strawberries in sugar. I never had strawberries as good.

Until this year. The organic farm, South Coast Farms, where I get my CSA basket held an open strawberry picking day a few weeks ago. Organic strawberries for 99 cents a pound! I slapped some sunscreen on the baby and headed on over.
And yes, to my delight I was able to share with Christian a truly delicious strawberry straight from the stem. We came home with a moderate two-pound bag. (I thought my friend Sierra was extreme by bringing home 15 pounds, but then I met another friend who picked 40 pounds that day!!)

So, we’ve been enjoying strawberries. And besides eating them raw and ripe and putting them into fresh smoothies, we’ve also been cooking with them.
I made two batches of strawberry scones today with this recipe here. YUM. I didn’t start by intending to make a double batch; I made one and it disappeared so fast I had to make another in the same bowl before it was even washed!

The scone recipe I used at the blog, Confessions of a Tart, is particularly delicious and easy; and we benefit from her experience as she went though no less than six recipes before landing on the winner recipe. And while I recommend going to her site to use the original recipe, I’m posting the ingredients here, which I think I’ve already memorized (the boon of going from computer to kitchen over and over again…) It’s 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 3T sugar, one cup of chopped strawberries, 6 T butter (I used Earth Balance) and 2/3 cup half and half or buttermilk (I used soy milk), basically all mixed together in one bowl. Too easy. I’m going to have to make them again for friends coming over to knit and make dolls on Wednesday.
And this is a recipe for strawberry cake, which I haven’t tried yet, but Sierra has and I trust her judgment.

CHRISTIAN LOVES STRAWBERRIES. And now he even knows how to pick his own.

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