Strawberries, 5 ways

Berry Harvest Farm Strawberries

Berry Harvest Farm Strawberries

I love this fleeting moment of summer when strawberries abound with the promise of deliciousness enough to make our bellies ache. I love strawberries with The Girl’s Perfect Whipped Cream. Or with

bucketRowice cream. Or yogurt. Or on a salad. Or as-is by the handful, good grief, it’s all good to me.

 Confession: I’ve never picked strawberries before. So when on Sunday I woke feeling antsy I trekked out for berry-patches unknown, determined to find a U-Pick establishment friendly towards newbies.  I found the perfect spot: Berry Harvest Farm in Cato, owned and operated by Alvin and MarySue Stever and son. MarySue herself manned the check-in/check-out tent and good-naturedly inaugurated me to U-pick customs. I took her bucket and followed the long row, realizing too late that it was flat-out goofy to have lugged my gigantic purse out into the middle of a strawberry field. Newbie.
Picking strawberries is a surprisingly illuminating activity. I learned a lot out there in the Berry Harvest Farm berry patch:
Strawberries with strong personalities.

Strawberries with strong personalities.

  •        It is hot as blazes in the middle of a strawberry patch.
  • The best strawberries are shy and try to hide.
  • The thrill of hunting the next “perfect” strawberry appeals strongly to my OCD tendencies and goes a long way in making me forget the puking-hot sun.
  • I have an affinity for strawberries with strong personalities.
  • Strawberries I’ve picked taste perfect.
Here are the results of my Berry Harvest Farm strawberry-picking excursion (recipes below):
Strawberry, banana, and white chocolate muffins.

Strawberry, banana, and white chocolate muffins.

Strawberry Feta salad

Strawberry Feta salad 

Peasant strawberry tart

Peasant strawberry tart

Strawberry smoothie

Strawberry smoothie

Strawberry lemonade

Strawberry lemonade

RECIPES:

PEASANT STRAWBERRY TARTS
Strawberry Filling
2 cups of strawberries
after thinly sliced
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp flour
Directions: Put berries in a bowl and toss with the flour and sugar and set aside.
Pastry

1 + 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cold water
A pinch of salt
Directions:
1.     Put the flour, sugar, butter and salt in a mixer with the paddle attachment and mix at low speed until thoroughly incorporated.
2.     Add the egg yolk and drip in cold tap water. Continue to mix on low until a dough forms.
3.     Gather the dough together and form into a disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
4.     Preheat the oven to 360°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5.     Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into 4 – 6 portions depending on how big you want each tart.
6.     Roll out each portion of dough until thin. Pace the rounds of dough on the baking sheet.
7.     Put 3-4 large tablespoons of strawberry filling in the center of each round, leaving a half-inch border around the edges.
8.     Roughly pinch the edges of the dough together around the filling, leaving the center open.
9.     Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden.
STRAWBERRY, BANANA, & WHITE CHOCOLATE MUFFINS
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 very ripe banana
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup strawberries, diced small
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Directions:
1.     Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a mini muffin tin with mini muffin liners. Set aside.
2.     Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
3.     In a separate bowl, stir milk, sugar, butter, eggs, and banana.
4.     Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined.
5.     Add strawberries and white chocolate chips and gently fold in.
6.     Fill the muffin liners 3/4 full with the batter.
7.     Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes.
STRAWBERRY FETA SALAD
Garden Greens, crumbled feta, sliced strawberries, balsamic dressing
STRAWBERRY SMOOTHY
Strawberry smoothie: Combine Wake Robin Farm yogurt and fresh strawberries in food processer. Whisk Wake Robin vanilla yogurt in a bowl and pour into the bottom third of a glass; gently pour over strawberry smoothie, top with remaining vanilla yogurt.
Previous Post Next Post

2 Comments

  • Reply Anonymous July 4, 2013 at 1:37 am

    You are intelligent and hilarious. I think this nation will love you. You will be well known. What a great platform. Bravo!
    (A Pennsylvania certified educator.)

  • Reply Lee Anne French July 12, 2013 at 2:44 am

    I’m glad I found you. I live in the opposite corner of the U.S. of A. – near the coast of Washington State. I have 11 chickens. I grow strawberries [and raspberries and blueberries], and a stupid-big veggie garden – end up giving most of it away ’cause we’re only 2 people here. I grow flowers, make jewelry and other pretty things, am a very part-time Personal Chef, and I’m retired. I don’t have time to work!

    I loved your phrase about the fleeting summer. I love summer. I live all year for summer. For the berries, for drying my clothes and sheets outside on the line, for lying on the grass and looking up at the beautiful blue sky through the filter of the birch tree leaves, for getting to hang out with my chickens up close and personal since it’s dry and their feet aren’t all poopy [yes, I pick them up and cuddle them – my son made me a label for my egg carton that says “These Eggs are from Cuddle-Range Chickens”], for the hummingbirds and goldfinches and grosbeaks and swallows and all the beautiful birds that come to our feeder, and driving down our long tree-tunnel driveway, all dappled with sunlight. Sigh. I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you.

    It’s just that summer goes by just TOO DAMN FAST. Too fast. Zips by. I hate that. I have to have stern talks with myself about NOT thinking about how fast the summer’s whizzing by because it makes me sad WHILE IT’S STILL SUMMER. Dumb.

    I’m old – 60. As much as getting old sucks in some ways, the good part is that I finally am “getting it” about what’s really important to me in life – family, friends, nature. In that order.

    Thanks for reading this, if you are. You’re awesome, and I hope your fame turns into fortune for you and your family!

    Lee Anne French

  • Leave a Reply