Monday, June 20, 2011

Strawberries

I've been waiting for weeks to go strawberry picking. Every time I actually get a day off, I would go to the Thompson Finch Farm website to check on picking conditions. Either the field had just been picked cleaned in the days before and there was almost nothing left, or a ridiculous storm would happen and we couldn't go.

Anyway, we finally went strawberry picking today.
And we got a lot of strawberries.

I'm super glad that I took my older two kids, because quite frankly, my youngest was no help at all.
He was cranky after a long day at camp and didn't feel like picking anything - all he wanted to do was eat the strawberries that we had already picked. This is anti-productive and I kept telling him to pick and eat whatever he wanted and we would do all of the work. But it was hot and we were all tired.

In fact, while my youngest was at camp, my older two kids took a nice hike with me today. Here we are at the top of Monument Mountain, playing tourists in our own backyard by taking photos of ourselves:
Anyhow, we hiked and then picked the little one up from camp and then went strawberry picking in a big hot field... so needless to say, we were hot and tired and at least a little bit cranky.
But the bigger kids pulled through and helped me pick about 20lbs of some darn good organic strawberries.
So, besides eating a silly amount of strawberries all day and night, what else do we do with these beauties?

Well, I started with the freezing process. I prepped the berries and spread them out on some baking sheets and put them int he freezer.
Yes, I know... I still have all of these freakin plastic bags in my freezer, but I'm working on it over time. For now, just ignore them like I do. Thanks.
Anyhow, if you freeze the berries like this, then when you put them in whatever container or bag you might use, they won't freeze in clumps... pretty cool, huh. I will put a bunch in my fabulous new stainless steel containers, but there might end up being a few in some recycled plastic freezer bags... this year anyway. We'll see what needs to happen when we get there.

And what else could I do with all of these berries? Well, I decided that a delicious alcoholic blended strawberry drink was in order, so I loaded a bunch of fresh strawberries and some lemonade and fresh limes with vodka into my blender... just as it decided to die on me. Straight up stinky smoke and all. Ok, let's ignore this too, because I love my glass blender and frankly don't have any money to replace it right now... so it's best to pretend that this just didn't happen and move on.

But what to do with the concoction? Well, I thought that maybe a short infusion might be nice, then we could just strain it. So, I mashed up the berries and added lots of ice.
And it got me thinking about maybe making a nice strawberry infused vodka, which is next on the list.

Meanwhile, I will be making a lot of strawberry things for a while... because while strawberries are working on freezing up in the freezer, there are still a lot of berries in the fridge down below.
And if you are wondering what 20 pounds of organic strawberries looks like - it was two of those buckets, full but not over the top like this one in the fridge.

Ok, you have been kind enough to read this forever long post about my semi-productive day that included a silly amount of strawberries - and maybe you have some good recipes or ideas to share with me? I would love it, please leave a comment so that others can benefit as well!

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