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
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:
- 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):
PEASANT STRAWBERRY TARTS
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.
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
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
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
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 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.